LOS ANGELES, Calif. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Exhausted yet exhilarated, the Dodgers headed home for a catnap. The Red Sox may well toss and turn thinking about one that got away.
Max Muncy’s home run leading off the bottom of the 18th inning finally ended the longest World Series game in history early Saturday and gave Los Angeles a 3-2 victory over Boston that drew the Dodgers to 2-1 in the best-of-seven matchup.READ MORE: United Airlines Launches Pilot Training Program To Address Shortage
Muncy homered to left-center on a full-count pitch from Nathan Eovaldi, jolting the remaining fans to their feet at 12:30 a.m. A grinning Muncy tossed his helmet aside as he headed for third in the final scene of a pivotal game that lasted 7 hours, 20 minutes.
“The feeling was just pure joy and incredible excitement,” he said.
The Dodgers mobbed Muncy at home plate, celebrating the solo shot that pulled them back from the brink of a potential 3-0 Series deficit that no team has ever recovered from.
The Red Sox could only rue their near-miss.
They were oh-so-close in the 13th to taking a commanding Series lead. But veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler’s wide throw on a two-out grounder by Yasiel Puig let Los Angeles score the tying run.
“Had the last out in my glove and couldn’t get it over there. It’s tough to swallow,” Kinsler said.
“I feel like I let the team down right there,” he said.
Said Red Sox manager Alex Cora: “It was just a bad night.”
“We had some situations that we could have put them away and then we didn’t. And at the end we paid the price,” he said.
Evoking memories of Kirk Gibson’s winning pinch-hit homer in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, Muncy came within feet of ending it in the bottom of the 15th. But his shot to right sailed just foul and he ended up striking out.
“I really thought I had it,” Muncy said. “That was kind of defeating at that point, but I was able to get back and get another shot.”
The battle of attrition had a bit of everything: 46 players, including 18 pitchers, and 561 pitches. Never before had a Series game gone more than 14 innings.
Two games in one, really. And a fall classic, indeed.
“It was a must-win for us. Our guys just persevered,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.READ MORE: Police: Off-Duty Officer Shoots Stabbing Suspect Outside Upper West Side Duane Reade
How long did they play? Put it this way: The game took 15 minutes more than the entire 1939 World Series when the Yankees swept Cincinnati, STATS said.
Long after rookie Walker Buehler dazzled over seven shutout innings for the Dodgers, things got interesting.
The Red Sox tied it 1-all in the eighth on a homer by Jackie Bradley Jr. and took a 2-1 lead in the 13th.
Los Angeles answered with the tying run in the bottom of the inning.
After Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger made the throw of his life in the 10th, both teams scored on bizarre errors in the 13th.
Cora used starter David Price in relief, rotated his outfielders in the middle of innings and even put catcher Christian Vazquez at first base for the first time in his big league career.
Out of position players, Roberts called on ace Clayton Kershaw to pinch-hit in the 17th. He flied out.
Game 4 is later Saturday at Dodger Stadium. Eovaldi had been scheduled to start for the Red Sox, but he threw 97 pitches over six-plus innings in relief as one of nine pitchers they used. The Dodgers backtracked on Rich Hill and said they would announce a starter later.
“I’m a little tired, but we’re ready to come back tomorrow,” Los Angles slugger Yasiel Puig said, looking at his watch and adding, “in a couple of hours.”
ALL NIGHT LONG:
Previously, the longest postseason game by time was San Francisco’s 18-inning win over Washington that took 6 hours, 23 minutes, during the 2014 NL Division Series. The only other playoff game to last 18 innings was Houston’s victory over Atlanta in the 2005 NLDS.
The Red Sox had won six straight games, starting in the ALCS. They had been 5-0 on the road this postseason.
Red Sox: Cora hadn’t decided on a Game 4 starter.MORE NEWS: Hundreds Of Officers Lead Procession From St. Patrick's Cathedral To Cemetery In Salute To NYPD Det. Jason Rivera
Dodgers: After the game, the team said its starter would be announced later. Left-hander Rich Hill had been set to go.