LOS ANGELES, Calif. (CBSNewYork/AP) — An 18-inning loss in Game 3 of the World Series couldn’t wear out the Boston Red Sox. A four-run deficit late in Game 4 definitely didn’t faze them.
This plucky powerhouse just kept getting big hits to move to the brink of another championship.
Steve Pearce hit a tying homer in the eighth inning and a three-run double in the ninth, and the Red Sox emphatically rallied for a 9-6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.
Pinch-hitter Rafael Devers singled home Brock Holt with the tie-breaking run in the ninth as Boston roared to a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven matchup.
Less than a day after a wrenching, 440-minute defeat ended well past midnight, the Red Sox trailed 4-0 in the seventh inning before they shook off that heartbreak, warmed up their bats and sped away from LA.
“I’ve never been on a team where you just get punched in the face and then come back tomorrow and act like they are totally fine,” Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez said. “It’s impressive.”
Game 5 is Sunday at Dodger Stadium, where the Red Sox can close out a spectacular season with their fourth title in 15 years. Boston picked Game 2 winner David Price to start on short rest over Chris Sale against fellow lefty Clayton Kershaw.
The Red Sox scored just two runs in their first 24 innings at Dodger Stadium, but added nine more in the final three innings of Game 4. Sale’s motivational screams in the dugout might have played a role, but whatever the reason, Boston responded splendidly to a perilous situation.
“Sometimes in October we talk about mechanics, and how you feel at the plate and all that, (but) sometimes it’s will,” rookie manager Alex Cora said. “You will yourself to do great things. And it started very simple. A few good at-bats, and then the big swing, and we kept rolling and we didn’t stop playing.”
The Red Sox overcame a three-run deficit in a World Series game for the second time. Boston also rallied from three down against Cincinnati in 1975 in Game 6, best known for Carlton Fisk’s dramatic homer in the 12th after Bernie Carbo tied it with a three-run shot.
Enrique Hernandez hit a two-run homer in the ninth for Los Angeles, which could become the first team to lose the World Series on its home field in back-to-back seasons since the New York Giants lost at the Polo Grounds to the Yankees in 1936 and 1937. The Dodgers’ bullpen flopped after manager Dave Roberts pulled starter Rich Hill, who dazzled for 6 1/3 innings of one-hit ball.
Los Angeles must overcome a 3-1 deficit to end its 30-year championship drought. Only six teams have accomplished the feat in a best-of-seven World Series, although the Chicago Cubs did it just two years ago.
The stands were packed with iconic Los Angeles athletes from Sandy Koufax and Magic Johnson to Kobe Bryant, who read the Dodgers’ starting lineup before watching from the front row in a Machado jersey. Hollywood luminaries also attended, including Charlize Theron, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, James Franco, Don Johnson and Rob Lowe. For the first pitch, Dennis Eckersley took the mound in an Athletics jersey for a toss to Kirk Gibson, whose game-ending homer off Eck in the 1988 World Series still looms larger than Muncy’s drive in Dodgers history.
STARTING FROM ZERO:
Rodriguez, who threw 93 pitches, became the first pitcher to start a World Series game on zero days’ rest since Firpo Marberry for the Washington Senators in 1924.
Red Sox: Price gave up two runs and three hits over six innings in Game 2 for his second consecutive postseason win. He also pitched in relief in Game 3.
Dodgers: Kershaw makes his fourth World Series start. He was charged with five runs and seven hits over four-plus innings in a Game 1 loss at Boston.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)