Red Sox 4, Dodgers 1: Boston inches closer to ninth World Series title after three home runs

2018 WORLD SERIES: RED SOX 3, DODGERS 1

This marks the 48th time that the World Series stands at 3-1:

  • Of the previous 47 times, the team leading 3-1 has won the series 40 times (85.1 percent), and they have won Game 5 on 26 occasions (55.3 percent).
  • The seven teams that came back from a 3-1 deficit to win the World Series include the 2016 Cubs, 1985 Royals, 1979 Pirates, 1968 Tigers, 1958 Yankees, 1925 Pirates and the 1903 Pilgrims (best-of-9). 
  • Of those seven, the 2016 Cubs, 1979 Pirates, 1968 Tigers and 1958 Yankees all had to win Game 5 at home followed by Games 6 and 7 on the road

(Source: Major League Baseball

The Boston Red Sox are inching closer to the franchise’s ninth World Series title after Mookie Betts homered in the sixth inning of Game 5 on Sunday night to push their lead to 3-1. 

The Red Sox are aiming to win the franchise’s ninth World Series crown and the Dodgers hope to stave off elimination and force a Game 6 in Boston on Tuesday. 

In the first inning, Boston’s Game 4 hero Steve Pearce knocked a two-run home run in the top half of the first inning, and Los Angeles’s David Freese responded with a solo shot of his own to cut the lead 2-1.

Over his final two at-bats in Game 4 and his first at-bat in Sunday’s Game 5, Pearce, a mid-season acquisition, hit two home runs and added a three-run double.     

Freese tripled in the bottom of the third inning when Red Sox right fielder J.D. Martinez lost the pop fly in sky above Dodger Stadium, but he was ultimately stranded after Justin Turner grounded out and Kike Hernandez flew out to Martinez.

As if the drama of the World Series had not been unpredictable enough, the Red Sox threw out their latest surprise when they named pitcher David Price as the starter ahead of Game 5. 

Price ultimately gave up the first-inning home run to Freese. 

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw retired eight in a row after Steve Pearce’s two-run homer in the first. Kershaw threw 41 pitches in the first three innings and Boston starter Clayton Kershaw threw 47 

Red Sox manager Alex Cora revealed that he had shuffled the pitching rotation following Saturday’s come-from-behind 9-6 win over the Dodgers.

Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts, right, watches his home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw

Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts, right, watches his home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw

Boston Red Sox’s Mookie Betts, right, watches his home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw

(Left) Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman David Freese (25) celebrates with outfielder Yasiel Puig (66) after hitting a solo home run in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox in game five of the 2018 World Series

From left, Actor Matt Damon, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and actor Ben Affleck watch Game 5 of the World Series baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday

From left, Actor Matt Damon, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and actor Ben Affleck watch Game 5 of the World Series baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday

From left, Actor Matt Damon, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and actor Ben Affleck watch Game 5 of the World Series baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday

(Left) (Right) Valente Quintero poses for a picture before Game 5

(Left) (Right) Valente Quintero poses for a picture before Game 5

(Left) Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price waits as Los Angeles Dodgers’ David Freese rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run during the first inning (Right) Valente Quintero poses for a picture before Game 5

During the game, a banner was revealed in left field that read: 'TRANS PEOPLE DESERVE TO LIVE.' The banner comes in response to the White House's push to rewrite the United Nation's Third Committee general assembly policy statements, arguing that the language relating to gender is vague and politically correct

During the game, a banner was revealed in left field that read: 'TRANS PEOPLE DESERVE TO LIVE.' The banner comes in response to the White House's push to rewrite the United Nation's Third Committee general assembly policy statements, arguing that the language relating to gender is vague and politically correct

During the game, a banner was revealed in left field that read: ‘TRANS PEOPLE DESERVE TO LIVE.’ The banner comes in response to the White House’s push to rewrite the United Nation’s Third Committee general assembly policy statements, arguing that the language relating to gender is vague and politically correct

Game One starter Chris Sale was expected to again get the ball but, with the Red Sox leading 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, they turned back to Game Two winner Price.

‘It’s something we talked about before (Game Four). We feel like David is good (for Sunday),’ Cora said.

‘We feel that this is a good spot for David, in a National League park to start a game. Obviously he’s been throwing the ball well.

‘It’s not that we’re playing with the lead, but we feel that for the team, for where we’re at pitching-wise, it’s good to go with David.’

DODGERS MANAGER DAVE ROBERTS TALK ABOUT TRUMP TWEET

By The Associated Press 

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he talked to his players and coaching staff about President Donald Trump’s tweet criticizing Roberts for taking Rich Hill out of Saturday’s Game 4 but that he hasn’t thought much about it beyond that.

Los Angeles trails 3-1 in the best-of-seven series and is trying to avoid seeing another team celebrate a championship at its own park. Houston won last year’s World Series here in seven games.

‘I’m focused on winning today. So I really don’t have too much bandwidth to kind of really take in all the criticism,’ Roberts said. ‘I think that there’s a lot of thoughts and opinions that people don’t have all the information, which is commonplace these days and cultivate opinions and give out there. So I think for me it’s noise.’

Cora has rarely been second-guessed during a post-season run that has featured 10 wins to just three losses. This move, however, did set off alarm bells – mainly about the health of Sale, who missed a start in the American League Championship series due to a stomach illness.

‘Chris is okay,’ Cora said. ‘Actually, he’ll be back there. If necessary in Game 6, he’s the starter.’

While Sale did not take the field during the team’s win on Saturday, he was certainly active. He was seen yelling at his team mates after the Red Sox fell behind 4-0 to the Dodgers, and Boston credited him for sparking the rally.

‘Oh, my god, he was mad at us. I think that kind of lit a fire under everybody,’ Red Sox infielder Brock Holt said. ‘We didn’t want to see him mad anymore. So we decided to start swinging the bats a little bit.’

For Price, Sunday was another opportunity to continue to slay his post-season demons. The 33-year-old, in the midst of a seven-year, $217 million contract, earned his first playoff win in 12 tries during the ALCS.

He’s won his last two post-season starts, after leading Boston past Los Angeles in Game Two. One more victory would be the ultimate triumph for him and the Red Sox.

The Los Angeles Dodgers left Cody Bellinger out of their lineup for Game 5.

The left-handed batter was held out of the starting lineup in Games 1 and 2 against lefties Sale and Price, respectively, though he came off the bench late in both games. Price is starting Game 5 for Boston, opposite Kershaw, as the Red Sox try to close out the series.

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Enrique Hernandez, who started in center and batted seventh in Games 1 and 2, started in center and hit third for L.A.. The Dodgers went with first baseman Freese in the leadoff spot for the second straight game, with third baseman Justin Turner second, shortstop Manny Machado fourth and Game 3 hero Max Muncy fifth.

Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor and Austin Barnes were sixth, seventh and eighth in Roberts’ batting order.

The only change for the Red Sox was at third base, where Rafael Devers stepped in for Eduardo Nunez. Devers is hitting seventh, with Brock Holt moving up to sixth.

As always, Dodger Stadium was filled with celebrities for a World Series game. 

Actor Ben Affleck join friends Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel, both of whom were wearing ‘I’m with stupid’ t-shirts with arrows pointed at each other. Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax was also in the crowd. 

During the game, a banner was revealed in left field that read: ‘TRANS PEOPLE DESERVE TO LIVE.’

The banner comes in response to the White House’s push to rewrite the United Nation’s Third Committee general assembly policy statements, arguing that the language relating to gender is vague and politically correct.

Boston's Steve Pearce is congratulated by teammates Andrew Benintendi and J.D. Martinez after homering in the first inning

Boston's Steve Pearce is congratulated by teammates Andrew Benintendi and J.D. Martinez after homering in the first inning

Boston’s Steve Pearce is congratulated by teammates Andrew Benintendi and J.D. Martinez after homering in the first inning

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw throws in the first inning of Game 5 on Sunday at Dodger Stadium 

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw throws in the first inning of Game 5 on Sunday at Dodger Stadium 

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw throws in the first inning of Game 5 on Sunday at Dodger Stadium 

Dodgers Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax was in attendance for Game 5 of the World Series in Los Angeles on Sunday 

Dodgers Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax was in attendance for Game 5 of the World Series in Los Angeles on Sunday 

Dodgers Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax was in attendance for Game 5 of the World Series in Los Angeles on Sunday 

Former Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez and his ex-Boston Red Sox rival David Ortiz attend Sunday's Game 5 

Former Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez and his ex-Boston Red Sox rival David Ortiz attend Sunday's Game 5 

Former Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez and his ex-Boston Red Sox rival David Ortiz attend Sunday’s Game 5 

BOSTON’S GAME 4 RALLY HAS SOX EYEING 9th TITLE  

By The Associated Press

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.

Boston Red Sox's Steve Pearce celebrates his solo home run to tie the game during the eighth inning in Game 4 of the World Series

Boston Red Sox's Steve Pearce celebrates his solo home run to tie the game during the eighth inning in Game 4 of the World Series

Boston Red Sox’s Steve Pearce celebrates his solo home run to tie the game during the eighth inning in Game 4 of the World Series

Pinch-hitter Rafael Devers singled home Brock Holt with the tiebreaking 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.’

Soon after Yasiel Puig’s three-run homer in the sixth put the Dodgers up by four, Boston’s incredible surge began with pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland’s three-run homer in the seventh. By the time they were done decimating the Dodgers’ bullpen, six Red Sox had combined for seven hits – four for extra bases.

‘It was just a great night, all the way around,’ Pearce said. ‘A great team win. A much-needed win, especially after what happened (in Game 3). I just love this team’s fight.’

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.’

Fans pose for a picture by a championship ring before Game 5 of the World Series between the Red Sox and Dodgers 

Fans pose for a picture by a championship ring before Game 5 of the World Series between the Red Sox and Dodgers 

Fans pose for a picture by a championship ring before Game 5 of the World Series between the Red Sox and Dodgers 

President of Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox Dave Dombrowski sits in the team's dugout before Game 5

President of Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox Dave Dombrowski sits in the team's dugout before Game 5

President of Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox Dave Dombrowski sits in the team’s dugout before Game 5

Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser - a member of the 1988 title-winning Dodgers - throws out the first pitch

Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser - a member of the 1988 title-winning Dodgers - throws out the first pitch

Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser – a member of the 1988 title-winning Dodgers – throws out the first pitch

Fans cheer in Game Five of the 2018 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox

Fans cheer in Game Five of the 2018 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox

Fans cheer in Game Five of the 2018 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox

A Boston Red Sox fan arrives before Game 5 of the World Series as his team seeks its ninth Major League title 

A Boston Red Sox fan arrives before Game 5 of the World Series as his team seeks its ninth Major League title 

A Boston Red Sox fan arrives before Game 5 of the World Series as his team seeks its ninth Major League title 

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