The Red Sox grabbed a 2-0 edge in Major League Baseball's best-of-seven final, which shifts to California for game three Friday with Boston a perfect 5-0 in road playoff games
David Price and three relievers pitched 5 1/3 perfect final innings and JD Martinez singled in the deciding runs Wednesday as Boston defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 to seize command of the World Series.
The Red Sox grabbed a 2-0 edge in Major League Baseball's best-of-seven final, which shifts to California for game three Friday with Boston a perfect 5-0 in road playoff games.
"We're playing good baseball," Price said. "We've got to keep it going."
Price, a 33-year-old US left-hander, baffled Dodgers batters much of the night with five strikeouts and three walks over six innings, surrendering his only two runs and three hits in the fourth.
“Just because I failed in October for about 9 straight years, it didn’t take away my passion from baseball," David Price said. This October is getting easier and easier for him to love. https://t.co/fiW0YaOCR5— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 25, 2018
"I take a lot of pride of being able to evolve from pitch to pitch, being able to adjust, and I did that really well," Price said.
"I made a lot of good pitches that inning. They hit some. That was a tough inning, it could have spun out of control pretty fast. Being able to stop it at two right there, that was big for us."
Designated hitter Martinez, with the season's second-best major league batting average, hit a bases-loaded single to right in the fifth to plate the winning runs -- three hits and two walks coming with two outs.
"That was a perfect example of grinding at-bats out, getting guys on and finding ways to score," Martinez said.
Price was then followed by Boston relievers Joe Kelly, Nathan Eovaldi and Craig Kimbrel in retiring the final 16 Dodgers batters over the last 5 1/3 innings to secure the Red Sox 100th all-time playoff victory on a cold and windy night at Fenway Park.
"We pitched extremely well. David was amazing. And then the bullpen did what they've been doing," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "David is a huge part of what we're trying to accomplish. Without him going six, it was going to be tough."
Price, who lost his first 11 career playoff starts before beating Houston last week in the American League finals, threw 58 of his 88 pitches for strikes.
"Give credit to Price. He made pitches when he needed to. We had him on the ropes. We stressed him," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "The difference is they got the big hit when they needed it and we didn't."
Ryan Madson has inherited 5 runners this World Series (2 in Game 1, 3 in Game 2). All 5 have scored.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 25, 2018
Madson's ERA is currently 0.00 for the World Series. pic.twitter.com/gPZqK7qW9J
Eovaldi's stint as a reliever likely means Boston right-handed pitcher Rick Porcello will start game three against Dodgers' rookie righty Walker Buehler at Dodger Stadium on Friday as Los Angeles tries to win its first World Series since 1988.
"We've got to find a way to win a game," Roberts said. "We're not swinging the bats well right now. That's obvious. But getting home, I think we'll be ready for game three."
Roberts will insert left-handed batters in the lineup that he removed for games against lefty pitchers in Boston.
"We're going to shuffle it up," said Roberts. "When guys are in there they've just got to be productive. We've got a lot of good players and we've got a long way to go."
In World Series history, 43 of 54 teams with a 2-0 lead, just under 80 percent, have won the crown, doing so in each of the past 10 opportunities.
The Red Sox, seeking their ninth title and fourth in 15 seasons, improved to 9-0 in the playoffs when scoring first. They led the major leagues this year at 74-15 when scoring first.
Dodgers left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin became the first South Korean starter in a World Series but took the loss.
Boston opened the scoring in the second inning when Xander Bogaerts doubled and scored on Ian Kinsler's single.
The Dodgers struck in the fourth on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Matt Kemp and a Yasiel Puig run-scoring single up the middle to give the Dodgers their only lead at 2-1.
That set the stage for Christian Vazquez and Mookie Betts singles and an Andrew Benintendi walk to load the bases. Reliever Ryan Madson replaced Ryu but walked Steve Pearce to force in the tying run, then surrendered the decisive single by Martinez.