The Red Sox are halfway to their fourth World Series championship since 2004.
David Price allowed two runs over six innings and the bullpen followed with three perfect frames on Wednesday night in Boston as the Red Sox defeated the Dodgers 4-2 in Game 2 of the World Series. They’ll pack a commanding 2-0 lead as the series shifts to Los Angeles.
Making his first World Series appearance since pitching in relief with the Rays in 2008, Price wasn’t as effective as he was in his Game 5 ALCS start against the Astros, but he managed to hold the Dodgers to just three hits while walking three. Both runs scored in the fourth inning, including a sacrifice fly from Matt Kemp and an RBI single from Yasiel Puig, but the veteran southpaw escaped further damage before delivering consecutive 1-2-3 innings to close out his night. He fanned five batters in the victory while inducing 11 swinging strikes in his 88 pitches.
All Price does is win in the playoffs, apparently. After failing to win his first 11 postseason starts, he has now won each of his last two starts. The Red Sox were actually behind after Price gave up two runs in the fourth inning, but they took the lead back for good with a three-run rally in the fifth. In keeping with their postseason run, all of them came with two outs.
Hyun-Jin Ryu retired the first two batters in the fifth, but the Red Sox had him right where they wanted him. Christian Vazquez and Mookie Betts got a two-out rally started with back-to-back singles. Ryu then walked Andrew Benintendi to load the bases before being pulled in favor of Ryan Madson. It didn’t go well.
Madson walked Steve Pearce to force in the tying run before J.D. Martinez poked a go-ahead two-run single to right field. And that’s all the Red Sox would need, as Price finished his outing on a high note before the hard-throwing trio of Joe Kelly, Nathan Eovaldi, and Craig Kimbrel shut down the Dodgers’ offense to close out the victory.
As for Madson, he’s had a couple of rough days to begin the World Series. He’s inherited five runners through the first two games and has allowed all of them to score. This was his ninth appearance through 13 postseason games for Los Angeles.
Anything can happen, but history isn’t on the Dodgers’ side at this point. Previous teams with a 2-0 lead in the World Series have gone on to win 79.6 percent (43 out of the last 54) of the time, including each of the last 10. The last team to overcome the early series deficit was the 1996 Yankees. It's a tall order against a team which has now won 117 games if you combine the regular season and the postseason.
Eovaldi was previously mentioned as a possible option to start Game 3 on Friday night, but that won’t happen after he was needed on Wednesday. It’s possible he’ll start Game 4 if he doesn’t pitch out of the bullpen again. Rick Porcello is now lined up for Game 3 on Friday night. Walker Buehler will try to get the Dodgers back in the series.
Quick Hits: According to FOX 9 Sports in Minnesota, the Twins will hire Rays major league field coordinator Rocco Baldelli as their new manager on Thursday … Yoenis Cespedes’ left heel surgery has been delayed a few days due to a scheduling conflict … Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Wednesday that young left-hander Julio Urias will be stretched out as a starter in 2019 … Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina was named as the winner of the 2018 Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes the player “who best represents the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy, and positive contributions” on and off the field … Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Rangers are interviewing Eric Chavez for their managerial opening … The Diamondbacks claimed right-hander Artie Lewicki off waivers from the Tigers …