Los Angeles Times


- By Andy McCullough

Boston’s Ian Kinsler is tagged out by Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes to end the top of the 10th inning in Game 3 of the World Series at Dodger Stadium. The teams were tied 2-2 after 14 innings.

One of the more prepostero­us baseball games in postseason history stretched into the 15th inning tied at 2-2 Friday night as the Dodgers and Boston Red Sox traded runs in sloppy but effective fashion in Game 3 of the World Series.

In the top of the 13th, the Red Sox took the lead when Dodgers pitcher Scott Alexander and second baseman Enrique Hernandez could not connect on a play at first base. Hernandez slipped at the bag, Alexander’s throw sailed beyond his grasp and Boston went ahead.

In the bottom of the frame, facing Boston pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, the Dodgers tied it with similar fortune. With Max Muncy at second base, Yasiel Puig hit a grounder toward the right side of the infield. Boston second baseman Ian Kinsler lost his footing and bounced a throw wide of first. Muncy raced home to keep the game alive and make it the longest in World Series history.

A series of excruciati­ng outcomes sent the game into extra innings. The symbol of urgency rose midway through the seventh inning, as the Dodgers clung to a onerun lead against baseball’s best offense. Kenley Jansen had logged only a pair of two-inning appearance­s all season, but the time for caution had long passed. Needing a victory to stall Boston’s momentum, manager Dave Roberts turned to his closer.

After seven scoreless innings

from Walker Buehler, it was up to Jansen to slam the door. He could not. He served up a tying solo home run to Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. on a 2-0 cutter with two outs in the eighth. Jansen returned for a scoreless ninth, but his mistake ruined a gorgeous outing from Buehler, who struck out seven and permitted two hits in seven scoreless innings.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Dodgers squandered an opportunit­y. One day removed from an 88pitch start in Game 2, David Price loped into the game. He gave up a leadoff single to Cody Bellinger. Trying to put himself in scoring position, Bellinger got picked off, moments before Yasmani Grandal took a walk. Cora turned to closer Craig Kimbrel, who walked Chris Taylor but got pinch-hitter Brian Dozier to pop up and strand the runners.

The decision to use Dozier was puzzling, with David Freese on the bench. The Dodgers prefer using Freese against left-handed pitchers, but Dozier has been a dud since arriving at the trade deadline. Freese entered the game batting .400 in the postseason. He watched from the dugout as Dozier let the rally fizzle.

Bellinger atoned for his goof in the 10th. Pedro Baez issued a leadoff walk to J.D. Martinez, who was replaced by pinch-runner Ian Kinsler. Kinsler scurried to third on a single by Brock Holt. When Eduardo Nunez flied out to center field, Bellinger settled beneath the baseball and let fly. The throw pulled catcher Austin Barnes up the third base line but arrived in time for Barnes to apply an inningendi­ng tag.

Alexander entered the game in the 12th, and returned for the 13th. He permitted a leadoff walk to utility man Holt, who stole second. Eduardo Nunez bounced a ball to Alexander, but Hernandez was late to cover and the deadlock disappeare­d.

The presence of Red Sox starter Rick Porcello, a right-handed pitcher, caused Roberts to start left-handed hitters like Pederson and Bellinger. Both rode the bench during the first two games in Boston, with the Red Sox using lefthanded starting pitchers. Roberts insisted before the game he did not regret his lineup choices at Fenway Park.

“I don’t second-guess that,” Roberts said. “This is what we’ve done all year.”

The temperatur­e at first pitch was 78 degrees, a 31-degree improvemen­t from the chillier confines at Fenway Park for Game 2. Buehler opened with some heat of his own, amping his fastball up near triple digits in the game’s first at-bat against Mookie Betts. Betts gazed at a 99.5-mph heater on the edge of the zone for a called third strike.

The at-bat with Betts lasted eight pitches. Buehler finished off the next man up, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, with a 95-mph cutter, but Bogaerts saw 10 pitches along the way. The 26th pitch of the inning was a 100-mph fastball popped up in left field by first baseman Mitch Moreland. The Red Sox were unable to bully Buehler, but they forced him to expend energy. The trio fouled off 11 pitches in the first.

The Dodgers entered the third inning searching for their first hit since the fourth inning of Game 2. They were in the midst of an 0for-24 slump when Pederson came to the plate. Pederson had seen nine pitches in his first at-bat, but only required one in his second. Porcello left a changeup over the middle. Pederson hammered a solo shot into the Red Sox bullpen near the right-field pole.

After the first inning, Buehler managed to be more efficient. He finished the fourth inning with 68 pitches on his docket, leaving himself some space to drag the game toward its final third. He ended the fourth by freezing Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez with a 99-mph fastball on the inner edge of the zone.

Porcello departed in the fifth. Yasmani Grandal led off with a single. Porcello picked up the next two outs, before manager Alex Cora intervened. Cora did not want Porcello to face Pederson for a third time. Into the game came Eduardo Rodriguez, a left-handed pitcher. Pederson battled Rodriguez for six pitches before striking out.

Betts became the 11th batter set down in a row by Buehler when he took a 98-mph fastball to end the top of the sixth. The inning left Buehler at 93 pitches, with the Dodgers nine outs from victory. It was up to Roberts to decide who should procure them. He decided Buehler would get three, then Jansen scoop up the final six.

The offense stayed quiet through the sixth. The only fireworks emerged from Manny Machado, who smashed a hanging curve from Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly. Machado chose to admire his blast, rather than run. The decision looked foolish when the baseball hit the wall. Machado settled for a single, and advanced no farther.

After Bogaerts flied out to start the seventh, Buehler picked apart Moreland with fastballs and changeup. Moreland took a 98mph heater for strike three. Martinez whiffed on a slider and failed to catch up on a fastball for the first two strikes. At 2-2, Buehler fired a 98-mph at Martinez’s belt. The location did not matter. Martinez swung through the pitch.

Buehler reacted with calm as he stomped off the mound. Then he heard the noise, the chants of his name lost inside the maelstrom. He waved his arms upward, just once, an exhortatio­n to raise the volume. The crowd obliged.

Seated just behind the plate was a man who could relate to Buehler’s evening. As Buehler left the diamond, Sandy Koufax rose from his seat to applaud. He stayed in his seat when Bradley went deep in the eighth, and the game careened into extra innings.

 ?? Robert Gauthier Los Angeles Times ??
Robert Gauthier Los Angeles Times
 ?? Photograph­s by Wally Skalij Los Angeles Times ?? RED SOX BATTER Eduardo Nunez is upended by Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes in the 13th inning as Barnes tries to corral a pitch from Scott Alexander. Nunez got up and hit an infield bouncer that turned into the go-ahead run.
Photograph­s by Wally Skalij Los Angeles Times RED SOX BATTER Eduardo Nunez is upended by Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes in the 13th inning as Barnes tries to corral a pitch from Scott Alexander. Nunez got up and hit an infield bouncer that turned into the go-ahead run.
 ??  ?? JOC PEDERSON circles the bases after his solo home run off Rick Porcello in the third inning gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
JOC PEDERSON circles the bases after his solo home run off Rick Porcello in the third inning gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

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