The Boston Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 to win Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
FINAL: Red Sox 8, Dodgers 4. Craig Kimbrel closes it out with a dominating 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Eighth Inning Reaction: Only the seventh inning brought any fireworks since the starters exited the game. This battle of the bullpens will decidedly go in the Red Sox’ favor, provided Craig Kimbrel can shut the door in the ninth.
Bottom 8, 8-4 Red Sox: After a leadoff single for Sandy Leon, Alex Wood retires three straight to escape the eighth inning unscathed.
Top 8, 8-4 Red Sox: Nathan Eovaldi comes in and induces three groundouts for the 1-2-3 eighth. Red Sox will try to go for more insurance runs against Alex Wood.
Seventh Inning Reaction: After almost four innings of nail-biting baseball, Nunez breaks it open. The Red Sox’ MVP tonight may very well be Alex Cora, who called on Nunez to pinch-hit for the hot-hitting Devers. His bullpen moves have worked out so far, as well. Nathan Eovaldi coming out for the eighth in what should go down as a Game 1 win for the Red Sox, barring a bullpen meltdown.
Bottom 7, 2 out, 8-4 Red Sox: Eduardo Nunez hammers it into the Green Monster seats off Alex Wood for a clutch three-run homer, giving the Red Sox an 8-4 lead.
Bottom 7, 2 out, 5-4 Red Sox: Pedro Baez comes up with two big strikeouts against Moreland and Bogaerts. Both chased high fastballs out of the strike zone to go down by way of the K. Eduardo Nunez comes up to face lefty Alex Wood as a pinch-hitter for Rafael Devers.
Bottom 7, 5-4 Red Sox: Andrew Benintendi leads off the bottom of the seventh with a bloop double that left fielder Joc Pederson can’t handle. Julio Urias is done for the Dodgers, with power righty Pedro Baez coming in to face pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland.
Mid 7, 5-4 Red Sox: Huge out for Eduardo Rodriguez, who gets Cody Bellinger to pop up to Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field to end the Dodgers’ threat. They get a run, though, making this a true nail-biter until someone breaks it open.
Top 7, 2 out, 5-4 Red Sox: Eduardo Rodriguez comes in to replace Ryan Brasier with runners on first and second and two outs. Big moment for E-Rod – and Alex Cora – late in this first game.
Top 7, 2 out, 5-3 Red Sox: Max Muncy hits it to right-center for a two-out single off Ryan Brasier. Justin Turner follows that up with a single of his own to get the tying run aboard. Yasmani Grandal walks as a pinch-hitter to load the bases for Manny Machado…and Machado flies out to Jackie Bradley Jr., but deep enough to score Muncy and make it 5-4.
Sixth Inning Reaction: Aaaand the battle of the bullpens is underway. Great innings for Joe Kelly and Julio Urias have this thing entering nail-biter territory in the late innings. It’ll be interesting to see how Alex Cora manages it from here on out, with Ryan Brasier pitching the seventh inning. Who gets the eighth?
Bottom 6, 5-3 Red Sox: Young Dodgers lefty Julio Urias goes 1-2-3 in the sixth, striking out Sandy Leon and Jackie Bradley Jr. before inducing a weak pop-up from Mookie Betts. The right fielder chased a breaking ball low on the outer half of the plate.
Top 6, 5-3 Red Sox: Joe Kelly pitches a scoreless eighth on 14 pitches, striking out two. Yasiel Puig grounded out to first base to end the inning. Strong frame for Kelly, who shut down the bottom of the Dodgers order.
Fifth Inning Reaction: Wildest inning of a bit of a wild game so far. Neither starter had a strong night, which gave way to the first bullpen battle of the night. Matt Barnes wins decisively, since the Machado grounder wouldn’t have scored anyone had Sandy Leon not let the ball by him. … The Sox made the Dodgers pay for bringing Kershaw back out to start the fifth. Madson looked shaky against everyone but J.D. Martinez, who flailed and missed at three straight fastballs. He’s one to keep an eye on after he appeared to suffer an ankle injury in the first inning.
Bottom 5, 2 out, 5-3 Red Sox: Rafael Devers gets the Red Sox back up two runs with an RBI base hit. Madson gets out of the inning after that, but the damage is done.
Bottom 5, 2 out, 4-3 Red Sox: Xander Bogaerts grounds into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded to scratch across the go-ahead run for the Red Sox. Ryan Madson walked Steve Pearce to load the bases, then struck out J.D. Martinez on three pitches to get to the shortstop. Red Sox threatening with Rafael Devers at the plate.
Bottom 5, 3-3: Clayton Kershaw can’t outlast Chris Sale, as he also pitches four-plus innings before getting pulled for Ryan Madson. Kershaw walked Mookie Betts to start the inning, then allowed a base hit to Andrew Benintendi. Red Sox threatening to retake the lead.
Top 5, 3-3: Barnes gets Cody Bellinger to pop out to right field to end the top of the fifth, but Sandy Leon’s passed ball helped lead to a game-tying groundout for Machado.
Top 5, 1 out, 3-3: Manny Machado grounds out with runners at second and third with one out to tie the game 3-3. Sandy Leon misplayed a ball in the dirt just prior, which moved the runners along.
Top 5, 3-2 Red Sox: Chris Sale is done after four-plus innings and 91 pitches. Matt Barnes coming in.
Fourth Inning Reaction: Finally looks like both pitchers are settling in. Could be too little, too late for Sale, though. Could be trouble for the Red Sox if Kershaw can find his groove.
Bottom 4, 3-2 Red Sox: Kershaw finally appears settled, as he goes 1-2-3 in the fourth. Jackie Bradley Jr. grounds out to end it. Kershaw is at 68 pitches.
Top 4, 3-2 Red Sox: Big fourth inning for Chris Sale, who goes 1-2-3 to keep the Red Sox on top 3-2. Two strikeouts to Kike Hernandez and Yasiel Puig, plus a line out for Austin Barnes, has Sale up to 85 pitches. The eye turns toward the bullpen, where Nathan Eovaldi is warming up. But it would be nice to see Sale try to stretch out one more inning. Five innings these days in the postseason might as well be a complete game.
Third Inning Reaction: Sale may have coughed up the lead, but Kershaw gave it right back. Neither starter has been particularly sharp, as it looks like we’ll be getting a battle of the bullpens relatively early on. … The Dodgers’ outfield defense is something to watch in the Fenway games; they do not look comfortable out there. None of them. … Thankfully for the Sox, their best hitters continue to do the most damage. An injury scare for J.D. Martinez, but he’s already done great work against Kershaw.
Bottom 3, 2 out, 3-2 Red Sox: J.D. Martinez puts the Red Sox back on top with a deep double that scrapes the center field wall. Pearce scores and the Red Sox go up 3-2 on Kershaw and the Dodgers.
Bottom 3, 2 out, 2-2: Kershaw starts off the third with a strikeout of Mookie Betts. Andrew Benintendi followed that up with a flare single to left. Steve Pearce grounds it to Machado, who almost turns the double play, but Pearce is ruled safe after review.
Top 3, 2-2: Sale escapes the inning with a strikeout and a grounder that he handles himself. Sale is certainly not going to last much longer in this game with his pitch count at 72. Disappointing that he coughed up a 2-0 lead, but he’s at least avoided disaster.
Top 3, 1 out, 2-2: Chris Sale allows three straight hits to David Freese, Justin Turner, and Manny Machado to tie the game 2-2. Sale is laboring, at 66 pitches already with the Dodgers threatening for more with one out.
Second Inning Reaction: The Dodgers bounced back a bit in the second. They’re really making Chris Sale work – he’s up to 51 pitches already. It’s looking like he’ll have a tough time getting through the fifth inning, even if he’s pitching well. A quick third inning would do a lot of good for Sale beyond just making the outs. The Red Sox just need to keep doing what they’re doing against Kershaw, which is attack sliders over the plate and test their outfield as much as possible. … Top of the order coming up.
Bottom 2, 2-1 Red Sox: Jackie Bradley Jr. hits it hard up the middle, but Manny Machado is there to turn the 6-4-3 double play to end another threat for the Red Sox. Ian Kinsler and Sandy Leon reached base before Bradley, but were left stranded.
Top 1, 2-1: Matt Kemp hits a towering fly ball into the Green Monster seats for the first home run of the World Series to cut the Red Sox’ lead in half. Kemp pounced on a bad pitch by Sale that hung over the plate. Sale got out of the inning without any further damage to head to the bottom of the second with a one-run lead.
First Inning Reaction: Hard to ask for a better start from the Red Sox. After fears that Clayton Kershaw could find a groove, two runs right off the bat and from your best hitters. Also, Chris Sale looked far better than he did last time out against the Astros with improved fastball velocity. Eight more to go, but the Sox are in the driver’s seat after one frame.
Bottom 1, 2-0 Red Sox: J.D. Martinez is on the board, smacking a base hit to left field that scores Andrew Benintendi. However, Martinez got caught trying to steal second and Kershaw picked him off on the way to second.
Bottom 1, 1-0 Red Sox: The Red Sox are on the board early against Clayton Kershaw. Mookie Betts led off the game with a base hit up the middle, and Andrew Benintendi followed that up with a hit down the right field line. Benintendi stretched it into a double after Yasiel Puig misplayed his throw.
Top 1, 0-0: Strong first inning for Chris Sale. He strikes out two and allows a weak base hit to David Freese before getting Manny Machado to pop out to end the inning. His fastball hit 95 mph, which is a great sign for the Red Sox ace.
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