Red Sox Lose Longest World Series Game Ever - NECN
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Red Sox Lose Longest World Series Game Ever

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Dodgers beat the Red Sox 3-2 on an 18th-inning walk-off home run by first baseman Max Muncy in Game 3 of the World Series — the longest in the history of the fall classic.

    It was a pitchers' duel as the World Series headed to the National League park, but not a conventional one. The starters combined to pitch about a third of the game.

    Rick Porcello of the Red Sox and Walker Buehler of the Dodgers were both effective and efficient, though Buehler lasted longer — but he still exited 11 innings before Muncy's homer gave Los Angeles its first win of the World Series, cutting Boston's lead to 2-1.

    The Dodgers got on the board first when outfielder Joc Pederson hit a solo shot off Porcello in the third inning. That homer was one of just three hits Porcello gave up before manager Alex Cora pulled him with two outs in the fifth. He struck out five batters and walked one. He had thrown just 61 pitches. Cora may have stayed with him longer if he knew what was to come — formerly-projected Game 4 starter Nathan Eovaldi ended up throwing nearly 100 pitches over the last six innings of Game 3.

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    (Published Friday, Nov. 16, 2018)

    On the Dodgers' side, Buehler was near immaculate, giving up two hits and no walks, striking out seven through seven scoreless innings. But after Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen took the ball in the eighth for a two-inning save attempt, Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. tied the game with a solo home run of his own.

    Game 2 starter David Price came out to open the ninth inning, giving up a single to outfielder Cody Bellinger, who was then thrown out when he left first base too early on a full count to catcher Yasmani Grandal. Price walked Grandal before being lifted with two outs in favor of closer Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel walked Chris Taylor before getting second baseman Brian Dozier to pop out to send it to the extra innings that would become the equivalent of an entire extra game.

    Boston had a chance in the 10th, with J.D. Martinez, who played the outfield with no designated hitter allowed, reaching on a walk. Ian Kinsler pinch ran for him and made it to third on a single by Brock Holt. Pinch hitter Eduardo Nunez flew out to center field and Kinsler went for it, but was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

    Kimbrel went back out for the 10th and got two quick outs, then gave up a ground-rule double to Muncy. Shortstop Manny Machado popped out to end the inning.

    When Eovaldi went out to pitch a 1-2-3 inning in the 12th, catcher Christian Vazquez shifted to first base and Sandy Leon was called on to catch. That left the Sox bench empty, with only Drew Pomeranz, who has not pitched since Sept. 30, left in the bullpen.

    In the 13th inning, Boston finally scored another run. Holt walked, then got to second on a pitch in the dirt from Dodgers lefty Scott Alexander to Nunez. Barnes and Nunez got tangled up on the play, and Nunez fell to the ground, hurt. After he got back up, he singled on the ground and Holt scored on an error by Alexander.

    But the Dodgers didn't let it end. Eovaldi walked Muncy, then got Machado out. Bellinger popped it up to foul territory, and a battered Nunez went into the stands after sprinting to make the catch, allowing Muncy to get to second with two outs. Rather than intentionally walking outfielder Yasiel Puig, Eovaldi pitched to him. He grounded to Kinsler, who made an error throwing to first and let Muncy score the tying run. Barnes flew out to keep the game going into the 14th.

    In the 15th, Boston had another chance when Nunez singled off Kenta Maeda and Bradley walked. Christian Vazquez laid a bunt down, but Maeda fired to third to get Nunez. Leon and Betts both struck out.

    The 18th inning gave the top of Boston's batting order a crack at Alex Wood after the lefty walked Leon. Betts grounded into a force out before shortstop Xander Bogaerts grounded into a double play. Combined, the top two hitters in the lineup went 0-15. With Martinez and third baseman Rafael Devers long since out of the game, and with outfielder Andrew Benintendi getting one at-bat at the pitcher's spot before being removed, that goose egg atop the order was a major factor in the loss.

    And then, nearly seven and a half hours after it began, it was over. Eovaldi, who was fantastic in six tense relief innings, let Muncy go to a full count and, on his 97th pitch, let him knock one over the left center field wall.

    Whether Game 3 was lost in nine innings or 18, the series standings remain the same. Boston still leads two games to one. But the Red Sox enter Game 4 having burned the arm that was supposed to start it. Both teams will feel the effect of this epic game, but a Dodgers team that could have been down 3-0 now has all the momentum and a rested Rich Hill to take the mound Saturday.

    The Red Sox starter? TBA.

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    (Published Friday, Nov. 16, 2018)

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