BU News Service
For the first time in the 2018 MLB postseason, the Boston Red Sox have won both of their opening games in a series. After a 4-2 victory at Fenway Park, they lead the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 in the World Series.
The winning runs were again scored with two Red Sox outs, just as they were the previous day and in the final two games of the Astros series.
Encouragingly for the Red Sox, pitcher David Price seems to have finally found his postseason form. Before he pitched against the Astros last week, his resume was tarnished by a 0-10 October record. He was impressive against the Dodgers, coming out on top of a tight pitching duel against Hyin-Jin Ryu to record his second consecutive postseason victory.
The Red Sox opened their account in the second inning after Ian Kinsler singled Xander Bogaerts in to score. The omens looked good for the Red Sox; they had won each of the eight games in which they had scored first.
After three innings of near-perfect pitching from Price, the Dodgers began to cause problems in the fourth inning. Matt Kemp hit a sac fly, allowing David Freese to level the score. With runners on first and second, Price then faced a lengthy duel with Enrique Hernández. With the pitching count locked at 3-2, Price eventually came out on top. Yet, his relief was short-lived. Yasiel Puig then clipped one over second base, scoring Manny Machado and giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.
It was the fifth inning that proved pivotal for the Red Sox. The momentum began to turn as Andrew Benintendi, who made a superb match-winning catch in Game 4 against the Astros, made another spectacular catch off of a hit by Brian Dozier. It was picture perfect: In front of the AL East standings that still proudly display the Red Sox’s 108 regular seasons wins, he hung in the air with each limb outstretched before gracefully clutching the ball.
After the Dodgers were retired, Steve Pearce was walked with the bases loaded, leveling the score. J.D Martínez then stepped up to the plate with two runners in scoring position and hit a single, scoring both. The Red Sox took a 4-2 lead that would persevere for the remainder of the game.
Going into the playoffs, pundits and fans alike feared that the Sox’s bullpen would prove to be their undoing. Those fears have been largely alleviated, as the Red Sox bullpen delivered an impenetrable display, consecutively retiring the last 16 Dodgers hitters. Nathan Eovaldi and Joe Kelly built on their Game 1 performances with lights out innings. Particularly pleasing for Red Sox fans was closer Craig Kimbrel’s ninth inning performance. Nicknamed by fans “Cardiac Craig” for his shaky postseason outings, he delivered a perfect inning to win the game for the Red Sox.
The Red Sox now head to Los Angeles,knowing that they are two victories away from being crowned world champions. Even the most pessimistic Red Sox fan has a right to be confident—the last 10 teams to win their first two World Series games have gone on to be champions.
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