BOSTON (AFP) – David Price threw six strong innings and J.D. Martinez singled in the deciding runs Wednesday as Boston defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-2, to seize command of the World Series.
The Red Sox grabbed a 2-0 edge in Major League Baseball’s best-of-seven final, which shifts to Los Angeles for game three Friday with Boston a perfect 5-0 in road playoff contests this year.
Price, a 31-year-old US left-hander, baffled Dodgers batters much of the night with five strikeouts and three walks over six innings, surrendering his only two runs and three hits in the fourth inning.
“I take a lot of pride of being able to evolve from pitch to pitch, being able to adjust, and I did that really well,” Price said.
“I made a lot of pitches in that fourth inning. They put some good swings on pitches. These guys (teammates) picked me up like they have all year long. That was huge.”
Designated hitter Martinez, with the season’s second-best major league batting average, smacked a two-out, bases-loaded single to right field in the fifth to plate the winning runs.
Price was then followed by Boston relievers Joe Kelly, Nathan Eovaldi and Craig Kimbrel in retiring the final 16 Dodgers batters over the last 5 1/3 innings to secure the Red Sox 100th all-time playoff victory on a cold and windy night at Fenway Park.
“We’re playing good baseball,” Price said. ‘’Now we need to go to LA and not come back to Boston.’’
NO BIG HITS
Price, who lost his first 11 career playoff starts before beating Houston last week in the American League finals, threw 58 of his 88 pitches for strikes in collecting his second playoff win in a row.
“You’ve got to give it to Price. He made pitches there. We stressed him,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “They made pitches when they needed to. We’re not hitting the ball well right now. The difference is they got the big hit when they needed it and we didn’t.”
Eovaldi’s stint as a reliever likely means Boston right-handed pitcher Rick Porcello will start game three against Dodgers’ rookie righty Walker Buehler at Dodger Stadium on Friday.