The World Series will shift to Dodger Stadium Friday, with the Los Angeles Dodgers facing a right-handed starting pitcher for the first time.
“We’re going to shuffle it up for Game 3, but it’s not because of necessarily performance, it’s kind of who the starting pitcher for those guys is,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Rick Porcello will be the starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” Porcello said. “It’s the World Series. Everything’s fun right now. This is our third round that we’ve been doing this, so there’s not anything that’s unexpected or surprising at this point.”
Porcello is 1-0 with a 4.22 ERA in four appearances in the 2018 postseason, starting twice. His most recent appearance was in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series Oct. 17, where he was replaced after he allowed four runs and seven hits in four innings in Boston’s 8-6 victory.
Rookie right-hander Walker Buehler will start for the Dodgers, who will begin to attempt to become the 12th team to overcome a two games to none deficit to win a World Series. The others include the 1955, 1965 and 1981 Dodgers.
Teams taking 2-0 leads have gone on to win the Series 43 of 54 times, 79.6 percent, including each of the last 10 times.
Boston is 5-0 on the road in the 2018 postseason.
“We’re not swinging the bats well right now,” Roberts said. “That’s obvious. But I think getting home, seeing their guys in the pen, I think we’ll be ready for Game 3.”
The Dodgers were held without a base runner for the final 5 1/3 innings of Wednesday night’s 4-2 loss at Boston’s Fenway Park.
Red Sox starter David Price began the streak of retiring 16 consecutive batters by striking out Austin Barnes for the final out of the fourth inning with runners on first and third and two runs in.
Price then retired the side in order in the fifth and sixth.
“You’ve got to give credit to Price,” Roberts said. “He made pitches when he needed to. We had him on the ropes.”
Right-hander Joe Kelly, a Corona High School and UC Riverside alumnus, retired all three batters he faced in the seventh, striking out two.
“When Joey is throwing strikes with all his pitches, he might be one of the toughest relievers in the big leagues because his stuff is that good,” Boston manager Alex Cora said.
Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi pitched a perfect eighth, striking out the first batter he faced, Cody Bellinger.
Right-hander Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth for the save.
The Dodgers had taken their first lead of the Series with two runs in the top of the fourth inning, when they got their three hits.
David Freese led off with a single and moved to second on Manny Machado’s single. Chris Taylor walked to load the bases. Freese scored on Matt Kemp’s sacrifice fly. Yasiel Puig singled one out later, driving in Machado.
Reliever Ryan Madson was on the mound for the second consecutive game when the Red Sox took the lead for good.
Dodger starter Hyun-Jin Ryu retired the first two batters he faced in the fifth inning, Ian Kinsler and Jackie Bradley Jr.
Christian Vazquez and Mookie Betts singled and Andrew Benintendi walked to load the bases, Roberts to replace Ryu with Madson.
Madson walked Steve Pearce to force in Vazquez, tying the score, 2-2. Two pitches later, J.D. Martinez singled, driving in Betts and Benintendi.
“I really liked him against Pearce,” Roberts said. “In that spot he’s done it time and time again for us, but the last couple of nights it hasn’t worked out.”
All three runs in the inning were charged to Ryu, the losing pitcher, who allowed four runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking one.
In Tuesday’s Game 1, Madson relived Clayton Kershaw and was pitching when the Red Sox scored broke a tie with their fourth run and added their fifth en route to an 8-4 victory.
The Dodgers were one-for-three with runners in scoring position Wednesday, left four runners on base and struck out eight times.
“They made pitches when they needed to,” Roberts said. “And when we stressed them, they made the pitch.”
The Red Sox were two-for-six with runners in scoring position, left five runners on base and struck out eight times.
Price was credited with his second victory in seven days after going 0-9 as a postseason starter before last Thursday, allowing three hits and two runs in six innings, striking out five and walking three.
“He pitched great in Houston and today he was amazing,” Cora said. “He was missing his spots by not much. He was pitching to the edges of the strike zone. Good fastball, good two-seamer, good change-up.”
Price had shut out the Houston Astros over six innings, allowing three hits, striking out nine and not walking a batter in Boston’s 4-1 series-clinching victory in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series last Thursday.