Max Muncy hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 18th inning early Saturday to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a 3-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the World Series at Dodger Stadium, the longest World Series game — ever.
“This was a gut-wrenching game for both sides,” Muncy said after the Dodgers cut Boston’s lead to two games to one in the best-of-seven series. “This is one of those games that whoever came out on top is going to have a lot of momentum going into (Game 4).”
Game 4 will be played later Saturday at Dodger Stadium. Neither team has announced who their starting pitcher will be.
The Dodgers previously announced left-hander Rich Hill would start but tweeted at 1:27 a.m. “The Dodgers’ World Series Game 4 starter is now TBD.”
Red Sox manager Alex Cora had said former Dodger Nathan Eovaldi would start, but he pitched the final six innings Friday.
When asked in his postgame news conference who would be his team’s starter, Cora responded, “How do you spell that, `TBA’? TBA.”
The loss was Boston’s first on the road in the 2018 postseason following five victories.
This is the 90th time in the 114 World Series a team has led 2-1 after three games. Of the previous 89 times, the team leading 2-1 has gone on to win 58 times, 65.2 percent of the time.
The team leading 2-1 is 44-45 in Game 4.
The previous record for longest World Series game by innings was 14, set in Game 2 of the 1916 Series between the Brooklyn Robins and Red Sox.
Babe Ruth was Boston’s pitcher, pitching all 14 innings in a 2-1 victory, allowing six hits, striking out four, walking three and driving in the first run with a third-inning ground out.
There were also 14-inning games in the 2005 and 2015 Series.
The game was also a record by time, seven hours, 20 minutes. The previous record was five hours and 41 minutes set in Game 3 of the 2005 Series between the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros.
Both teams used nine pitchers, tying the record for any postseason game. The 18 combined pitchers were a record, one more than the previous record, set in Game 3 of the 2005 World Series and tied in Game 2 of the 2014 National League Division Series between the San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals.
Muncy led off the 18th by hitting a 3-2 cutter from Eovaldi for the team’s fourth walk-off World Series victory and first since Kirk Gibson’s home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
The others were Game 4 of the 1947 World Series when Cookie Lavagetto hit a two-run, two-out double that ended Bill Bevens’ no-hit bid for the New York Yankees, and Game 6 of the 1956 World Series when Jackie Robinson singled in the 10th inning for a 1-0 victory over the Yankees.
This was the first time in the World Series a team won after trailing in the 11th inning or later.
Muncy nearly ended the game in the 15th, but his drive down the right field line was barely foul.
The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead on Joc Pederson’s home run with two outs in the third inning, ending a streak of eight hitless innings over two games.
The Red Sox tied the score with two outs in the eighth on Jackie Bradley Jr.’s solo homer off Kenley Jansen before a capacity crowd of 53,114 that included Baseball Hall of Famers Hank Aaron and Sandy Koufax, actors Casey Affleck, Jason Batman, Terry Crews, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, county singer Brad Paisley and Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.
Boston took a 2-1 lead in the top of the 13th. Dodger left-handed reliever Scott Alexander threw two sinkers for strikes to leadoff hitter Brock Holt, then threw balls on the next four pitches for a walk.
Holt stole second on the first pitch to the next batter, Eduardo Nunez. Nunez hit a chopper toward first base on the next pitch, which was ruled a single, driving in Holt.
Muncy walked on a full-count pitch to lead off the Dodgers half of the 13th. He moved to second two batters later on Cody Bellinger’s foul pop-up. Yasiel Puig hit an infield single with two outs. A throwing error by Red Sox second baseman Ian Kinsler allowed Muncy to score an unearned run.
Eovaldi, the ninth Boston pitcher, was charged with the loss, allowing two runs, one earned, and three hits in six innings, striking out five and walking one.
Alex Wood, the ninth Dodger pitcher, was credited with the victory, pitching a hitless 18th inning with one walk.
Dodger starter Walker Buehler shut out the Red Sox though seven innings on two hits, striking out seven and not walking a batter.
“He pitched his tail off and put us in a chance to win that game,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Boston starter Rick Porcello allowed one run and three hits over 4 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking one.
Jansen replaced Buehler at the start of the eighth, retired the first two batters he faced, then allowed the tying home run to Bradley on a 2-0 cutter.
Bellinger, the Dodger center fielder, preserved the tie in the 10th when he threw out Kinsler, a pinch-runner who was trying to score on Eduardo Nunez’s fly out.
The Dodgers out-hit the Red Sox, 11-7, was 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position, left 12 runners on base and struck out 15 times.
Boston was 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, left nine runners on base and struck out 19 times.
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