LOS ANGELES — It took forever to reach a decision, drained each dugout and bullpen of bodies and tested the stamina of everyone involved.
Yet, when it was over thanks to Max Muncy’s opposite-field home run to left off Nathan Eovaldi the Dodgers had a pulsating, 3-2, World Series Game 3 victory over the Red Sox in front of 53,114 at Dodger Stadium that required 18 innings and seven hours and 20 minutes to complete, the hosts were down two games to one instead of being in 0-3 ditch.
The 18 innings are the most ever in a World Series game and the time is also a record.
Game 4 is Saturday night. The Red Sox’ plan was to start former Yankee Nathan Eovaldi in Game 4, but he hurled six-plus innings Friday night which takes him out of the picture for Saturday. The Dodgers will go with Rich Hill, another ex-Yankee.
Appearing in his third straight World Series game Eovaldi started the 18th, with 90 pitches and watched Muncy drive a full-count pitch over the left-center field fence.
Kenta Maeda walked the first two Red Sox to start the 15th and didn’t allow a run. He fielded Christian Vazquez’s bunt and got a force at third and struck out Sandy Leon swinging and Mookie Betts looking to strand two.
Down to their last out in the 13th inning the Dodgers watched Red Sox second baseman Ian Kinsler throw away a two-out ground ball hit by Yasiel Puig at first base which allowed Muncy to score from second and tie the score, 2-2.
Muncy led off with a walk against Eovaldi who retired Manny Machado on a routine fly to left field and third baseman Eduardo Nunez tumbled into the stands grabbing Cody Bellinger’s foul pop. When Muncy saw Nunez in the seats he tagged and went to second.
Kinsler stumbled on the outfield grass when he gloved Puig’s grounder up the middle and his off-balance throw was very wide of Vazquez, a catcher playing first. An alert Muncy to raced home and tied the score, 2-2.
Kenley Jansen flushed Walker Buehler’s seven-inning masterpiece and five innings later a throwing error by pitcher Scott Alexander put the Red Sox ahead, 2-1.
Jansen, the Dodgers’ closer, gave up a home run to Jackie Bradley, Jr. in the eighth inning that tied the score and the Red Sox took advantage of Scott Alexander’s errant toss to first to score a run in the 13th, but the Dodgers used a throwing error by Ian Kinsler to tie the score, 2-2, in the home half of the frame.
Alexander walked Brock Holt to open the 13th and he stole second base with Eduardo Nunez at the plate. Nunez hit a slow roller between the mound and first base that Alexander fielded but his throw to first was wide and trickled past the bag and down the line. That allowed Holt to score from second.
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