By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
Final, 5-1 Red Sox: It’s all over the Boston Red Sox are your 2018 world champions. What. A. Run.
Sale struck out the side to close out the victory, getting Machado to swing and miss.
Bottom 9th, 2 outs, 5-1 Red Sox: Sale struck out Hernandez. Two outs.
Bottom 9th, 1 out, 5-1 Red Sox: Sale struck out Turner. One out.
Middle 9th, 5-1 Red Sox: A Bogaerts walk gets wasted with a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Brock Holt, and Devers then tapped out to first base. But that hardly matters.
Bottom of the ninth. Three outs away from a World Series victory.
Chris Sale is coming on to finish this game.
End 8th, 5-1 Red Sox: There’s nothing left to say about Joe Kelly. He has been dominant. And he just was there, shutting down the Dodgers with three. Straight. Strikeouts.
This Red Sox team is out of control. As soon as Price ran out of gas, in comes Joe Kelly to blow away Kemp (swinging), Joc Pederson (looking), and Cody Bellinger (swinging).
The Dodgers are down to their final three outs. The Red Sox might try to put a few more runs on the board in the ninth, just for fun.
Bottom 8th, 0 out, 5-1 Red Sox: David Price’s night is over, and he just walked off the mound to a standing ovation — from both the Red Sox fans and Dodgers fans inside the stadium.
He walked Taylor on a 3-2 pitch to start the frame, and that prompted Cora to make the call. Considering Price hadn’t been touched at all since the third inning, it appears as though Cora was going to ride that stretch as long as it lasted.
David Price was absolutely magnificent tonight. Seven-plus innings, three hits (one of which was a routine fly out), two walks, five strikeouts and one run. He just may be your World Series MVP. How about that?
Joe Kelly now enters with a runner on first and Matt Kemp coming up.
Middle 8th, 5-1 Red Sox: In what will probably be his final at-bat of this World Series, Steve Pearce figured, oh, what the heck, might as well hit another homer.
This one came off closer Kenley Jansen, and it stretched that Boston lead to 5-1.
End 7th, 4-1 Red Sox: David Price is through seven strong.
And he got himself another 1-2-3 inning.
Machado lined out to Bogaerts, Muncy flew out to left, and Puig grounded out to the mound.
The Red Sox are now just six outs away from winning the World Series. It’s not over yet, but this has been a brilliant performance from top to bottom thus far for Boston.
Price has retired 14 consecutive batters.
Middle 7th, 4-1 Red Sox: With two on and two out, the right baseball move would have been for Alex Cora to insert a pinch hitter for Price. But this isn’t a normal game, and Cora’s not making normal decisions. Showing how much faith he has in his starter, Cora decided to keep Price in the game.
Though Price obviously grounded out to end the inning, that confidence boost from the manager should be enough to carry Price through the seventh.
Top 7th, 0 out, 4-1 Red Sox: Make that 4-1. J.D. Martinez just crushed a solo homer to center field to lead off the seventh.
Three-run lead. Red Sox need to record nine outs to win a World Series.
End 6th, 3-1 Red Sox: David Price is in the midst of one of his greatest games.
For the third straight inning, he’s retired the Dodgers in order. Freese grounded out to second, Turner flew out to left, and Hernandez grounded out to end the frame. Holt had to make a nice backhand play on that last one, but he did it, and Price is now through six.
He’s allowed three hits and one walk while striking out five. At just 76 pitches, he should be back out there for the sixth.
Middle 6th, 3-1 Red Sox: Mookie Betts has broken out of his 0-for-Los Angeles slump. And he also has his first career postseason homer.
After Price grounded out to short, Betts crushed a 2-2 slider that was at the bottom of the zone but split the plate in half, sending it over the fence in left to stretch that lead back to two runs. The Red Sox can breathe easier, even if just a little bit,
Benintendi then grounded out sharply to first, and Pearce lined out to center. This brisk pace continues.
End 5th, 2-1 Red Sox: We’ve got a run on 1-2-3 innings out in Los Angeles. Taylor struck out on a check swing, Barnes grounded out on the first pitch of his at-bat, and Kershaw tapped out to Price down the first-base line.
Price looked to be headed for some pitch count troubles early on, but he’s at just 67 pitches through five. With the top of the order due up in the sixth, Cora has a decision to make. But with the way Price has looked, Cora doesn’t really have to think too hard. The only “hit” Price has allowed since the second inning has been Freese’s fly ball that Martinez lost in the sky.
Middle 5th, 2-1 Red Sox: Stop me if you’re getting bored of this, but it was another 1-2-3 inning for Kershaw.
That doesn’t mean Kershaw was especially sharp, though. Holt squared up a slider but hit a line drive right at Freese for the first out of the inning. Devers struck out looking on three pitches, but Vazquez ripped an 0-1 fastball into left field. Had it been in a gap, it would have gone for two bases. But it went right at Taylor for the final out of the inning.
Kershaw has faced the minimum number of hitters since the first inning, allowing just one hit in those four innings.
End 4th, 2-1 Red Sox: This game is moving disturbingly fast, though after Game 3, such a pace is probably welcome.
Price just buzzed through the heart of the L.A. order, getting Machado to strike out swinging again, then getting a harmless flyout from Muncy and a weak pop to second from Puig.
On to the fifth they go. Just a nine-pitch inning from Price. He needed that, as he’s now at 56 pitches.
Middle 4th, 2-1 Red Sox: Martinez did send a one-out single into left, but Bogaerts followed it up with a rough at-bat that ended with a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Pearce led off with a grounder down the third base line. Turner made a good play to field and throw across the diamond.
Kershaw is cruising, at just 56 pitches through four. The Red Sox are fortunate that Pearce launched that first-inning homer, because runs are going to be tough to come by tonight.
End 3rd, 2-1 Red Sox: J.D. Martinez nearly cost the Red Sox dearly. But David Price had his back.
Freese, who homered to right in his first at-bat, sent a deep fly ball on the same path. Martinez, playing right field in the NL park, simply never saw it, losing it in the twilight sky. The fly ball fell down at the base of the track, and even though Freese wasn’t running hard out of the box, he was able to slide in safely to third with a “triple.”
With just one out, this looked like trouble. But Turner went after a first pitch and grounded out to Bogaerts. Freese was not running on contact, so he stayed put.
With two outs, Hernandez sent a tailing fly ball down the right field line, but Martinez was able to make a running catch in foul ground to end the frame.
It feels like the old David Price might have let that run score and perhaps fallen apart. But this new David Price? He just puts his head down and keeps going. Quite the transformation.
J.D. Martinez is due up second in the the fourth. He’ll probably be looking to make up for the blunder.
Middle 3rd, 2-1 Red Sox: Both pitchers are settled in quite nicely after an eventful first inning, with Kershaw getting Price-Betts-Benintendi to go down 1-2-3.
Betts is now 0-for-13 since the series shifted to Los Angeles. It’s kind of a minor miracle the Red Sox are ahead 3-1 in the series, considering they’ve gotten nothing from their leadoff hitter in L.A.
End 2nd, 2-1 Red Sox: Price worked around a one-out bloop single off the end of Puig’s bat, getting Taylor to fly out to center and then blowing away Hernandez with a 94 mph fastball for a swinging strike three to end the inning.
The frame began with Muncy striking out. Price looked settled down in that inning, and he’s at 38 pitches through two innings. Probably more pitches than Alex Cora would like, but I believe the goal tonight is effectiveness over length.
Middle 2nd, 2-1 Red Sox: Christian Vazquez squared up a two-out offering from Kershaw, but Herandez tracked it down on the run in center field to end the inning.
Holt led off with a flyout to left, followed by Devers swinging and missing at a middle-middle fastball.
End 1st, 2-1 Red Sox: David Price responded well to not only the leadoff homer but a follow-up walk of Justin Turner.
Price induced a 5-4-3 double play ball from Hernandez, and he then battled back from a 3-0 count to get Machado to strike out swinging.
Price doesn’t look exceptional early on, but it’s too soon to tell whether that’s some first inning jitters or if he’s fatigued from all of this work lately.
Bottom 1st, 2-1 Red Sox: David Freese made it a point to not really get too down about that 2-0 deficit, because he just launched Price’s first pitch over the fence to the opposite field. Boston’s early lead has been cut in half.
Middle 1st, 2-0 Red Sox: How about a little early 2-0 lead? And how about — who else? — Steve Pearce being the one to deliver it.
After a mammoth Game 4, Pearce picked up right where he left off, jumping all over a first pitch fastball from curveball and sending it high and deep over the fence in left field.
Benintendi had reached with a one-out single up the middle (on an 0-2 count), so the Red Sox lead by two early. Alrighty then.
Martinez squared up a 1-1 curveball over the heart of the plate, but smoked his one-hopper right to Muncy, who was standing on the shortstop side of second base. Bogaerts then struck out swinging to end the frame. Betts led off with a flyout to center.
Top 1st: Clayton Kershaw’s first pitch to Mookie Betts is fouled down the right field line.
Game 5, a potential clincher, is underway in Los Angeles.
7:02 p.m.: Cody Bellinger won’t be in the lineup for the Dodgers to start Sunday’s game.
1. David Freese, 1B
2. Justin Turner, 3B
3. Enrique Hernandez, CF
4. Manny Machado, SS
5. Max Muncy, 2B
6. Yasiel Puig, RF
7. Chris Taylor, LF
8. Austin Barnes, C
9. Clayton Kershaw, LHP
4:50 p.m.: Boston’s lineup is out, with a slightly different look from Game 4.
1. Mookie Betts, CF
2. Andrew Benintendi, LF
3. Steve Pearce, 1B
4. J.D. Martinez, RF
5. Xander Bogaerts, SS
6. Brock Holt, 2B
7. Rafael Devers, 3B
8. Christian Vazquez, C
9. David Price, LHP
The 1-5 spots of the lineup remain unchanged. Brock Holt is in the lineup again Sunday night at second base.
Rafael Devers, who drove in the go-ahead run in Game 4, is starting at third base.
12 p..m.: The Boston Red Sox tonight can win the ninth World Series title in franchise history. But it won’t be easy.
Not that any win this time of year comes easy, but if the Red Sox want to lift a trophy tonight, they’re going to have to get through Clayton Kershaw.
Granted, the Red Sox made Kershaw look awfully ordinary in Game 1, tagging him for five runs on seven hits over four innings. But Kershw has been a different pitcher at home this year. He was better at Dodger Stadium in the regular season, and he’s been lights out at home in the postseason (2-0, 0.60 ERA, 0.467 WHIP).
Kershaw should be pretty good in this one.
What’s not known is whether David Price can keep his hot streak going, and likewise, what kind of performance the L.A. offense will be able to put forth. That blown lead late in Game 4 could have a deflating, devastating effect on that Dodgers roster, which figures to play a role in how well Price can pitch.
For Price, the key will be to throw strikes. Sounds simple enough, but avoiding giving the Dodgers any free bases will probably the biggest key for Price to prevent any rallies from mounting.
It ought to be a pretty fun evening, one way or another. If the Dodgers win, they’ll push this series back across the country to Fenway Park on Tuesday night. If the Sox win, it’ll be a nationwide party.
Follow along right here from all the pregame news — including the starting lineups — until the final pitch of the night. It just may be a historic one.