Lineups for Game 3 of the World Series at Busch Stadium …
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
RF Shane Victorino
2B Dustin Pedroia
1B David Ortiz
LF Daniel Nava
3B Xander Bogaerts
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
SS Stephen Drew
SP Jake Peavy
As expected, David Ortiz is making the start at first base while Mike Napoli is on the bench with the designated hitter unavailable under National League rules. It hurts to sit Napoli, but the Red Sox can’t afford to be without Ortiz right now. The veteran slugger has five homers in 13 games this postseason, including one in each of the first two games of the World Series. The other notable changes include Daniel Nava in left field over Jonny Gomes and Xander Bogaerts being moved up to the No. 6 spot in the order. Stephen Drew remains in the lineup despite hitting just .095 (4-for-42) with a 15/1 K/BB ratio this postseason.
2B Matt Carpenter
RF Carlos Beltran
LF Matt Holliday
1B Matt Adams
C Yadier Molina
3B David Freese
CF Jon Jay
SS Pete Kozma
SP Joe Kelly
No designated hitter means that Allen Craig will be on the bench to begin Game 3. He has taken some ground balls at first base in recent days, but the Cardinals don’t want to rush him back into the field and cause a setback with his foot. Carlos Beltran is in the lineup after he went 2-for-4 with an RBI single Thursday in his return from a severe rib contusion. Meanwhile, Pete Kozma is back in the lineup after Daniel Descalso made the start at shortstop in Game 2.
The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.
Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.
The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.
After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.
Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:
The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.
The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.