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David Price pitches Red Sox past Dodgers 4-2 in Game 2 of World Series

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Once again, Red Sox starter David Price pitched well in a postseason start. Before his start against the Astros in Game 5 of the ALCS, Price owned a career 5.42 ERA in 79 2/3 playoff innings. He blanked the Astros over six innings with nine strikeouts, helping lead the Red Sox into the World Series.

Price wasn’t quite as sharp as he was last Thursday, but he put together another quality outing on Wednesday night in Game 2 of the World Series. The lefty yielded a pair of runs on three hits and three walks with five strikeouts over five innings, tossing 88 pitches in the process. His career postseason ERA is finally under 5.00, at 4.91.

The Red Sox, as has often been the case in the playoffs this year, struck first on offense. Ian Kinsler ripped a line drive to left field with two outs to bring home Xander Bogaerts against Hyun-Jin Ryu. The Dodgers, who have been miserable with runners in scoring position this postseason, were able to put something together in the fourth. David Freese led off with a single against Price and Manny Machado followed up with one of his own. Price then walked Chris Taylor to load the bases. Matt Kemp lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home Freese, then Enrique Hernández struck out, making it seem as if Price might escape the inning allowing just the one run. Yasiel Puig, however, gave the Dodgers their first lead of the World Series, dunking a single into right field. Price got out of the jam finally by striking out Austin Barnes.

Price worked a 1-2-3 fifth, seeming to stall any momentum the Dodgers may have had. The Red Sox then built up a full head of steam themselves, rallying for three runs in the bottom half. It looked like Ryu would have a stress-free inning, but with two outs, Christian Vázquez and Mookie Betts hit back-to-back singles. Ryu then walked Andrew Benintendi to load the bases, ending his night. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts brought in right-hander Ryan Madson to face a slew of right-handers. It backfired. Madson issued a bases-loaded walk to Steve Pearce on five pitches, forcing in a run. J.D. Martinez followed up by singling to right field, bringing home two more runs to make it a 4-2 game. Bogaerts struck out to end the inning but the damage was done. The Red Sox, by the way, scored all four of their runs tonight with two outs.

Price also put together a 1-2-3 sixth before giving way to Joe Kelly in the seventh, who did the same on just 11 pitches. Red Sox manager Alex Cora decided to call on Nathan Eovaldi, who has been excellent in October, for the eighth inning. Eovaldi followed suit, setting the Dodgers down in order, throwing 13 pitches himself.

In the top of the ninth, a new-and-improved Craig Kimbrel entered. Kimbrel, as has been widely reported, was informed he was tipping his pitches by retired reliever Éric Gagné. Before closing out the deciding ALCS Game 5, Kimbrel had allowed runs in each of his four playoff appearances, walking five of the 28 batters he faced. He looked much better in Game 5, following Gagné’s intervention, then struck out two in a 13-pitch, 1-2-3 ninth in Game 1. It was more of the same in Game 2. Kimbrel got Machado to fly out, then Taylor and Kemp to ground out, putting the 4-2 victory in the books. Red Sox pitching got the final 16 Dodger batters out consecutively.

With the Red Sox taking a commanding 2-0 series lead, both teams will take Thursday off to travel to Los Angeles. The World Series will resume on Friday night. If they sweep, the Red Sox can take home the championship on Saturday.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Angels 11, Blue Jays 6: Mike Trout was a beast, homering twice and driving in seven. The second homer was a grand slam in the fourth. Honest question: do you not consider intentionally walking Trout with the bases loaded there? I guess you don’t do that when it’s tied at three and it’s so early but the thought probably at least briefly crossed Charlie Montoyo’s mind. Trout has now hit 10 home runs in his past 19 games to move into a tie for the AL lead. He’s a fairly solid ballplayer as far as these things go, yeah?

Reds 3, Astros 2: The Reds are hard to figure. A lot of the time they look like the second division club their record suggests they are. Other times they’re fun and interesting and do things like sweep the Astros. Baseball, man. Here they rallied for two in the bottom of the ninth with two outs for the comeback win. Nick Senzel singled home the tying run, took second on a throwing error and Jesse Winker singled him in for the walkoff. It was the first time the Astros have been swept all year.

Yankees 12, Rays 1: More like Blake Shelled, amirite? The reigning Cy Young winner walked four guys and gave up six runs in the first inning and was chased after getting only one out. The game at that point was basically over. CC Sabathia, meanwhile, picked up his 250th career win. Gary Sánchez hit a three-run homer and drove in four. Gleyber Torres hit a grand slam to turn an 8-1 game into a 12-1 game late. Just a general blood bath. The Yankees have won five straight games and have now built up a 3.5-game lead over the second-place Rays in the AL East. The Rays and Yankees meet again in a couple of weeks. The Yankees have to like that. They’ve taken seven of nine from Tampa Bay.

Nationals 6, Phillies 2; Nationals 2, Phillies 0: Patrick Corbin was strong, allowing one run over seven, with both Gerardo Parra and Brian Dozier homering and doubling in runs. The nightcap was the Max Scherzer show, of course, with a broken nosed and black (and brown and blue)-eyed Scherzer tossing seven shutout innings while striking out ten. He’s one of the few men who could use that “you should see the other guy” joke and have it be true. He mowed the Phillies down, jack.

Athletics 8, Orioles 3: Chris Bassitt took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and Josh Phegley had a three-run homer as the A’s completed a three-game sweep. Baltimore has lost eight in a row and is on a pace to lose 116 games.

Padres 8, Brewers 7: Franmil Reyes hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning. Eric Hosmer hit a two-run shot earlier. Manny Machado, as we noted last night, thought he had a three-run homer but didn’t, but since the Pads won they’re all probably fine with it. Yasmani Grandal, Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun all homered in a losing cause.

Mariners 8, Royals 2: Hello! My name is Domingo Santana. You killed my father. Prepare to die. Or something. Two homers and five RBI for the Mariners’ right fielder. Who is not left-handed.

Pirates 8, Tigers 7: The Tigers led 7-1 after their half of the third inning but woofed it away anyway. Bryan Reynolds hit a three-run homer in the sixth to complete the Pirates’ rally. He had three hits in all.

Braves 7, Mets 2: Freeman hit a two-run shot in the first, the Mets tied it at two in the fourth and Josh Donaldson broke that tie with a two-run homer of his own in the sixth. From then on the Braves just added with RBI doubles from Ozzie Albies and Nick Markakis, whose pinch-hit two-bagger drove in two. In the end the Braves won their eighth of ten on their ten-game home stand and pushed their NL East lead to four games over Philly.

Cubs 7, White Sox 3: Willson Contreras hit a three-run homer in the first and homered again in the third en route to a five-RBI night. Lucas Giolito lost for the first time in 13 starts, going back to April 6.

Indians 10, Rangers 4: The Tribe put up a five-spot in the first thanks to a three-run homer from Jason Kipnis and a solo shot from Roberto Pérez. Kipnis would add a second homer in the fifth. The Indians have won 10 of their last 14 games.

Red Sox 9, Twins 4: A day after a 17-inning game often comes down to whose starter can simply show up for the longest amount of time. Eduardo Rodríguez did that for Boston, going seven to pick up the Sox pen. Brock Holt drove in three with a single, a sac fly and by drawing a bases-loaded walk. Boston has won seven of eight. The Twins have dropped three of four.

Cardinals 2, Marlins 1: Offense was hard to come by here but Paul Goldschmidt — who didn’t even enter the game until the ninth inning — hit a walkoff solo shot in the bottom of the 11th to end it:

Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 4: Arizona took an early 2-0 lead but it wouldn’t last as the Rockies got to Zack Greike for five runs on 11 hits over seven. Ryan McMahon was the big bat for Colorado, going 3-for-4 and driving in three. Daniel Murphy homered as well as the Rockies’ mastery of the Dbacks continued. They’ve taken seven of nine from Arizona this season.

Dodgers 9, Giants 2: Chris Taylor homered twice and Cody Bellinger went deep as the Dodgers picked up their 50th win on the season in their 75th game. The bad news: starter Rich Hill left after one inning because of left forearm discomfort. He’s going to have an MRI today but he’s headed to the injured list.