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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.

Indians send down Clevinger, Plesac after virus blunder

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CLEVELAND — After hearing Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac explain their actions, the Cleveland Indians sent the pitchers to their alternate training site on Friday after the two broke team rules and Major League Baseball coronavirus protocol last weekend in Chicago.

Clevinger and Plesac drove to Detroit separately with their baseball equipment on Thursday for an “open forum” meeting at the team’s hotel before the Indians opened a series with the Tigers.

Indians President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti said following “the discussion” that he met with manager Terry Francona, general manager Mike Chernoff and decided it was best to option Plesac and Clevinger to the alternate training site instead of allowing them to rejoin the team.

“We had a chance to meet as small group and decided this would be the best path of action for us,” Antonetti said.

So before the opener, the Indians activated Clevinger and Plesac from the restricted list and optioned them to Lake County.

It’s a stunning slide for the right-handers and close friends, both considered important pieces for the Indians. There’s no indication when they may be back on Cleveland’s roster. They’ll have to be at Lake County for at least 10 days.

Last weekend, the pitchers broke the team’s code of conduct implemented during the pandemic by leaving the team hotel and having dinner and socializing with friends of Plesac’s and risking contracting the virus.

While the Indians got a car service to take Plesac back to Cleveland, Clevinger flew home with the team after not telling the Indians he had been out with his teammate.

Although both players have twice tested negative for COVID-19 this week, the Indians aren’t ready to have them back.

Earlier this week, pitcher Adam Plutko said he felt betrayed.

“They hurt us bad,” Plutko said after Cleveland’s lost 7-1 to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. “They lied to us. They sat here in front of you guys and publicly said things that they didn’t follow through on.”

Antonetti was asked if there are still hard feeling in the clubhouse toward the pair.

“We’re all a family,” Antonetti said. “We spend a lot of time together. Sometimes there are challenges in families you have to work through. I’d use that analogy as it applies here. There are things that have happened over the course of the last week that have been less than ideal and people have some thoughts and feelings about that.”

Both Clevinger and Plesac issued apologies in the days after their missteps. However, on Thursday, the 25-year-old Plesac posted a six-minute video on Instagram in which he acknowledged breaking team curfew but then aimed blame at the media, saying he and Clevinger were being inaccurately portrayed as “bad people.”

Antonetti said he watched the video.

“I’m not sure Zach was able to convey what he intended to convey in the video after having a chance to speak with him afterwards,” he said. “I think if he had a do-over, he may have said things a bit differently.”

Francona also felt Plesac could have chosen a better way to handle the aftermath.

“I was disappointed,” he said.