Ninth-inning rally enables Red Sox to pull ahead 3-1 in World Series

Rafael Devers
Getty Images

The Red Sox needed just three hours and 57 minutes to clinch their next win in Game 4 of the World Series. After playing the equivalent of two regulation-length games in Game 3, they wrapped up their third win of the series with a 9-6 victory over the Dodgers on Saturday night, powered by a solid 5 2/3 innings from Eduardo Rodríguez, a game-tying blast from Steve Pearce, and a late rally in the ninth.

Call it déjà vu, call it two very good teams matching wits in another high-stakes game, call it a lesson about not leaving your starter in to face Yasiel Puig three times, but the first few innings of Game 4 felt oddly reminiscent of the scoreless stretch Walker Buehler and Rick Porcello put together in Game 3. Hill took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before Christian Vázquez finally picked up a 2-2 curveball and set it down in left field for the Red Sox’ first hit of the game. That didn’t slow Hill down, however: He continued to mow down Boston’s lineup with inning after inning of scoreless ball, and by the time he passed the ball to Scott Alexander in the seventh, he had struck out seven of 24 batters and permitted just four baserunners in total.

It didn’t take nearly as long for the Dodgers to solve Eduardo Rodríguez. In the bottom of the second, Chris Taylor lined a base hit into left field for the first hit of the game, and while Rodríguez managed to keep the Dodgers off the scoreboard for five straight innings, the bats came back to haunt him in the sixth. David Freese took a 88.4-MPH cutter off his knee at the top of the inning, then advanced to third when Núñez missed Justin Turner’s double down the third base line. With runners on second and third and one out, Cody Bellinger hit a ground ball that should have given the Red Sox the two outs they needed to cap the inning, except that Vázquez’s throw to first base bounced off the runner, giving Freese just enough time to put the Dodgers up, 1-0.

Things only got worse for Rodríguez from there. He intentionally walked Mookie Betts to get to Puig, who promptly hit one out to the left field bleachers for a three-run homer, his first of the World Series.

The Red Sox didn’t waste time getting even. In the seventh, Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt took a pair of walks from Hill and Alexander, respectively, but it was Mitch Moreland‘s 437-footer that snapped the shutout and finally got Boston on the board. Dave Roberts swapped out relievers at every turn, first going to Ryan Madson to close out the seventh, then Kenley Jansen to start the eighth, but was still foiled by Steve Pearce, who pounced on a first-pitch cutter in the center of the zone and punched it out to left field for the tying run.

With flashes of another 18-inning contest in every player’s eyes, the Red Sox sent out Joe Kelly to put away the Dodgers in the eighth. Manny Machado laced a leadoff hit into center field, then scooted around to third on Chris Taylor’s two-out single to left. Even with runners at the corners and Yasmani Grandal in for Austin Barnes at the plate, though, the Dodgers couldn’t make it happen. Grandal worked a 2-2 count against Kelly and went down swinging on a 98.2-MPH fastball to end the inning.

Another marathon wasn’t in the cards for the clubs this time around. Against Los Angeles right-hander Dylan Floro, the Red Sox picked up the lead in the ninth as Brock Holt delivered a one-out double, followed by a go-ahead single from pinch-hitter Rafael Devers:

The hit couldn’t have come at a better time; the 22-year-old third baseman had gone 0-for-7 since his RBI single in Game 1 of the World Series. Alex Wood came in to relieve Floro, but the Red Sox kept chipping away, logging a run-scoring double from Pearce and an RBI single from Bogaerts to make it 9-4. In the bottom of the inning, Kiké Hernández belted one out to left to make it 9-6, but Craig Kimbrel worked out of another jam with his best Mary Hart impression and secured the Red Sox’ first win on the road.

Game 5 will commence a little later than usual on Sunday at 8:15 PM EDT. Left-handers Chris Sale and Clayton Kershaw will meet on the mound for a rematch of Game 1 as the Red Sox try for the series win. Boston currently leads the series, 3-1.

Olson blasts two HRs, Acuña has 4 hits as Strider, Braves overpower Phillies 11-4

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA – Given a seven-run lead in the first inning, Atlanta right-hander Spencer Strider could relax and keep adding to his majors-leading strikeout total.

“That game felt like it was over pretty quick,” Strider said.

Ronald Acuña Jr. drove in three runs with four hits, including a two-run single in Atlanta’s seven-run first inning, and the Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 11-4 on Sunday night to split the four-game series.

“Getting a lead first is big, especially when you get that big of a lead,” Strider said. “… When we’re putting up runs, my job isn’t to be perfect. My job is to get outs.”

Following the game, Braves manager Brian Snitker announced right-hander Michael Soroka will be recalled to make his first start since the 2020 season on Monday night at Oakland.

Matt Olson hit a pair of two-run homers for Atlanta, and Strider became the fastest pitcher in modern history to reach 100 strikeouts in a season.

“It’s incredible,” said Acuña through a translator of Strider. “Every time he goes out to pitch it seems like he’s going to strike everybody out.”

Acuña hit a run-scoring triple in the fifth before Olson’s second homer to center. Acuña had two singles in the first when the Braves sent 11 batters to the plate, collected seven hits and opened a 7-0 lead. Led by Acuña and Olson, who had three hits, the Braves set a season high with 20 hits.

Strider (5-2) struck out nine while pitching six innings of two-run ball. The right-hander fired a called third strike past Nick Castellanos for the first out of the fourth, giving him 100 strikeouts in 61 innings and topping Jacob deGrom‘s 61 2/3 innings in 2021 as the fastest to 100 in the modern era.

“It’s cool,” Strider said, adding “hopefully it’ll keep going.”

Olson followed Acuña’s leadoff single with a 464-foot homer to right-center. Austin Riley added another homer before Ozzie Albies and Acuña had two-run singles in the long first inning.

Phillies shortstop Trea Turner and left fielder Kyle Schwarber each committed an error on a grounder by Orlando Arcia, setting up two unearned runs in the inning.

Strider walked Kody Clemens to open the third. Brandon Marsh followed with a two-run homer for the Phillies’ first hit. Schwarber hit a two-run homer off Collin McHugh in the seventh.


Michael Harris II celebrated the one-year anniversary of his major league debut by robbing Schwarber of a homer with a leaping catch at the center-field wall in the second. As Harris shook his head to say “No!” after coming down with the ball on the warning track, Strider pumped his fist in approval on the mound – after realizing Harris had the ball.

“He put me through an emotional roller coaster for a moment,” Strider said.


Soroka was scratched from his scheduled start at Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday, setting the stage for his final step in his comeback from two torn Achilles tendons.

“To get back is really a feather in that kid’s cap,” Snitker said.

Soroka will be making his first start in the majors since Aug. 3, 2020, against the New York Mets when he suffered a torn right Achilles tendon. Following a setback which required a follow-up surgery, he suffered another tear of the same Achilles tendon midway through the 2021 season.

Soroka suffered another complication in his comeback when a hamstring injury slowed his progress this spring.

Acuña said he was “super happy, super excited for him, super proud of him” and added “I’m just hoping for continued good health.”

Soroka looked like an emerging ace when he finished 13-4 with a 2.68 ERA in 2019 and placed second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting and sixth in the NL Cy Young voting.

The Braves are 0-3 in bullpen committee games as they attempt to overcome losing two key starters, Max Fried (strained left forearm) and Kyle Wright (right shoulder inflammation) to the injured list in early May. Each is expected to miss at least two months.

RHP Dereck Rodriguez, who gave up one hit in two scoreless innings, was optioned to Gwinnett after the game to clear a roster spot for Soroka.


Phillies right-hander Dylan Covey (0-1), claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 20, didn’t make it through the first inning. Covey allowed seven runs, five earned, and six hits, including the homers by Olson and Riley.


Phillies: 3B Alex Bohm was held out with hamstring tightness. … LHP José Alvarado (left elbow inflammation) threw the bullpen session originally scheduled for Saturday. Manager Rob Thomson said there was no report that Alvarado, who was placed on the injured list on May 10, had any difficulty.


Phillies: Following an off day, LHP Ranger Suárez (0-1, 9.82 ERA) is scheduled to face Mets RHP Kodai Senga (4-3, 3.94 ERA) in Tuesday night’s opener of a three-game series in New York.

Braves: Soroka was 1-2 with a 4.33 ERA in eight games with Triple-A Gwinnett. He allowed a combined four hits and two runs over 10 2/3 innings in his last two starts. RHP Paul Blackburn (7-6, 4.28 ERA in 2022) is scheduled to make his 2023 debut for Oakland as he returns from a finger injury.