Boston has put the Dodgers on ice.
J.D. Martinez knocked in two runs and the Boston Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-2, to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven World Series.
After a cold night in Game 1, it was an even more frigid night at Fenway Park in Game 2 as temperatures reached 33 degrees with winds of 8 MPH.
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Martinez, the Major Leage leader in RBI this season, drove in the go-ahead runs during a two-out, three-run rally in the bottom of the fifth inning that propelled the Red Sox within two wins of their fourth World Series title in the last 15 years.
"That was huge," Martinez said of the two-out rally in the fifth inning. "That was a great example of just how you grind out an inning, grind out at-bats, finding ways to get guys on and keeping the line moving."
For the second consecutive game, the American League pennant winners displayed an uncanny clutch hitting ability as all four runs in the game were scored with two outs.
Before Martinez became the hero, Xander Bogaerts put Boston on the board in the second inning, when he doubled off the monster for the first hit of the game, and scored two batters later on a two-out, single from Ian Kinsler.
After earning his first career postseason victory in Game 5 of the ALCS, David Price did not allow a hit through the first three innings in Game 2.
"I just tried to keep it the same. Same as in Houston," said Price of his start on Wednesday. "Don't put any added pressure or anything of that nature. Just go out there and throw strikes and execute pitches and rely on my defense, and that's what we were able to do."
David Freese broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff single to start the fourth inning and Manny Machado followed with a single of his own to put two runners on base.
Yasiel Puig, who arguably could have been the MVP of the NL Championship Series, had the biggest hit of the 2018 World Series for the Dodgers so far, when he laced an RBI single into center field to give the Dodgers their first lead of the Fall Classic.
"That was a tough inning, it could have spun out of control pretty fast," Price said of the fourth. "And it's been one of my Achilles heels especially in the playoffs and even in the regular season, is that big inning. Being able to stop it at two right there after the Puig hit to center, that was big for us."
The Dodgers have struggled with runners in scoring position this postseason, going 18-for-92 in 14 playoff games, but Puig helped change all that by driving in the go-ahead run in the fourth with two outs and a runner on second.
"The difference is they got a big hit when they needed," Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts said of the Red Sox compared to the Dodgers with runners in scoring position. "I think that we've had opportunities to do the same thing, we've done the same thing. We didn't get the hits that they got but we had baserunners. And the difference is they got a couple of hits with runners in scoring position and we didn't, and now we're down 0-2."
The lead would be short-lived for Los Angeles as the Red Sox continued to stay hot with runners in scoring position and two outs.
After Ryu retired the first two batters of the fifth inning, Christian Vazquez and Mookie Betts hit back-to-back singles to start the rally. Ryu walked Andrew Benintendi to load the bases and then promptly left the game for reliever Ryan Madson.
Madson walked Pearce to tie the game, and then surrendered a two-run, go-ahead single to J.D. Martinez as the Red Sox recaptured the lead, 4-2. Nine of the Red Sox 12 runs in the series have come with two outs.
"I faced him yesterday and it was a very similar situation," said Martinez of his at-bat against Madson. "He was a little wild, and I went up there kind of passive. I said, 'this is the time,' I said, 'trust your eyes.' It wasn't a bad pitch. It was a good pitch. I was just fortunate enough to stay inside of it and dump it in."
Madson saw it slighlty different. "I beat him," he said of the at-bat against Martinez. "He didn't hit it good. I beat him, but he's strong enough to drop it in there in the outfield."
After a fantastic start to the postseason, Madson has inherited five runners in the World Series and each and every one has scored against the right-hander.
"I really liked him against Pearce," said Roberts of his decision to continue to bring in Madson in high-pressure situations. "In that spot he's done it time and time again for us, but the last couple of nights it hasn't worked out."
Ryu (1-2) lost for the second consecutive postseason start (both on the road), as he allowed four runs on six hits with one walk and five strikeouts in 4 and 2/3 innings.
"There was a moment that I could have ended that inning," said Ryu of the fifth after retiring the first two hitters he faced. "Obviously I couldn't do that. I think if I could have commanded my pitches better there would have been a different result."
In less than a week, Price has gone from playoff flop to World Series hero as his 2018 postseason campaign has changed the narrative of his legacy.
The former Los Angeles Dodgers draft pick started his postseason career with a record of 0-9 in ten seasons and had never won a playoff game before last Thursday.
Now, Price has won consecutive postseason starts and has moved Boston two wins away from another title, and Price's first ever championship.
"It's absolutely the reason why I came here," said Price. "This is the biggest stage in baseball. There's no other stage that's going to be bigger than pitching in a World Series game, unless it's Game 7 of the World Series. I'm pumped for myself, pumped for all my teammates and coaches for us to be two wins away, and I'm 2-0 right now in the World Series, that's a good feeling."
The former Cy Young Award winner allowed two runs on three hits with three walks and five strikeouts in six strong innings for Boston.
"We had him. We had him on the ropes," Roberts said of Price. "The difference is they got the big hit when they needed and we didn't."
Red Sox relievers Joe Kelly, Nathan Eovaldi, and Craig Kimbrel pitched three scoreless innings, retiring 16 consecutive hitters to end the game.
Kimbrel closed the door for the second consecutive night, earning his sixth save of the postseason. According to STATS, not since Don Larsen's perfect game in 1956 had an AL team retired so many consecutive hitters to finisher a World Series game.
The Dodgers now face an 0-2 deficit in a best-of-seven series for the first time this postseason. The last 10 teams to win the first two games of the World Series and 16 of the last 17, have all gone on to win the title.
"Historically that's not a good thing, losing the first two, but if we can pickup game three right away, things will change," said Freese following the loss. "We need to win three now. We're down 0-2, we get that. Game 3 is a necessity."
Overall the Red Sox have won 14 of their last 16 World Series games, dating back to a four-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004. They will head to the West Coast with a five-game road winning streak this postseason.
The series shifts to the sunshine and warmth of Los Angeles for Game 3 as Walker Buehler is expected to start for the Dodgers against right-hander Rick Porcello for the Red Sox. First pitch is 5:09PM PT.
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