LOS ANGELES — Max Muncy hit a game-ending home run in the 18th inning Friday as the Los Angeles Dodgers earned a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox in the longest World Series game ever played.
It was the first game-ending home run in a World Series game at Dodger Stadium since 1988, when a hobbled Kirk Gibson won Game 1 in the ninth inning against the Oakland Athletics.
Game 3 was the longest World Series game by both innings and time (7 hours, 20 minutes).
“This was a gut-wrenching game for both sides,” Muncy said. “It was one of those games where whoever came out on top was going to have a lot of momentum going into (Game 4). … It’s one of those things where if you are able to come out on top in a game like this, you have to feel like it gives you momentum going into the next one.”
The Red Sox now lead 2-1 in the best-of-seven series, with Game 4 set for Saturday. Boston was one out away from taking a commanding 3-0 lead, but an error by second baseman Ian Kinsler allowed the Dodgers to tie the game 2-2 in the 13th inning.
“It’s tough to swallow,” Kinsler said. “There’s nothing they can say in that room to make me feel better.”
The Red Sox took the lead in the top of the 13th when Brock Holt scored on an error by Dodgers pitcher Scott Alexander.
The Dodgers were also closing in on victory at one point. They were four outs away when the Red Sox’s Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a home run against closer Kenley Jansen for a 1-1 tie.
The Dodgers used all eight of their relievers, but none more than two innings, giving manager Dave Roberts confidence going into Game 4.
“For those guys to give us some big outs and pick us up when we needed it, it’s kind of a signature of our ballclub,” Roberts said. “We had our backs to the wall many times and for us to persevere, it’s not how we scripted it, but it’s a big win for us.”
Jansen’s blown save spoiled a brilliant outing from Dodgers rookie right-hander Walker Buehler, who gave up just two hits over seven scoreless innings. His 108 pitches were three more than he has thrown in a game during his brief major league career.
The Dodgers got a home run from Joc Pederson in the third inning but were held scoreless over the next 10 innings by Red Sox starter Rick Porcello, along with a string of eight relievers.
Porcello gave up a run on three hits over 4 2/3 innings. Nathan Eovaldi (0-1), who was expected to be Boston’s Game 4 starter, gave up Muncy’s game-winner after six innings of work. Eovaldi gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits over six innings with five strikeouts.
“That was the most incredible pitching performance I’ve ever seen,” Porcello said of Eovaldi.
What is the Red Sox’s plan for a Game 4 starter?
“We’ll sit down now and go over it,” manager Alex Cora said. “Somebody will start, most likely a lefty.”
Alex Wood (1-0) pitched a scoreless 18th inning to earn the victory for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers were short on offense but did get some defensive heroics in the 10th inning when center fielder Cody Bellinger cut down the go-ahead run at home plate. Kinsler tried to score from third base on a fly ball to center by pinch hitter Eduardo Nunez, but Bellinger’s throw was in time for the out.
Pederson’s home run was his first of this World Series and his fourth home run in six career World Series starts. It was also the Dodgers’ first extra-base hit in 74 plate appearances against the Red Sox in the series.
The top four hitters in the Red Sox’s lineup went a combined 0-for-28.
“It’s just a bad night for them,” Cora said. “We had some situations where we could have put them away and didn’t, and at the end, we paid the price.”
–Doug Padilla, Field Level Media