The Latest: Matt Kemp homers, cuts Boston lead to 2-1
BOSTON (AP) — The Latest on the World Series (all times local):
The Dodgers are liking this designated hitter thing.
Los Angeles DH Matt Kemp homered in the top of the second inning on Tuesday night to cut Boston’s lead in Game 1 of the World Series to 2-1. The 34-year-old spent most of his time as an outfielder in the NL this season but also played five games as DH, batting .389 with a homer in 18 at-bats.
The designated hitter is used in the AL parks only in interleague play, including the World Series.
Kemp hit a 3-2 pitch from Chris Sale 389 feet into the front row of the Green Monster Seats. Perhaps a bigger problem for Boston is that Sale needed 51 pitches to get through two innings.
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw was at 37 pitches, thanks in part to an inning-ending double play after Boston put runners on first and third in the bottom of the second.
Run-scoring singles by Andrew Benintendi and J.D. Martinez against Clayton Kershaw in the first inning gave the Boston Red Sox a 2-0 lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series opener.
Chris Sale pitched a one-hit top of the first, allowing a two-out single to David Freese before retiring Manny Machado on a flyout.
After Freese allowed Mookie Betts’ foul pop behind first to fall on a blustery night, Betts led off the bottom half with a single, stole second and scored on Benintendi’s single to right.
Yasiel Puig’s throw home had little chance to catch Betts, and Benintendi took second on the toss. One out later, Martinez singled past a diving Machado at shortstop, and Benintendi came home without a play as Kershaw looked on in disgust.
The Los Angeles Dodgers became the first team to start nine right-handed batters in a World Series game, none of them switch-hitters.
There were 20 previous instances in which all nine of a team’s batters in the starting lineup hit righty, including switch-hitters, according to Major League Baseball.
And there were 46 games in which a team started eight right-handed batters.
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts received a big cheer from the Boston fans when he was introduced before Game 1 of the World Series.
Roberts is still beloved in Boston for his brief tenure with the Red Sox. It was his stolen base in Game 4 of the 2004 AL playoffs that turned things around for the long-futile franchise. The Red Sox came back to tie it the ninth inning and rally from an 0-3 deficit in the series to beat the New York Yankees and then win their first World Series in 86 years.
But the love-fest didn’t last long.
Second baseman Brian Dozier was introduced next, and the cheers turned to boos.
The field at Fenway Park was cleared in anticipation of bad weather before the World Series opener.
“Attention fans: Due to severe weather in the area, please take cover in the concourse or under the grandstands immediately,” a message on the video board read 90 minutes before the scheduled start as lightning flashed. “Thank you for your patience.”
Afternoon showers were followed by clearing, and three rainbows appeared by the ballpark: two behind the Green Monster in left field and one in back of the stands on the first-base side. A narrow storm line could pass through just before or after the scheduled 8:09 p.m. EDT start.
A trio of gorgeous rainbows showed up over Fenway Park ahead of Game 1 of the World Series. There were two beyond the Green Monster, and another brilliant ‘bow far past the right-field stands.
A good omen for Boston? Well, there was a wonderful rainbow over Fenway in 2013 while the Red Sox worked out a day before the World Series. They went on to beat St. Louis in six games.
The rain has stopped, and a few players from both the Red Sox and Dodgers trickled into the outfield to limber up.
Second baseman Brian Dozier was set to hit leadoff for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who started nine right-handed hitters in the World Series opener against the Boston Red Sox and Chris Sale.
Third baseman Justin Turner was next, followed by first baseman David Freese, shortstop Manny Machado, left fielder Chris Taylor, designated hitter Matt Kemp, center fielder Enrique Hernandez, right fielder Yasiel Puig and catcher Austin Barnes.
In a matchup of left-handers, Clayton Kershaw was to start for the Dodgers.
Right fielder Mookie Betts hit leadoff for Boston, followed by left fielder Andrew Benintendi, first baseman Steve Pearce, designated hitter J.D. Martinez, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, third baseman Rafael Devers, second baseman Ian Kinsler, catcher Sandy Leon and center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Joc Pederson all on the bench.
Boston had been starting Eduardo Nunez against left-handers.
With a steady rain falling, batting practice has been canceled and the tarp is on the field for Game 1 of the World Series.
But Major League Baseball says the game is still scheduled to start on time at 8:09 p.m.
Forecasts had called for temperatures around 50 and rain during the afternoon. It was expected to taper off by game time.
The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers each added a fresh left-handed reliever to their World Series rosters.
Boston put Drew Pomeranz on its roster Tuesday in place of right-hander Brandon Workman. Los Angeles swapped lefties, adding Scott Alexander and dropping Caleb Ferguson.
Knuckleballer Steven Wright failed to make Boston’s roster after throwing a simulated game Sunday. Wright was removed from the Division Series roster following the opener against the New York Yankees, a day after reinjuring his left knee during a workout.
Pomeranz gives the Red Sox another matchup left-hander to use against the Dodgers. He made 11 starts, then was sent to the bullpen in August and had a 5.96 ERA in 15 relief appearances, striking out 22 and walking 12 in 22 2/3 innings while allowing 27 hits.
Workman allowed seven hits and three walks while facing 13 batters over three appearances in the Division and League Championship Series.
Alexander made one appearance in the Division Series against Atlanta, throwing a 1-2-3 ninth inning in the Dodgers’ Game 3 loss.
Ferguson, a rookie, did not allow a hit or walk while facing 10 batters over three innings in six postseason appearances. He was replaced on the Championship Series roster by fellow lefty Julio Urias.
The World Series opens in October chill on Tuesday night, with Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw pitching at Fenway Park for the first time and facing a Red Sox team that had the best record in baseball.
Kershaw will confront a lineup loaded with the likes of Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez that carried Boston to 108 wins this season.
Chris Sale gets the start for Boston, pitching 10 days after his last outing and nine after he was hospitalized with what the team called a “stomach illness.” What precisely was wrong with Sale is unclear. He joked — possibly — that it was from a piercing gone bad.
Forecasts call for the temperature to be around 50 degrees for the first pitch a little after 8 p.m., with a drop as the night goes on.
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The Latest: Matt Kemp homers, cuts Boston lead to 2-1