LOS ANGELES (USA TODAY Sport) -- There will be no sweep. Not on Max Muncy’s watch.
Muncy’s walk-off homer in the bottom of the 18th inning gave Los Angeles a 3-2 victory in what was, by time, the longest game in World Series history. The homer saved a terrific effort by rookie starter Walker Buehler and ruined an outstanding relief outing by the Red Sox’ Nathan Eovaldi.
Buehler was spectacular in the early part Game 3. The right-hander looked sharp from the start -- if not necessarily efficient. He struck out Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts while opening the game with a perfect first, but required 26 pitches to get through the inning -- an ominous sign for a pitcher who exclipsed the 100-pitch mark in only six of his 23 regular-season starts. But Buehler, whose fastball registered as high as 100.1 mph in the outing, made quicker work of the Boston lineup thereafter.
Porcello matched zeros with Buehler for two innings. But with two outs in the third, the Sox’ righty opened Joc Pederson with a changeup that caught way too much of the plate. Pederson turned on it and smashed it 380 feet into the visitors’ bullpen in right field for the game’s first run.
The Dodgers still held a one-run lead when Kenley Jansen relieved Buehler after seven, attempting a six-out save. But ALCS MVP Jackie Bradley Jr. provided yet another clutch hit with two outs in the eighth, depositing Jansen’s 2-0 cutter over the right-field wall to tie the game at one.
The Red Sox’ bullpen took over for Porcello in the fifth and held the Dodgers bats in check into extra innings. David Price, working in relief for the first time this postseason, got the first two outs of the ninth before turning the ball over to Craig Kimbrel.
Boston threatened against Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez in the tenth. But with one out and runners on the corners, Nunez lofted a high fly to center field. Cody Bellinger snagged it and threw home just in time to catch a tagging Ian Kinsler at the plate for an 8-2 double play.
Eduardo Nunez’s 13th inning heroics nearly carried the Sox to a win.
After Brock Holt walked against Dodgers reliever Scott Alexander to lead off the 13th, Nunez was batting when a pitch skipped away from catcher Austin Barnes, allowing Holt to take second. The wild pitch bounced in front of Nunez, who collided with Barnes while trying to get out of his way and wound up on the ground in apparent pain. But with no position players remaining on Boston’s bench, Nunez stayed in the game and hit a slow tapper toward first.
Nunez hustled down the baseline and Holt rushed toward third as Alexander fielded the dribbler. Second baseman Enrique Hernandez, covering first, could not handle Alexander’s throw, allowing Holt to round third and score without a play. Nunez, credited with a single, crumpled over in pain as he crossed first.
But Ian Kinsler’s throwing error on a Yasiel Puig grounder in the bottom of the 13th allowed Max Muncy to score from second to tie the game again.
State of the Red Sox: Nathan Eovaldi was slated to start on Saturday, but Cora tapped the fireballing righty to pitch in the 12th in Game 3. That puts the Red Sox in a tricky spot for Game 4. Chris Sale did not pitch deep into Game 1 of the series and could be available to start Saturday, but he’d be working on three days’ rest not long after recovering from the stomach ailment that hospitalized him during the ALCS. Lefty Drew Pomeranz is also on Boston’s World Series roster, but he has yet to pitch this postseason and hasn’t started a game since early August. Eduardo Rodriguez, a starter during the regular season who threw six pitches in relief Friday, could also be an option. Cora could opt for a bullpen-game approach, but it’d mean leaning heavily on a bullpen that had to cover 7-plus innings on Friday.
State of the Dodgers: Rich Hill will have the mound as Los Angeles looks to extend the series on Saturday. Hill, 38, has allowed only three runs in 10 ⅓ innings this postseason, but he has been uncharacteristically wild, walking nine batters in that stretch. His last start came at Dodger Stadium in Game 4 of the NLCS, when he allowed one run over five solid innings.