After Clayton Kershaw gave up a first-inning two-run home run to Steve Pearce on Sunday, a "Let's go, Red Sox!" chant broke out at Dodger Stadium. Regardless, Pearce, a seasoned veteran, and, at the start of this season, a Blue Jay, deserved every second of attention that was given to him following Boston's World Series victory Sunday night.
In Game 5, he picked up right where he left off, hitting a two-run home run in the first inning to give the Red Sox an early lead.
Pearce smashed three home runs, including two in Game 5, and hit.333 en route to his first career World Series ring.
Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez added solo home runs in the sixth and seventh, respectively.
Sale came out of the 'pen firing gas and struck out all three batters he faced, finishing the game by fanning Manny Machado.
"I don't know if they took it personal, but it's just, I don't know, we played "Dirty Water" at Yankee Stadium, and [if] they would have clinched at Fenway, they would have played "Dirty Water" in their clubhouse", Red Sox manager Alex Cora said after the ALDS. Only the Yankees (27) and Cardinals (11) have been more successful, and Boston is now tied for third with the Athletics. They traded a slightly more heralded minor league pitcher for Nathan Eovaldi in late July; Eovaldi threw a heroic six innings in relief in the 18-inning Game 3, even if it ended up as the Red Sox' the only loss.
There's a decent chance these teams would still be playing right now if Devers hadn't fueled the rally with his RBI base hit (yes, even if you are reading this tomorrow, the game might still be going on if it weren't for Devers). "The focus, in my opinion, of the president is to be on the country, and not on moves that are made in a World Series game".
And now, for the second straight year, Cora is celebrating a World Series title in Los Angeles. During the NLCS, he was criticized for not hustling during a groundout, kicking Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar near the ankle as he jogged out a groundout (which drew a $10,000 fine) and for a pair of hard slides into Orlando Arcia in Game 3 while the Milwaukee shortstop was attempting to turn double plays.
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The present for his birthday was not that he was in the line-up, it was that we played his favourite system with a double six. We knew the game was going to be tough. "That was the start, so let's carry on".
He has now won his last two post-season starts, after leading Boston past Los Angeles in Game 2.
For a long time, Price had been known for his playoff shortcomings, having never won a game.
For Boston, starter David Price was brilliant. Not by a 35-year-old journeyman.
"It wasn't as easy as what people think", Cora said. The Sox scored their first World Series win since 2013. They went 22-9-1 in spring training. I got outpitched, and we lost the game.
"This was a tough one for us tonight, it really was", Kershaw, who now will need to decide if he will exercise the opt-out clause in his contract, said.
The swap was premised on getting extra rest for Sale, whose cranky shoulder is obviously an issue, for him to pitch the if-necessary Game 6 on Tuesday in Boston.
This isn't the first time the Red Sox have taken a not-so-subtle dig at the Bombers in the postseason.