LOS ANGELES -- Just when it seemed the Dodgers were going to even up the World Series at two games apiece, the Red Sox stormed back with a frenzied comeback from a four-run deficit and scored nine runs in the final three innings to win Game 4 on Saturday night.
LOS ANGELES -- Just when it seemed the Dodgers were going to even up the World Series at two games apiece, the Red Sox stormed back with a frenzied comeback from a four-run deficit and scored nine runs in the final three innings to win Game 4 on Saturday night. Now it is Boston with a bulging 3-1 lead and a chance to win it all Sunday in Game 5.
To clinch on the Dodgers' territory, the Red Sox will have to go through ace Clayton Kershaw, who makes this start amid the backdrop that it could be the final start (he can opt out of his contract after this season) of his illustrious career with Los Angeles. Boston pulled a surprise by announcing David Price -- who threw an inning in relief in Game 3 after throwing 88 pitches in his Game 2 start -- as its Game 4 starter. He'll be going on short rest rather than the fully rested Chris Sale, who threw 91 pitches to get 12 outs in Game 1. Sale, who battled through left shoulder fatigue in the second half and a stomach illness following the American League Championship Series, is now slated to start Game 6 on Tuesday -- if there is one.
Look for the Dodgers to pull out all the stops in an effort to send the World Series back to Boston, where they can test Sale in Game 6 and find out if he's really 100 percent. Meanwhile, rookie manager Alex Cora will be "all in" as he tries to guide the Red Sox to their fourth World Series championship in the past 15 seasons.
:: World Series schedule and results ::
"They know where they're at," Cora said. "We know. We've got three shots, I guess, if it doesn't happen. We'll be ready to play tomorrow. We're very excited to come here and try to finish it."
• Dress for Fall Classic: Dodgers | Red Sox
The starting lineups
Red Sox: The Sox aren't clicking on all cylinders, yet they managed to erupt for nine runs -- all in the final three innings -- in Game 4. If stars Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez can get their bats going, the Dodgers might be hard-pressed to accompany the Red Sox back to Boston.
- Mookie Betts, CF
- Andrew Benintendi, LF
- Steve Pearce, 1B
- J.D. Martinez, RF
- Xander Bogaerts, SS
- Brock Holt, 2B
- Rafael Devers, 3B
- Christian Vazquez, C
- David Price, P
Dodgers:Matt Kemp delivered a sacrifice fly against Price in Game 2, but that was as a designated hitter, and it wasn't enough to get an outfield start ahead of Enrique Hernandez, Yasiel Puig or Chris Taylor.
- David Freese, 1B
- Justin Turner, 3B
- Enrique Hernandez, CF
- Manny Machado, SS
- Player Page for Max Muncy, 2B
- Yasiel Puig, RF
- Chris Taylor, LF
- Austin Barnes, C
- Clayton Kershaw, P
Who are the starting pitchers?
Red Sox: A lot has changed in this postseason for Price. He went from a man who was haunted by an inability to win a playoff start to someone the Red Sox are eagerly tabbing to start the potential clinching game. Price has won his past two starts in this playoff run for the Red Sox, posting a 1.50 ERA. It will be interesting to see how long Cora goes with Price, given he got two outs in relief in Game 3.
• What can Red Sox expect from Price, Kimbrel in G5?
Dodgers: This really could be the final Dodgers start for Kershaw (9-5, 2.73 ERA regular season, 2-2, 3.91 ERA postseason), who has an opt-out clause in his contract. He's coming off a pretty miserable start in Game 1 in Boston (five runs in four-plus innings), but after allowing four earned runs in three-plus innings in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series to Milwaukee, he rebounded with one run in seven innings in Game 5 and even pitched a perfect inning of relief in the Game 7 clincher.
How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Red Sox: Boston continues to get stellar results from the bullpen. And each day, you don't know which starters -- rovers as Cora calls them -- might be asked to get big outs. Sale and Rick Porcello likely will be available. Craig Kimbrel was shaky while closing out Game 4 (28 pitches, two earned runs), so it will be interesting to see if that factors into how he is used in Game 5. Would the Red Sox consider closing with Sale instead if they have the lead? Stay tuned.
Dodgers:Pedro Baez and Julio Urias should be available after being down for Game 4 because of usage. Closer Kenley Jansen has allowed home runs in Games 3 and 4, so where manager Dave Roberts goes in a save situation will be high theater.
Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Red Sox: They will probably exercise caution and not use Nathan Eovaldi, who threw 97 pitches in relief in Game 3 and could pitch Game 7 on Wednesday if the Fall Classic goes the distance.
Dodgers:Ryan Madson, Kenta Maeda and Dylan Floro pitched in Game 4 like they need a day off. Just about everybody is on fumes.
Any injuries of note?
Red Sox: None. With the championship in their sights, everyone plans on playing through whatever might ail them.
Dodgers: Bellinger fouled a pitch off his lower right leg and received treatment between innings, but he stayed in and played the entire game.
Who is hot and who is not?
Red Sox: Pearce (homer, double, four RBIs) heated up with a big performance in Game 4, and he will again be in the lineup against a lefty. Betts is 0-for-11 since the series shifted to L.A. and Martinez is 0-for-7.
Dodgers: Turner is hitting .381 in the series after a three-hit Game 4. Freese (.333) and Max Muncy (.286) are the only other Dodgers batting higher than Puig's .235.
Anything else fans might want to know?
Of the previous 47 times a World Series has been 3-1, the leading team has won the Series 40 times (85.1 percent) and they have won Game 5 26 times (55.3 percent). ... Seven teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the World Series. ... All four previous times that the Red Sox have led a World Series 3-1, they went on to win the series. ... The Dodgers have trailed 3-1 in the World Series four previous times, losing the series each time in five games. … If the Red Sox win it all in Los Angeles, it will mean they had all of their clinchers this season (division title, Division Series, ALCS, World Series) on the road. Boston also won the World Series clincher on the road in 2004 (St. Louis) and '07 (Colorado).
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.