Despite the Dodgers and Red Sox going punch-for-punch for a good portion of the 2018 World Series Opener, pinch-hitter Eduardo Nunez crushed an Alex Wood slider in the bottom of the seventh inning, stretching the Boston lead to four and ultimately securing an 8-4 victory.
The Red Sox got off to a quick start when Mookie Betts lined a single to center off Los Angeles starter Clayton Kershaw in the bottom of the first frame. Betts was given a second chance after first baseman David Freese misplayed a foul pop that could have been caught, but Betts laced the single and eventually stole second. Betts would later score on a Benintendi single. During the play, Yasiel Puig made an ill-advised throw to the plate which allowed Benintendi to advance to second and ultimately score on a J.D. Martinez single to left.
The Dodgers cut the lead in half on a Matt Kemp solo shot over the Green Monster in the second and tied the game at two in the third inning when Manny Machado drove in Justin Turner, but the bats of the Red Sox struck again in the bottom of the frame when Benintendi scored on a Martinez double off the top of the center field wall, giving Boston a 3-2 edge.
After drawing a walk in the bottom of the fifth, Brian Dozier scored on a Machado groundout, tying the game at three, but Boston broke the game open a bit in the bottom of the inning when Benintendi scored on a Rafael Devers single to right.
Los Angeles clawed back in the seventh when Max Muncy scored on a Machado sacrifice fly, cutting the lead to 5-4. But Boston put away the game for good when Nunez found paydirt on Wood’s very first pitch of the evening.
Kershaw, who went four-plus frames and threw 79 pitches, was credited with the loss. Matt Barnes threw a scoreless fifth frame for the Red Sox and picked up the win. Chris Sale started the game for Boston, but did not factor into the decision after four full innings.
To pace the Los Angeles offense, Turner went 3-for-5 and Machado drove in three runs for the Dodgers.