Red Sox left-fielder Andrew Benintendi went 4-5 and scored three runs, designated hitter J.D. Martinez was 2-3 with two runs batted in and ace starting pitcher Chris Sale struck out seven batters despite being pulled from the game early.
However, the dagger as Boston won Game 1 of the World Series was pinch-hitter Eduardo Nunez's three-run homer over the Green Monster in the seventh inning, putting the game well out of the Dodgers' reach at 8-4.
Infielder Manny Machado had three runs batted in, infielder Justin Turner went 3-4 and outfielder Matt Kemp hit a solo home run for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers' dominant starter, Clayton Kershaw, also got pulled after just four innings, and bullpen struggles doomed Los Angeles.
Kershaw had his share of issues as well, as the Red Sox got a quick 2-0 lead, an ugly spot to be in against the Red Sox.
The Red Sox found gap after gap in the vaunted Los Angeles defense in the first inning, with designated hitter J.D. Martinez (2-2 with two RBI) and outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi all firing sharp hits into the outfield. It took a pop-out and Martinez getting caught stealing for Kershaw to escape further damage.
Fox noted during the broadcast that Kershaw had only started one game in sub-50-degree weather prior to Game 1.
Sale appeared to fatigue as the early innings wore on, giving up two runs himself, and he was pulled after walking infielder Brian Dozier on his 91st pitch; the Dodgers and Red Sox then traded runs, leaving Boston with a 3-2 lead in the third inning.
Matt Kemp pulled the Dodgers to within one in the second inning, cracking a Sale pitch into the left-field bleachers. It helps that Kemp is the best in the league at hitting one of Sale's main two pitches.
ESPN noted during the game that Sale had given up 11 homers to righties versus zero to left-handed batters, which led Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to start the first all-right-handed lineup in World Series history.
Dodgers infielders Justin Turner, David Freese and Manny Machado got hits into the outfield off Sale in the third inning and Turner evened the score 2-2. But a booming two-out off the center field wall by Martinez put the Red Sox up again.
Kershaw and Sale had stronger results in the fourth, getting two strikeouts each, but both bullpens struggled in the fifth after the starters were pulled. Dodgers’ relief pitcher Ryan Madson loaded the bases, and hits by shortstop Xander Bogarts and third-baseman Rafael Devers — continuing an impressive postseason, gave the Red Sox their fourth and fifth runs.
The Dodgers managed to get back within one run in the seventh inning, but when the Red Sox came up, Benintendi bounced a fly ball fair and into the seats, putting him on second.
Multiple pitching changes couldn't end the inning, and a double-switch eventually set up Nunez versus relief pitcher Alex Wood. Nunez blasted Wood's second pitch into the stands, and the Red Sox bullpen, aided by starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, sealed the game.