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Sports

Red Sox pinch-hitters Zap Dodgers’ hurlers

Associated Press

One mighty step closer to World Series crown

LOS ANGELES – Boston’s bench is a big reason why the Red Sox are one win from their fourth World Series title since 2004.

With the Red Sox regulars being held in check by the Los Angeles Dodgers, it was pinch-hitters Mitch Moreland and Rafael Devers who came up with huge at-bats as Boston rallied for a 9-6 victory Saturday to take a 3-1 lead in the Series.

Moreland hit a three-run homer off Ryan Madson in the seventh inning and Devers singled home Brock Holt with the tiebreaking run in the ninth.

Boston’s pinch-hitters have come up big all Series. Through the first four games, they are 6 for 18 (.333) with two home runs and seven RBIs. The Red Sox are batting .218 overall.

“The bench has been the key to our entire playoffs,’’ slugger J.D. Martinez said. “The guys that no one expects are the ones who are delivering. It is unreal.’’

Moreland’s homer to right field on a first-pitch changeup from Ryan Madson was Boston’s second pinch-hit homer in the World Series. The 1959 Dodgers and 1975 Red Sox are the only other teams with multiple pinch-hit home runs in the same Fall Classic. Not bad for a team that hit only two pinch-hit homers during the course of a 162-game regular season.

Moreland joins Bernie Carbo (who had two in 1975), Bobby Kielty (2007) and Eduardo Nunez (Game 1 this year) as Boston players who have homered in a World Series game as pinch-hitters.

“With the way we play, we’re constantly trying to get some guys on base, put pressure on the other side. So we got that chance right there,’’ Moreland said after hitting his third World Series home run. “I saw him throw a couple of changeups to Jackie (Bradley Jr.) up in the zone. I decided, why not sit on that one first pitch? And when he threw it, I saw it pretty good, and put a good swing on it.’’                       

BASEBALL

BOSTON RED SOX

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

WORLD SERIES

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