Boston’s bench is a big reason why the Red Sox are one win away from their fourth World Series title since 2004.
With the Red Sox regulars being held in check by the Los Angeles Dodgers, it was Mitch Moreland and Rafael Devers who came up with huge at-bats as Boston rallied for a 9-6 win on Saturday night to take a 3-1 lead in the series.
Moreland hit a three-run home run off Ryan Madson in the seventh inning and Devers singled home Brock Holt with the go-ahead 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 for the series.
Moreland’s homer to right on a first-pitch changeup was Boston’s second pinch-hit home run in the World Series. The 1959 Dodgers and 1975 Red Sox are the only other teams with multiple pinch-hit homers in the same Fall Classic.
He 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.
It was Moreland’s fourth career postseason home run but his first as a pinch-hitter. Prior to that at-bat, Moreland was batting .250 this postseason (4 for 16) but was 1 for 6 in a pinch-hitting role.
Devers, who turned 22 this past Wednesday, was batting .276 (8 for 29) for the postseason. Saturday night was only the third time he has been brought in off the bench. After Holt doubled off Dylan Floro with one out, Devers laced a 2-0 changeup to center, scoring Holt, and the Red Sox went on to score five runs in the ninth.
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