LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Latest on the World Series (all times local):
Game 3 of the World Series has started in a spectacular setting at Dodger Stadium.
It was sunny and 78 degrees as the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers lined up for introductions as the crowd began to get loud. Brad Paisley strummed a guitar as he performed the national anthem, and a flyover got the fans jazzed.
Longtime Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda threw out the first ball – the 91-year-old got it to the plate, albeit on a few bounces. Dodgers part-owner Magic Johnson, who beat Boston teams for championships in another sport, and longtime LA first baseman Steve Garvey joined Lasorda for the ceremony.
Sure looked a lot different than the first two games at Boston, when it was rainy and temperatures dropped into the 40s at Fenway Park.
The Dodgers are hoping a change of scenery can change their luck. They’re down 2-0 and have turned to rookie Walker Buehler. With fans chanting and cheering, he threw a called strike to Mookie Betts to begin the game.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and players’ association head Tony Clark made a joint appearance before Game 3 to announce the renaming of the annual Elite Development Invitational youth program as the Hank Aaron Invitational.
Their appearance together is a sign there could be progress in negotiations this offseason on pace-of-play and other changes to the sport’s labor agreement and rules.
For much of 2017 and 2018, Manfred and Clark were unlikely to appear together. Players were angry over the slow pace of free agent negotiations last offseason and refused to agree to any of the initiatives Major League Baseball proposed, such as a pitch clock.
Manfred said this week a dialogue had started between himself and Clark that he hoped would prepare for negotiations this offseason.
With no designated hitter in the National League city, J.D. Martinez was in left field for Game 3 of the World Series on Friday.
Martinez turned his right ankle in the opener, and Red Sox manager Alex Cora had said Thursday he would wait a day before he decided whether he could play the field.
“Definitely the trainers put me through a little bit of a workout testing it out,” Martinez said. “And it’s something that obviously it’s a little discomforting, but I’m comfortable with playing, and definitely going to go out there and do our best.”
Martinez and Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich were presented Hank Aaron Awards prior to Game 3 as the top hitters in each league as determined by a panel of several Hall of Famers and fan voting.
Major League Baseball, the players’ association and USA Baseball announced their Elite Development Invitational held annually in Vero Beach, Florida, will be renamed the Hank Aaron Invitational.
Boston benched left fielder Andrew Benintendi to make room for major league RBIs leader J.D. Martinez in the outfield as the World Series switched to the National League city for Game 3, resulting in the loss of the designated hitter.
With right-hander Rick Porcello on the mound for the Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Robert restored his top four home-run hitters to the lineup: left-handed-hitting Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson and Max Muncy along with switch-hitting catcher Yasmani Grandal.
Lefties Chris Sale and David Price started the first two games for Boston and the Dodgers became the first team in World Series history to start a batting order of nine right-handed batters, none of them switch hitters.
Boston also benched first baseman Steve Pearce in favor of Mitch Moreland and second baseman Ian Kinsler in favor of Brock Holt.
Martinez turned his right ankle in the opener, and Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Thursday he would wait a day before he decided whether he could play the field. Boston led 2-0 in the Series and was two wins from its fourth title in 15 seasons.
Right fielder Mookie Betts was hitting leadoff for the Red Sox, followed by shortstop Xander Bogaerts, Moreland, Martinez, Holt, third baseman Rafael Devers, center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., catcher Christian Vazquez and Porcello.
Pederson led off and was in left field for the Dodgers, followed by third baseman Justin Turner, Muncy at first, shortstop Manny Machado, Bellinger in center, right fielder Yasiel Puig, Grandal, second baseman Chris Taylor and rookie right-hander Walker Buehler.
Game 3 of the World Series is set to start at Dodger Stadium under sunny skies with temperatures in the 80s, quite a contrast to the matchups at Fenway Park.
The Dodgers were taking batting practice Friday on a perfect afternoon for baseball. Music was wafting over the sound system and players were warming up in shorts.
The Boston Red Sox hold a 2-0 lead in the Series. Batting practice was canceled before Game 1 at Fenway because of a cold, steady rain, and temperatures dropped into the mid-40s for Game 2 on Wednesday night.
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