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Baseball: Kenta Maeda pitches in World Series game for 2nd straight year

Kenta Maeda got two outs but gave up a double Wednesday as the Los Angeles Dodgers fell two games behind the Boston Red Sox after suffering a 4-2 loss in Game 2 of the World Series.

Maeda, who made four relief appearances last year when his Dodgers lost to give the Houston Astros their first title, became the first Japanese pitcher to take the mound in a World Series game in two straight seasons.

He came on in the bottom of the seventh inning with the Dodgers trailing 4-2 and coaxed a groundout from Christian Vazquez on a full count before Mookie Betts blasted a 1-0 slider high off the left-field wall at Fenway Park in Boston.

After striking out Andrew Benintendi, the Japanese right-hander was replaced by lefty Scott Alexander, who allowed Betts to advance to third on a wild pitch but struck out Mitch Moreland to end the inning.

«I think I have to switch gears. If we win in Los Angeles, I think the tide will turn,» Maeda said. «I was able to make my first appearance, and it will be good to kick up my performance from here.»

The Dodgers overturned an early deficit and took a 2-1 lead in the fourth, but Los Angeles starter Ryu Hyun Jin (0-1) loaded the bases in the fifth after retiring the first two batters of the inning.

Ryu was relieved by Ryan Madson, who allowed all the runners he inherited to score. He issued a game-tying walk to Steven Pearce before J.D. Martinez hit a two-out, two-run RBI single put Boston back into the lead.

David Price (1-0) and the Boston bullpen allowed just three hits and retired the last 16 Dodgers in order.

The Dodgers are aiming for their seventh World Series title and first in 30 years, while the Red Sox are two games away from their second title of the decade and ninth overall. The best-of-seven series will resume in Los Angeles on Friday.

All — Kyodo News+

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