LOS ANGELES – Manny Machado did it again.
Just ten days after Machado stepped on Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar's heel while sprinting down the line toward first base, a collision Milwaukee's Christian Yelich called "a dirty play by a dirty player," the Dodgers shortstop appeared to spike Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce late in Boston's 9-6 win in Game 4 of the World Series.
While trying to beat out an infield grounder during the Dodgers' ill-fated comeback attempt in the ninth inning, Machado's left foot clipped the back of Pearce's right one.
As he did following the NLCS moment, Machado caught widespread criticism for the play.
But after the game, Machado insisted the contact was accidental. He and Pearce played together in Baltimore, and Machado said they're "kind of, almost best friends."
"He was at my wedding; his daughter was my flower girl," Machado said. "It's late in the year; our legs are giving out on us, and you're just trying to get to first base as fast as possible. Sometimes, it just happens."
Pearce did not appear to react in any way to the contact. Before the World Series started, he called Machado "misunderstood" and said he was "the best person I know in this game."
The first baseman's eighth-inning homer on Saturday tied the game at four runs apiece en route to the Boston victory. The Red Sox will look to finish off the series in Game 5 at Dodger Stadium on Sunday.
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