Before the 2018 World Series began, Boston Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce offered a defense of Manny Machado, who has a history of questionable play during his career, especially against the Red Sox.

Pearce and the Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop were teammates with the Baltimore Orioles and are very good friends, but that didn’t stop Machado from appearing to intentionally spike Pearce during the ninth inning of LA’s 9-6 Game 4 loss on Saturday night.

Machado claimed he didn’t do it intentionally, noting how close he and Boston’s first baseman are. With the Red Sox one game away from a World Series title, Pearce isn’t worried about Machado’s actions.

“I barely even felt it,” Pearce said prior to Game 5, via WEEI’s Rob Bradford. “It wasn’t frustrating. I’m glad we got the out,” he added, via Chris Mason of the Eagle Tribune.

After losing Game 3 in 18 innings, the Red Sox were in danger of letting the Dodgers tie the series Saturday night, as L.A. starter Rich Hill silenced Boston’s bats through 6 1/3 solid innings.

The offense woke up in the seventh, though, thanks in part to Chris Sale’s outburst. The Sox plated three in the seventh, one in the eighth and five in the ninth to earn a 9-6 win and come within one game of a World Series title, which would be the ultimate revenge on Machado.

Thumbnail photo via Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports Images