LOS ANGELES — They led by four runs. They needed eight more outs.

Yasiel Puig was preening around the bases, Kobe Bryant was leading cheers from behind home plate, Dodger Stadium was roaring like a freight train and swaying like a palm.

Then a horrible managerial move. Then boos. Then silence.

One day after winning the longest game in World Series history, the Dodgers suffered a dramatic collapse Saturday.

Manager Dave Roberts started it and the Boston Red Sox ended it, pouncing on his inexplicable decision to pull Rich Hill out of a one-hitter in the seventh inning to pummel weary Dodger relievers into a 9-6 comeback win in Game 4 of the World Series.

With one out in the seventh, the Dodgers were on the verge of tying the Series at two games apiece with a pivotal Game 5 on Sunday.

By the time the night ended, that Game 5 had been transformed into one of desperation, the Red Sox now leading the Series, 3-1.

Shortly after the game, Boston fans crowded around their team’s dugout and chanted, “Let’s Go Red Sox” while in the stands, Dodger fans were chanting, “Let Go Of Roberts.”

In an interview room in a stadium tunnel, Roberts sat placidly with his arms folded and tried to explain. This needed a lot of explaining.

“This is a tough loss,” he said in the understatement of the season.

The Dodgers entered the seventh with a 4-0 lead after scoring four in the sixth on a Boston error and Yasiel Puig’s three-run homer. They also had Hill throwing the game of his life.

Hill allowed four baserunners and one single in six innings. Only a couple of balls were hit hard. He seemed in great shape, although Roberts said Hill warned him to watch for signs of tiring.

“He said, ‘Keep an eye on me, I’ll give you everything I have, let’s go hitter to hitter just keep an eye on me,’ ” Roberts recounted.

Hill began the inning with a walk to Xander Bogaerts, but then struck out Eduardo Nunez and still seemed fine. At the time Hill had thrown 91 pitches, but he had seven strikeouts and was able to pitch longer.

But Roberts saw it differently. So with the crowd groaning in shock, he ran out of the dugout to replace Hill with Scott Alexander.

“Right there I know Rich gave everything he could, competed, left everything out there,” Roberts said. “The walk to Bogaerts, he started losing it a little bit. … We’ve got a lefty in the ‘pen that’s done it all year long getting lefties out.”

Afterward, Hill said he did ask Roberts to watch him but said he felt fine.

“We went hitter to hitter in the seventh, ultimately that was part of it,” said Hill. “I felt like I was throwing the ball well, though.”

And that pitcher who gets lefties out? Alexander walked Brock Holt on four pitches and was immediately pulled by Roberts amid a cascade of boos.

Ryan Madson was the new pitcher and he was no Rich Hill, either. One out later, he allowed a first-pitch drive into the right-field pavilion by pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland, a three-run homer that closed the gap to 4-3.

The parade of weary relievers was on, and it got ugly quickly.

The eighth inning began with Kenley Jansen, about 24 hours after he had thrown two innings and 32 pitches. One out into his work, he allowed a home run to Steve Pearce, breaking an 0-for-41 slump by the Red Sox’s first four hitters, and tying the game.

By the time three more relievers – Dylan Floro, Alex Wood and Kenta Maeda – allowed five runs in the ninth, it felt over.

Roberts had made a mistake that couldn’t be fixed. It was the same mistake he made in last year’s World Series against Houston, pulling Hill too early in a Game 2 loss. It was the kind of pitching move that has haunted Roberts this season, with fans blaming him for the Dodgers’ perceived underachievement.

This time, the mistake even reached the White House, where President Trump sent out a tweet that, while filled with spelling and punctuation errors, perhaps mirrored the feeling of many Dodger fans.

Many will feel this decision should cost Roberts his job. That is unfair and unlikely. He has led the Dodgers to three straight division titles and consecutive World Series appearances.

It would be hard to imagine he would be fired after this one awful moment. But then, it’s hard to imagine the Dodgers, just eight outs from redemption, suddenly finding themselves on the verge of extinction.

Rich Hill was pulled, and so perhaps was the rug from under the season.