Boston-- In a much-anticipated rematch from last year's World Series, the Dodgers were once again shut down by the Red Sox in an 8-1 defeat at Fenway Park.
During last year's World Series, the Dodgers scored only a combined fifteen runs in their 5-game series loss in October. They were hoping to change their fortunes in game one of this series against a Red Sox pitching staff that holds a 4.59 ERA and ranks 17th out of 30 teams.
Eduardo Rodriguez (4.49 ERA) started for the Sox and did not disappoint tonight as he dissected L.A.'s lineup with his mixture of cut fastballs, 4-seam fastballs, and changeups. L.A. barely made any contact all night as the offense continues to sputter through the dog days of summer.
As usual, Boston scored first with Rafael Devers hitting an opposite-field solo shot over the green monster off Kenta Maeda to take an early 1-0 lead after the first.
L.A. soon followed with an Alex Verdugo solo home run into the right-field alley tied things up, but that was short-lived.
Maeda - very home run prone - gave up another bomb, this time to Christian Vasquez in the second inning to give Boston a 2-1 lead they did not relinquish for the rest of the game.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Mookie Betts smacked a first-pitch double in the gap and Devers followed with a double off the green monster to pad their lead by a run.
Dodgers fans have seen the same story with Maeda throughout his four-year career in Los Angeles. Once he falls behind, he loves to try and nibble the corners instead of challenging the hitter, and that is his downfall.
After an hour rain delay, the Red Sox came out swinging in the seventh inning scoring five runs off the shoddy Dodgers bullpen and taking a commanding 8-1 lead, putting the game out of reach completely.
“E-Rod” pitched seven strong innings of five-hit ball, one-earned run, ten strikeouts, and two walks (albeit in the first inning). You can't ask for anything better after the way the Sox pitching staff has struggled throughout the season.
Los Angeles falls to 60-33, losing four in a row for the first time all season. The Dodgers look to even the series when Ross Stripling takes the hill against Chris Sale at 7:15 EST on FOX.