Well, this certainly was not a bad way to start the second half.
Coming off the All-Star break, the Boston Red Sox welcomed the Los Angeles Dodgers for a rematch of the 2018 World Series, and topped the best team in baseball 8-1 Friday night at Fenway Park.
Eduardo Rodriguez put forth arguably his best start of the season, matching a career high in strikeouts and benefited from a pair of early Red Sox home runs to earn his team-leading 10th win of the season.
A rain delay in the seventh pushed things back an hour, but the Red Sox offense thrived late to secure the win.
The Red Sox jumped to 50-41 with the win while the Dodgers fell to 60-33 with the loss.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
A sound performance off the break, is this the beginning of a big second half?
ON THE BUMP
— Rodriguez got his second half off to a brilliant start.
The southpaw put forth a marvelous performance, tossing 105 pitches through seven innings of work while allowing just one run on five hits. Rodriguez struck out 10 while walking two.
The Dodgers’ lone run on the lefty came by way of a solo home run by Alex Verdugo that snuck over the short fence in the corner in right field.
— Josh Taylor chucked a 1-2-3 eighth.
— Hector Velazquez tossed a spotless ninth.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Rafael Devers picked up right where he left off before the All-Star, turning a home run over the Green Monster to give the Sox a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
— Christian Vazquez, the Red Sox’s other All-Star Game snub, joined in on the home run party in the second inning when he sent one over the Monster to make it 2-1.
— Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda settled in a bit from there, tossing three consecutive scoreless innings before the Sox got another run on the board in the sixth.
Mookie Betts led the inning off with a double, and then switched places with Devers after he sent a ball off the Monster, making it 3-1.
— The Red Sox brought the rain in the seventh. Literally.
As a heavy rain began to fall, Brock Holt doubled to plate Jackie Bradley Jr to make it 4-1. Play was then halted for a rain delay.
After and hour, play resumed with Betts plating another run on a sacrifice fly.
Then, after Devers was intentionally walked, Xander Bogaerts broke it open with a three-run homer that just squeaked over the Monster to make it 8-1.
— Devers and Vazquez paced things with two hits. J.D. Martinez, Michael Chavis and Andrew Benintendi were the only Red Sox to go hitless.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Welcome back, boys.
The Red Sox continue their three-game set against the Dodgers on Saturday. Chris Sale is slated to get the ball against Ross Stripling. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images