BOSTON – (Staff and Wire Service Report from Fenway Park) – After an hour rain delay that forced the Fenway Park grounds crew to lay down the official LL Bean tarp while forcing many a Sox fan to the local cold adult beverage establishments in the 7th inning, Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts hit a 1-1 slider off LA’s JT Chargois for his 18th home run of the season and that blast broke open a slow-moving, methodical game as the Sox scored five runs in the inning.
The big inning cemented an 8-1 Boston win in the first game of this three-games series pitting the 2018 World Series opponents. The Sox won their fifth consecutive game as they’ve scored six or more runs in each of those contests.
Bogaerts’ blast off the wall, thought to be a double, was quickly judged as a homer by 2B umpire Pat Hoberg as he saw the ball hit off the first row of Monster Seat serving tables. The HR scored Brock Holt (from 2nd base) and Rafael Devers (who had been intentionally walked) from 1st as Chargois had hoped to set up a force play.
Red Sox starter, Eduardo Rodriguez, pitched his finest game of the season, allowing only one earned run and striking out 10 while throwing 7.0 innings and 105 pitches (67 strikes). Rodriguez, a.k.a. (10-4) allowed five hits and two walks on the outing.
LA’s Kenta Maeda (7-6) took the loss after throwing 87 pitches (60 strikes) over 5.2 innings. He allowed three earned runs but limited the Red Sox to four hits and one base-on-balls. Maeda allowed two home runs, the first to Devers in the home half of the 1st inning and the second to Sox catcher Christian Vazquez in the 2nd inning. Devers now has 17 HRs on the season while Vazquez, in his most productive season at the plate, now has 14 home runs and is batting over .300.
Devers went 2-for-3 with the HR, two RBI and two runs scored while finished the game batting .302 on his 2-for-4, one run, one double, one HR and one RBI night. Boston has scored in the 1st inning in 9-of-11 most recent games.
LA left fielder Alex Verdugo played well, going 2-for-4 with a HR off Rodriguez.
NOTES: The clubs pick-it-back-up on Saturday evening in a game televised by MLB on FOX. Chris Sale (3-8, 4.04 ERA) will start for Boston while righty Ross Stripling (3-3, 3.23 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. … The third and final game of the series will be played Sunday night at 7:05pm ET with Boston’s ace, David Price (7-2, 3.24 ERA) vs. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (10-2, 1.73 ERA), which leads MLB in ERA.