Red Sox attempt to slow Dodgers’ August roll

Red Sox attempt to slow Dodgers' August roll


The Los Angeles Dodgers will look to continue their hot August when they play the middle contest of a three-game road series against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday afternoon.

Los Angeles is 20-3 this month after registering a come-from-behind, 7-4 win Friday in the series opener.

While Freddie Freeman had four hits and three runs, the return of Mookie Betts for his first-ever road game in Boston was the major story. The former Red Sox star doubled and scored twice.

“I had the time of my life playing here. I think a lot of people do,” said Betts, who was traded to the Dodgers in February 2020 after winning a World Series and an American League MVP trophy with the Red Sox in 2018. “I knew every day you put the uniform on, you’ve got to play well, no matter what. Or the fans, the people, will let you know. … That’s why I enjoyed it.”

Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias (11-6, 4.15 ERA) will aim for his fifth consecutive win when he takes the ball on Saturday. He is 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA in five starts since his last loss, on July 19 at Baltimore.

Urias, the reigning National League ERA champion, has pitched seven innings in back-to-back outings, matching his career high. Last Saturday against the Miami Marlins, he yielded one run on five hits and no walks with five strikeouts.

The southpaw’s hot streak also includes a 12-strikeout performance against the Colorado Rockies on Aug. 13.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, “You can really finish strong and make it a great year. There’s still plenty of baseball left.”

Urias has made just one career regular-season appearance against Boston, pitching two perfect innings of relief on July 13, 2019. He also pitched three times out of the bullpen against the Red Sox in the 2018 World Series, giving up one run in three innings.

The Red Sox had won five of their past seven games before falling on Friday, a stretch that featured a 17-1 win at Houston in which they set season-high marks for runs and hits (24).

On Friday, Alex Verdugo and Trevor Story homered to help Boston’s 14-hit attack, but it wasn’t enough.

“Obviously, there for like a month and a half, we struggled in the power department,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “But lately some of the big boys are finding their stroke and hitting the ball in the air and out of the ballpark.”

For Story, it was his first homer of the season in his 14th game. He missed the first 112 games while recovering from right elbow surgery.

“I feel like we’re at the point where we’re playing a lot of really good teams,” he said. “We’re going to find out who we are and if we’re going to be in the postseason.”

Boston southpaw James Paxton (7-4, 3.79 ERA) will make the start on Saturday. He has pitched at least five innings in 13 of his 17 starts this year, but he took a loss after allowing seven runs (six earned) on nine hits across four frames on Monday against the Astros.

Paxton has been excellent at home this season, pitching to a 2.58 ERA in 38 1/3 innings. In two career starts against the Dodgers, HE is 1-0 with a 4.85 ERA in 13 innings.

—Field Level Media



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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.