The Red Sox carry a four-game winning streak into the second of three straight meetings with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Amid all the drama surrounding the return of Manny Ramirez to Fenway Park, the Sox took the series opener 10-6. Felix Doubront allowed three earned runs in five-plus innings in his major league debut, and both David Ortiz and Adrian Beltre clocked two-run homers.
The win bumped Boston to 6-1 on its current homestand, 8-2 in interleague play and moved the club to within a game of first place in the AL East.
Tim Wakefield and Vicente Padilla are the starters for game No. 2.
WHEN AND WHERE
Dodgers (38-29) at Red Sox (41-28) Saturday, June 19, 4:10 p.m. Fenway Park, Boston
HEAD TO HEAD
The Sox are 3-1 all-time against the Dodgers at home.
RHP Vicente Padilla (1-1, 6.65 ERA) vs. RHP Tim Wakefield (2-5, 5.42 ERA)
Wakefield has lasted at least seven innings in four of his last six starts, including a solid effort in a loss to Philadelphia six days ago.
The veteran knuckleballer gave up four runs — all in one inning — in 7 1/3 frames of a 5-3 loss. The setback dropped Wakefield to 0-4 with a 6.86 ERA at home this year.
Wakefield is 1-2 with a 6.64 ERA in his career against Los Angeles.
Padilla will be making his first start since April 22, the day before he was put on the disabled list with a sore right forearm. He is 1-0 with a 3.14 mark in three games — two starts — at Fenway Park.
Matt Kemp, CF Russell Martin, C Andre Ethier, RF Manny Ramirez, DH James Loney, 1B Casey Blake, 3B Garret Anderson, LF Jamey Carroll, SS Blake DeWitt, 2B
Marco Scutaro, SS Dustin Pedroia, 2B David Oriz, DH Kevin Youkilis, 1B Victor Martinez, C Adrian Beltre, 3B Bill Hall, RF Daniel Nava, LF Darnel McDonald, CF
Boston is 10-2 in its last 12 home games, outscoring opponents 87-43 and batting .340.
David Ortiz slugged his 274th home run in a Red Sox uniform Friday, tying Manny Ramirez for fifth on the team’s all-time list. Dwight Evans is next with 379.
Outfielder Darnell McDonald is 5-for-6 (.833) as a pinch-hitter this year.
First baseman James Loney is hitting .485 (16-for-33) with 10 RBIs in his last eight games.
Right fielder Andre Ethier, who entered the series leading the NL in hitting at .339, went 0-for-5 on Friday for the first time all season. He is 0-for-9 in his last two games.
Ramirez is a career .315 hitter in Fenway.
BLACK AND BLUE
Daisuke Matsuzaka will throw a three-inning simulated game Saturday. He is on the 15-day disabled list with a right forearm strain but may be ready to start again by Thursday in Colorado.
Outfielder Jeremy Hermida was placed on the 15-day disabled list June 11 after an MRI revealed five fractured ribs, the result of a collision with third baseman Adrian Beltre one week earlier.
An MRI conducted June 9 revealed a new fracture in outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury‘s ribs. Ellsbury, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list May 28 for the second time this year, went to the Athletes’ Performance center in Arizona last week for at least two weeks of rest and recovery.
Josh Beckett is expected to throw long toss soon and may finish the session with 10 pitches from a mound. Beckett remains on the DL with a lower back strain.
Infielder Jed Lowrie remains on the DL after coming down with mononucleosis during spring training.
Righty Junichi Tazawa underwent Tommy John surgery in March. He is out for the year.
Right-hander Chad Billingsley went on the 15-day disabled list with a right groin strain, retroactive to June 12.
Shortstop Rafael Furcal was placed on the bereavement list Thursday.
Now that the Manny mania is over with, it will be easier to concentrate on baseball, a sport the Sox are owning right now.
Boston has the best record in baseball since April 20 (37-19) and has cut 7 1/2 games off its deficit in the division in less than four weeks. The Dodgers, meanwhile, are losers of five of seven and below .500 on the road.