After seven seasons with the Dodgers, the 28-year-old reached his
ceiling as his numbers steadily declined over time. It prompted Los Angeles
manager Don Mattingly to platoon between Loney and Juan Rivera at first base.
While Loney likely won't have a steady spot in the Boston lineup with Mauro Gomez in the mix, he's playing rejuvenated ball. From his first
day with the Red Sox, Loney expressed a desire to make a strong first impression.
"You always want to," Loney said back in Boston, days before his three-hit performance on Thurday. "Obviously we've got another five weeks. You just
want to do what you can do and see what happens."
So far, he's risen to the occasion. Despite Thursday's 5-2 loss to the Angels,
Loney contributed to the Red Sox efforts, delivering a solo shot to right
field off starter Zack Greinke to tally his first blast in a Boston uniform.
Since joining the Red Sox on Aug. 26 after the trade from Los Angeles, Loney has demonstrated his value to the offense when necessary. The first baseman has recorded an RBI in four of his five games –– the exception was Wednesday's
game where he entered as a pinch hitter for one at-bat.
Also, with a hit and RBI in each of his first four starts, he matched Matt Stairs for the longest such streak to begin a Red Sox career since 1935.
Loney has the new surroundings around him to thank.
"It felt good getting that opportunity and a chance to deliver,"
Loney said before the team embarked on its nine-game road trip. "It's
something where you want to just keep that up."
He certainly has. This time, it came on a night where he was slotted in the Red
Sox lineup to bat cleanup, a rarity considering Loney's been best known for his defense for the majority of his major league career.