Boston and LA produced fireworks at Fenway Park
BOSTON — The Red Sox and Dodgers are two of the most historic franchises in Major League Baseball.
It is the recent history between both franchises that has made this weekend one to remember, however.
Boston and Los Angeles have done a bit of a talent swap in recent years. The Red Sox have five players (Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, Alex Verdugo, Connor Wong, Chris Martin) who spent time in LA’s organization, while the Dodgers came to Fenway Park with three (Mookie Betts, Kiké Hernández, Ryan Brasier) former Red Sox in hand.
In fact, both managers (Alex Cora and Dave Roberts) even played for the other franchise. That sort of familiarity has bred an atmosphere revered by those participating in the weekend series.
“It’s been great,” Alex Cora said. “It’s been great. Somebody asked me about how many Dodgers fans are here, and I played here with the Dodgers in 2004 and it was similar. It’s the summer and people travel and this happens everywhere. When we go out west, it’s kind of like the same thing.
“It was loud. It felt like from the sixth inning on every pitch mattered and they were into it. It’s been great. It’s been great. It’s a great venue, Saturday afternoon, white (uniforms), grey unis, kind of like old-school stuff. I’m glad we got the W.”
In one of the game’s many signature moments, Adam Duvall put the Red Sox in front with a three-run home run into the Green Monster seats.
“It felt good,” Duvall said postgame. “You can feel the energy in this place, especially this weekend. The atmosphere has been unbelievable for the past two nights. … These are the atmosphere’s you want to play in front of. It’s fun. It’s fun when everyone is hanging on by each pitch and by each out.”
The Red Sox victory on Saturday was enough to set up a rubber match Sunday afternoon — which will almost certainly raise that atmosphere to 11.
Here are more notes from Saturday afternoon’s Red Sox-Dodgers game:
— Alex Verdugo led off with a home run, his third consecutive game in which he homered as Boston’s first batter. It was just the third time in MLB history a player had leadoff homers in three consecutive games (Ronald Acuña Jr. in 2018 and Brady Anderson in 1996).
— Chris Martin only threw four pitches against his former club, striking out Max Muncy with the bases loaded to end the eighth inning. The Dodgers didn’t agree with the call, leading to ejections for Muncy and Roberts.
— Red Sox infielder Pablo Reyes was removed in the sixth inning with elbow pain, producing some interesting lineup changes.
Connor Wong moved from catching to second base, Luis Urías moved from second to third base, Rafael Devers moved from third to shortstop and Reese McGuire entered the game to catch. The next inning saw everyone move back to their original spots, while McGuire moved to designated hitter and Trevor Story moved from DH to shortstop. That caused Boston to lose the DH for the remainder of the game.
— The final out of the contest was a loud one, with Mookie Betts flying out to deep center field. The final out produced some interesting comments from those involved.
— The Red Sox and Dodgers will wrap up their three-game set on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET and will air live on NESN following an hour of pregame coverage.