Alex Verdugo became the first player in Red Sox history and the third major leaguer overall to hit a leadoff homer in the first inning in three straight games, driving the second pitch from Julio Urías (11-7) into Los Angeles’ bullpen.
“It's cool, especially for me. I'm not a home run hitter,” said Verdugo, who has 12 homers on the season. “To kind of see that and to know that is pretty cool.”
Max Muncy hit a tiebreaking two-run homer for the Dodgers, who won the opener of the three-game series 7-4 on Friday night. Muncy and manager Dave Roberts were ejected after the slugger was called out on strikes, ending an eighth-inning rally.
“I said: ‘The pitch was down,’″ Muncy said when asked what he told umpire Jordan Baker before he was tossed. ”He said: ‘You threw your bat.’ I responded with: ‘I need you to lock in in a big situation like that.’ He goes ‘OK,’ and threw me out.”
Playing his second game against his former team after he was traded in February 2020, Betts went 3 for 6 with an RBI single. But he also committed a run-scoring error while playing second base in the eighth and made the final out with the bases loaded.
With the crowd standing and roaring, Betts flew to the track in straightaway center against John Schreiber.
“We’re producers not directors,” Betts said of his last out. “Produced a good swing. Can’t direct where it goes.”
Betts played six seasons with the Red Sox, winning the World Series in 2018.
Former Dodger Justin Turner also homered for Boston, tying it at 2 with a solo shot over the Monster in the fourth.
Like Friday, there was a large contingent of Dodgers fans that broke into chants of “Let’s Go Dodgers!” numerous times.
Trailing 4-2 in the sixth, Duvall hit a towering fly that settled into the first row of Monster seats. Reese McGuire added an RBI single later in the inning.
Muncy’s 30th, a drive over the Dodgers’ bullpen, made it 4-2 in the fifth.
Brennan Bernardino (2-1) got the victory, striking out the only batter he faced. Schreiber worked the ninth for his first save of the season.
Urías gave up six runs and eight hits over six innings. He struck out nine and walked one.
THEY STILL REMEMBER
Roberts still gets many requests for autographs of “The Steal.”
“Every day,” he said. “I’ve learned to embrace it years ago because it’s a big compliment to be associated and held in such a positive regard. I get it all the time.”
In 2004, when he was playing for the Red Sox in the ALCS against the Yankees, Roberts stole second base before scoring the tying run in Game 4 with Boston trailing 3-0 in the series. The Red Sox won that game in extra innings and went on to become the only team in MLB history to rebound from an 0-3 deficit before winning the World Series.
Dodgers: Left-hander Clayton Kershaw threw a bullpen about three hours before the game. He’s scheduled to start Tuesday at home against the Diamondbacks after his previous start was cut short by rain. … Roberts said right-hander Gavin Stone would be recalled from Triple-A and work out of the bullpen Sunday.
Red Sox: Closer Kenley Jansen, who left Wednesday’s game with right hamstring tightness, threw a live BP session. He says he’ll be available on Sunday. “Everything feels great and I’ll be ready (Sunday),” he said. “Just let it go in game speed.” … Manager Alex Cora said outfielder Jarren Duran (10-day injured list, toe sprain) will see a doctor on Monday. … Shortstop Pablo Reyes came out with left elbow pain.
Boston right-hander Tanner Houck (3-7, 5.08 ERA) makes his second start since coming off the injured list in the series finale on Sunday. He had been sidelined by a facial fracture before starting against Houston on Tuesday. LHP Caleb Ferguson (7-3, 2.81 ERA) will be the opener for Los Angeles in a bullpen game.
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