All eyes will be on former Red Sox OF Manny Ramirez with the Dodgers looking to avoid a sweep in this interleague clash.
Los Angeles Dodgers at Boston Red Sox
Los Angeles is set to play its sixth game (2-3) of a nine-game road trip, as the team looks to avoid being swept by Boston. “You know you’re in a fight when you play in this ballpark,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. The club is five games into a stretch of playing 15 of 18 games on the road. Tonight’s television coverage will certainly center around OF Manny Ramirez’s return to Beantown. Since his arrival in Los Angeles on July 31, 2008, the Dodgers have a 163-121 record, the best mark in the NL over that span. In two games this weekend at Fenway, Ramirez is 3-for-9 with a home run and RBI. The team finds itself a game back of the division-leading San Diego Padres going into tonight’s game.
Dodgers SP Hiroki Kuroda is 6-4 with a 3.10 ERA in 13 starts this season (+430), while leading the team to consecutive victories over his last two starts. He struck out eight in five scoreless innings last time out, before having his outing shortened due to rain. Kuroda has not allowed a run in his last two starts, spanning 12 innings. The right-hander will be making his first career start against Boston, but carries a 1-5 mark and 4.89 ERA in six interleague starts during his three-year career. He has been solid away from Dodger Stadium during the season, posting a 4-2 record and 3.00 ERA in six starts (+200). Over his career, Kuroda is an even 13-13 with a 3.56 ERA on the road.
Boston has momentum on its side after Saturday’s 5-4 victory, as 2B Dustin Pedroia collected his first walk-off hit against the Los Angeles Dodgers. “I know how good Broxton is but any time Pedey has something to do with the outcome of the game, we feel good,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. Pedroia is 15-for-31 over his last eight games and a major reason the club owns the best record in the Majors at 38-19 since April 20. Boston is 9-2 on the year during interleague play and has won 15 of its last 19 games against NL opponents. They lead the Majors with a 91-46 interleague mark since the start of the 2003 season.
Red Sox SP Clay Buchholz is 9-4 with a 2.67 ERA in 13 starts (+400), including going 6-1 with a 1.84 ERA over his last seven starts. The right-hander is set to make his 50th career MLB appearance tonight (48th start), posting a 21-18 record and 4.22 ERA. Boston starters have gone 13-3 with a 3.31 ERA in 20 games since May 29. The rotation also leads the Majors overall with a .667 winning percentage (34-17). Buchholz has made 11 of his 13 starts under the lights, recording an 8-3 record and 2.18 ERA. He has allowed just a single home run over 74.1 innings of work at night. After allowing hitters to bat .240 and .257 against him during April and May respectively, he has held opposing batters to a .197 average in June.
Placing money on the Dodgers after losing three or more consecutive games has been a losing venture this season (2-2, -180) and the club is a dismal 1-5 as a road underdog of +125 to +150 (-360). The Red Sox have been an ATM machine at night this season with a 36-17 record (+1,300), which is nothing new with a 179-114 record under the lights the past three years (+3,280).