action:article | category:SPORTS0101 | adString:SPORTS0101 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Baseball » Red Sox/MLB

August 22. 2013 11:21PM

Bring on the Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brian Wilson, from Londonderry, N.H., throws in the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins during Thursday's game. (REUTERS/Joe Skipper)

SAN FRANCISCO — Bring on the Los Angeles Dodgers.

At last, the Red Sox can say it. After annihilating the San Francisco Giants, 12-1, Wednesday in the finale of a three-game interleague series, the Sox finally were able to look ahead to a showdown that has been breathlessly anticipated since the schedule was released 11 months ago.

The subplots are endless. There is the reunion with Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, jettisoned by the Sox one year ago Sunday in a megatrade that altered the course of both franchises. There is the chance for an up-close look at Yasiel Puig, the Cuban sensation who has turned the Dodgers into the hottest team in baseball.

And, of course, there is the potential that the next three games represent a World Series preview.

So, as the Red Sox left AT&T Park, bound for the airport and a day off before descending upon Dodger Stadium tonight, they already were looking forward to what figures to be a must-see weekend.

“I’m sure there’s going to be some big hype, obviously with the trade, Puig,” said Jonny Gomes, whose two-run single in the third inning gave the Sox a 5-1 lead en route to the rout. “It’s going to be good baseball. I think it’ll be a nice, hostile environment, a playoff atmosphere, which is going to be nice to get exposed to that.”

First, though, there was the matter of finishing off the Giants, albeit a stripped-down version of the defending World Series champions. And the Red Sox jumped on Barry Zito with Will Middlebrooks’ two-run homer in the second inning and didn’t relent. The Sox added three runs in the third inning, another in the fourth, then five in the seventh on a rally punctuated by Stephen Drew’s three-run shot against Mike Kickham.

Felix Doubront chipped in eight solid innings, and the Red Sox snapped a three-series losing streak, winning their first since Aug. 5-7 in Houston.

One downer: David Ortiz left the game in the fifth inning with tightness in his lower back. But the slugger characterized the condition as more of an annoyance than a worrisome injury and wouldn’t rule out playing first base against the Dodgers.

After all, Ortiz wouldn’t miss a chance to catch up with Gonzalez and Crawford.

“They’re my boys,” Ortiz said. “It will be cool to see my boys out there. It seems like (the trade) happened yesterday. It’s one of those situations where they made decisions, and as an employee, you have to deal with it. But I tell you what: The way they’re playing, it tells you, things have gotten better over there. Things have gotten better over here. They’re making the GMs look like geniuses.”

There will be plenty of time to analyze the trade over the next three days. Besides, the Red Sox are more curious to see how they stack up against the Dodgers, who have won 45 of their last 55 games.

“We’ve got three big ones against a very talented team, one of the best teams in the game,” Shane Victorino, who finished last season with the Dodgers after being traded by the Philadelphia Phillies, said. “Going out there now, watching them do what they’re doing, it doesn’t shock me. It doesn’t surprise me. We’re going to see what they’re all about. It’s going to be a true test for us.”

But it’s just the latest in a series of tests this month, according to manager John Farrell. The three games against the Dodgers represent the end of a stretch in which the Sox have played 16-of-19 games away from Fenway Park.

Thus far, they have a 7-9 record.

“I remember leaving spring (training) and going, ‘August is going to be tough. We’ve got to get our wins now to hopefully cover us if August does hit a little bump,’”

Gomes said. “I don’t think it’s been a bump. I just think we’re kind of going with the flow of traffic versus speeding ahead.”

Against the Dodgers, it will be full-speed ahead.

 NH Sports Angle ╗ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Former All-Star Red Sox shortstop Rico Petrocelli: ôblessedö to have grown up in Brooklyn, now lives in Nashua

Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk, right, tangles with Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in the first period of Game 1 of their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinals hockey playoff series in this 2013 file photo.

NH-based insurer sues NHL to limit its defense in players concussion lawsuits

A's claim former Fisher Cat Marcus Walden

Mariano Rivera's son to pitch for NH squad

Kevin Davis, CEO and president of Bauer Performance Sports, displays Bauer Hockey's latest innovation in hockey skates — the Vapor APX 2 with easily changeable skate blades in this 2013 file photo.

Exeter-based Bauer continues to expand beyond hockey with $330M purchase of baseball firm Easton-Bell

Hollis-Brookline head football coach resigns unexpectedly

New owners for Waukewan Golf Club

Matches announced for USA v. Cuba clash at Rockingham Park this weekend

Boston Marathon victim Jeff Baumann throws out the first pitch prior to the start of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park last year.

Service's creed on display in support of airman affected by Boston bombing

40-year-old Manchester mechanical engineer wins MMA decision

New Hampshire Motor Speedway touts viability of casino site in Loudon

USA Knockouts Tamed in Cuba

U.S., Cuba boxers clash in Havana, U.S. bouts set for Rockingham Park in Salem

Lee USA Speedway opens season April 13

Newmarket woman plans world-record cross-country run for charity


Is Chip Kelly racist?

World Series of Boxing event moved to Rockingham Park - USA vs. Cuba

Manchester man in top 30 candidates for Padres public address announcer

NH man helps MLB players deal with stresses on, off the field

Review of the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook

New Hampshire Motor Speedway may run Sprint Cup race in 2015 under the lights

How Boston lost the Patriots and 'New England' grabbed the NFL's 'Gold Standard'

Twin State Speedway gets new manager

Yale promotes former UNH coach to offensive coordinator

Bulldogs sign UNH's Nick Sorkin


 New Hampshire Events Calendar


Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory