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Red Sox hit 3 HRs, beat Dodgers 8-1 in World Series rematch

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BOSTON — Xander Bogaerts hit a three-run homer, Eduardo Rodriguez struck out 10 and the Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-1 Friday night in the opener of a three-game rematch of the 2018 World Series.

Rafael Devers and Christian Vázquez also homered for the Red Sox, who broke the game open with a five-run rally that was interrupted by a one-hour rain delay in the seventh inning.

The Red Sox, who beat the Dodgers in five games to win their ninth World Series title, returned from the All-Star break with their fifth straight victory.

The Dodgers were well represented in their return to Boston with enough blue-and-white clad fans to drown out “Red Sox” during the singing of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Red Sox fans countered with Boston’s signature “Beat LA!” chant, and the Red Sox did just that, winning for the fifth time in six games and topping the club with the best record in the majors.

Rodriguez (10-4) tied his season-high for strikeouts and held the Dodgers to five hits in seven innings.

Alex Verdugo hit his 10th homer and Kenta Maeda struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings for the Dodgers. Los Angeles, the only team in the majors with 60 wins, lost its fourth in a row.

The Dodgers fell to 1-6 at Fenway Park in the few regular-season meetings between the franchises.

Kenta Maeda (7-6) struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings for Los Angeles. Maeda allowed three runs, two on solo homers by Devers and Vázquez, on four hits with one walk.

Devers’ RBI double in the sixth put Boston up 3-1 and the Red Sox rallied for five more in the seventh, when the rain got heavy and the game was put on hold for an hour after Brock Holt’s RBI double.

The delay didn’t slow the Red Sox. Mookie Betts put Boston up 5-1 with a sacrifice fly following the rain delay, and Bogaerts broke it open with a three-run shot off the top of the Green Monster.

Verdugo tied it in the second with a solo homer to right. It was the 10th homer of the season for Verdugo, who became the sixth member of the Dodgers with 10 or more homers.

CATCH & RELEASE

Jackie Bradley Jr. caught a deep fly by Max Muncy at the base of the wall in left-center to end the top of the sixth, then punctuated the catch with a throw all the way across to Betts at the right-field line as the Red Sox returned to their dugout.

Fans were still applauding the catch when Bradley delivered the ball on a beeline to Betts’ glove.

Bradley also started the seventh-inning rally by running out an infield single.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: Activated CF A.J. Pollock (elbow infection) from the 60-day injured list. Pollock started in center and batted sixth in his first game since April 28. … To clear roster space, the Dodgers traded LHP Adam McCreery and C Josh Thole to the Los Angeles Angels for cash considerations.

Red Sox: 1B Mitch Moreland (right quad strain) will spend the weekend with Triple-A Pawtucket, manager Alex Cora said. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (right elbow) threw a bullpen session Friday. Cora said the Red Sox were still trying to determine when Eovaldi could return.

UP NEXT

Dodgers RHP Ross Stripling (3-3, 3.79 ERA) faces Red Sox LHP Chris Sale (3-8, 4.04) on Saturday night.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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