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.

Maeda allowed three runs, two on solo homers by Devers and Vázquez.

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.


Nathan Eovaldi (right elbow) threw his second bullpen session in three days on Friday.

Eovaldi totaled 27 pitches and reported no setbacks. His activation could be drawing close after biceps tendinitis set him back and led the Sox to plan on having him relieve.

“I just talked to him right now and he felt great,” Cora said. “We’ll see what’s next – live (batting practice) or a rehab assignment. We’ll talk about it.”

Eovaldi hasn’t appeared in a game for Boston since April 17. He joins Mitch Moreland (right quadriceps) among players who could come off the injured list soon. Moreland was 0 for 4 in his first rehab start with Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday, serving as the designated hitter.

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