Preview: Dodgers Begin 9-Game Homestand With Interleague Matchup Against Red Sox
Preview: Dodgers Begin 9-game Homestand With Interleague Matchup Against Red Sox
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The David Ortiz farewell tour hits Dodger Stadium as the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers begin a three-game series Friday night. This marks the second meeting between the two clubs since 2013, when Los Angeles dropped two of three at home.

For the Dodgers, it’s the start of a nine-game homestand in 10 days. They have the second-best home record in the National League at 33-20, behind only the Chicago Cubs’ 37-17 mark.

The Red Sox and Dodgers are both fresh off a victory, with Boston earning a series split against the Seattle Mariners, and Los Angeles avoiding a sweep at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.

Scott Kazmir gets the first attempt at keeping a potent Red Sox offense in check. Ortiz is not in the lineup, but Hanley Ramirez is, in his first visit to Dodger Stadium since departing as a free agent.

Kazmir is 9-4 with a 4.41 ERA, 4.20 FIP and 1.27 WHIP this season. However, Kazmir is 7-2 with a 3.93 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and has 94 strikeouts in 84.2 innings pitched over his last 15 starts.

The southpaw suffered a loss in his last outing for the first time in nearly three months. In the defeat, Kazmir had seven strikeouts, went 6.2 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits.

Kazmir’s Achilles’ heel this season has been his inability to get through the first inning unscathed. On the season the left-hander holds a 8.14 ERA in the opening frame.

In somewhat of an enigmatic season for Kazmir, he has been one of the few starters to not spend time on the disabled list. Boston counters with their All-Star knuckleball right-hander Steven Wright.

Wright was able to limit the damage in his last start against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim where he allowed 10 hits but only surrendered three runs in five innings of work.

Despite giving up a combined 11 runs in his past two starts, Wright still could cause some issues for Los Angeles as the knuckleballer has been efficient on the road this season, posting a 5-4 record with a 2.37 ERA.

Friday’s game is the first time the Torrance, Calif., native pitches at Dodger Stadium in his career. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said third base coach Chris Woodward helped prepare the club to face a knuckleballer by throwing batting practice.

Dodgers lineup:

2B: Chase Utley
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
RF: Josh Reddick
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
C: Yasmani Grandal
LF: Howie Kendrick
CF: Joc Pederson
P: Scott Kazmir

Red Sox lineup:

RF: Mookie Betts
2B: Dustin Pedroia
SS: Xander Bogaerts
1B: Hanley Ramirez
CF: Jackie Bradley Jr.
3B: Aaron Hill
C: Sandy Leon
LF: Bryce Brentz
P: Steven Wright