4 takeaways as Red Sox start hot but fall, 7-4, to Dodgers

Red Sox

The Red Sox had their chances, but the Dodgers capitalized when they needed to.

Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Miguel Rojas tags Red Sox catcher Connor Wong for the third out in the eighth inning. Barry Chin/Globe Staff


On a night where the Red Sox had a prime opportunity to move a game closer to the Blue Jays and Astros, they ran out of steam against a lethal Los Angeles Dodgers team that pounces on its opponents’ weaknesses.

Boston built an early lead, but Los Angeles rallied, seized command, and held the Red Sox off late to earn a 7-4 win Friday at Fenway Park.

It appeared as though the Red Sox (68-61) had a shot to pick up their third consecutive victory, however the Dodgers (79-48) had other ideas.

Yes, old friend Mookie Betts had something to do with it.

Here’s how it went down:

Several players did damage against their former team.

For those keeping track at home, here’s a friendly reminder: Former Dodgers Alex Verdugo, Justin Turner, and Kenley Jansen are now on the Red Sox, and Boston’s manager is Alex Cora.

Former Red Sox Betts, Kiké Hernández, and Ryan Brasier are now on the Dodgers, and Los Angeles’ manager is Dave Roberts.

Verdugo, who came to Boston in the Betts deal, blasted a solo shot to right off Lance Lynn in the first inning to open the scoring. He added a single in the seventh and another in the eighth to finish 3-for-5.

Turner had an uncharacteristically quiet night at the plate (0 for 5 with a strikeout).

Betts (1 for 4, 2 runs), meanwhile, received a standing ovation and delivered. He began the game 0-for-2, then started the Dodgers’ rally in the sixth with a double to left. The Dodgers strung several quality at-bats together, and Hernández provided a sharp single to right-center late in the inning that made it 3-3.

Betts walked in the seventh and scored the eventual winning run.

It felt inevitable that Betts and Hernández would be heard from in some capacity. Hernández entered the night hitting .292 with two home runs and 15 RBIs in August with the Dodgers. Betts has emerged as a legitimate Most Valuable Player candidate.

Trevor Story made some noise.

Trevor Story has sizzled at shortstop right away in his return, consistently making plays with his glove that his fill-ins struggled to master.

At the plate, it’s been a work in progress. During the Apple TV+ broadcast, Red Sox manager Alex Cora reminded listeners that it’s not easy to come back to the majors and deliver at the plate – even after a good number of minor league reps.

Story had a big day with four hits against the Tigers in mid-August, but in the seven games that followed, he recorded just two total hits.

On Thursday, he registered two hits and an RBI in Boston’s 17-1 demolition of Houston. Against the Dodgers, he launched a two-run homer over the Green Monster that scored Triston Casas and made it 3-0 Red Sox in the second.

Story added a single to center in the sixth, though he did strike out in the eighth.

Kutter Crawford was sharp overall. Nick Pivetta, not so much.

Kutter Crawford allowed two earned runs on four hits over five-plus innings, striking out seven and walking one.

Crawford was terrific the majority of the way, keeping a high-octane Dodgers lineup in check early. He ran into some trouble in the sixth, as Betts and Freddie Freeman (4 for 5) started the inning with hits.

Nick Pivetta entered and surrendered two more hits as the Dodgers tied the game. Pivetta allowed three more runs in the seventh, and Los Angeles quickly turned a three-run deficit into a three-run lead.

Pivetta has allowed at least two runs in six of his last seven games.

The Red Sox tried to rally but fell short.

In the bottom of the seventh, with runners on first and second and no outs, Turner swung at a 3-0 pitch and grounded to third.

Max Muncy stepped on the bag and tried to nab Turner at first for the 5-3 double play, but he threw it away. Rafael Devers scurried home and Turner hustled to second. That made it 6-4, however nothing materialized from there.

Verdugo slapped a single to right in the eighth, but Casas stopped at third and Connor Wong got caught in a pickle.

Los Angeles added one more in the ninth. Devers singled, but the Red Sox fell short.