LOS ANGELES -- After losing two of three to the Colorado Rockies, the Los Angeles Dodgers face another offensive challenge Friday when the Boston Red Sox hit Dodger Stadium for a three-game series.
The Red Sox, who beat Seattle in 11 innings on Thursday to earn a split of the four-game series, lead the majors in several offensive categories, including runs (584), hits (1,077), batting average (.285), RBIs (558), on-base percentage (.351) and slugging percentage (.469).
David Ortiz, the Red Sox's 40-year-old slugger who is retiring at season's end, is again enjoying a superb season offensively. Ortiz was hitting .311 with 25 home runs and 87 RBIs. The Dodgers will honor Ortiz, who is retiring at season's end, before Friday's game.
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The Dodgers were outscored 19-5 against Colorado at Coors Field before starter Kenta Maeda and the Dodgers' bullpen held the Rockies to two runs and five hits in a 4-2 decision on Thursday to avoid a sweep.
Injuries and inconsistency have hampered the Dodgers' starting rotation. Ace Clayton Kershaw (herniated disk) landed on the 60-day disabled list this week.
"You can weather and combat adversity as much as possible and our group has done a great job of that. But you're as good as your next starter," Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said, according to the Orange County Register, after Wednesday's 12-2 thrashing by Colorado.
Dodgers lefty Scott Kazmir (9-4, 4.41 ERA) will return to the mound for the first time since having his career-best seven-game winning streak halted July 30 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Kazmir struck out seven, walked none and allowed four runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings in a 4-2 loss to the Diamondbacks.
Kazmir last faced the Red Sox on June 5, 2015 at Fenway Park as a member of the Oakland A's. He gave up four runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and a walks in a 4-2 win by the Red Sox.
In his career, Kazmir has 29 starts against Boston, posting a 9-9 mark with a 3.99 ERA.
Knuckleballer Steven Wright (12-5, 3.20 ERA) will get the nod for the Red Sox and make his first start at Dodger Stadium. Wright, a native of nearby Torrance, has been solid on the road this season, compiling a 2.37 ERA, ranking fifth in the American League and holding opposing batters to a .211 batting average (11th in the AL). Wright also has limited the opposition to a .301 slugging percentage (fourth) and a .588 OPS (eighth).
Wright is 9-2 with a 3.92 ERA in his last 15 starts. He surrendered three runs on 10 hits with five strikeouts and a pair of walks in five innings in a no-decision against the Los Angeles Angels on July 31.
Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez (left wrist), a former Dodger, missed the past two games. Ramirez hurt himself falling down the dugout steps after Tuesday's 5-4 defeat by the Mariners.
"Optimistically, hopefully he'll be available for the weekend when we get to L.A. against the Dodgers," Boston manager John Farrell told MLB.com Thursday.