By Dan Roche, WBZ-TV SportsBy Dan Roche

BOSTON (CBS) – It’s been a great early season ride for the 2013 Boston Red Sox and their fans.

We’ve had excitement and enthusiasm, and there’s a refreshing sense of pride when it comes to the team.

However, after Wednesday night’s 8-5 loss to the Orioles at Fenway, we are ready for the first test of their young campaign.

The Sox battled hard in awful weather conditions, but new closer Joel Hanrahan couldn’t hold a 5-3, 9th inning lead. Hanrahan, who got squeezed a bit by home plate umpire Cory Blaser, gave up five runs in just 2/3rds of an inning.

It happens. And now, we get to see how Hanrahan and his teammates respond.

Read: Hanrahan On Implosion In The 9th: ‘Just Didn’t Put Guys Away’

Again, we’re only eight games into the season, but this is the first real adversity that John Farrell and his troops have faced so far — other than injuries to David Ortiz, John Lackey, and Stephen Drew.

How will the new edition of the Red Sox respond? How will Hanrahan come back? How will the raw weather affect them in the season’s first month?

All are good questions that no one knows the answers to. On paper, the Sox have the character guys in the clubhouse that are needed, but you never know until you go through things as a team — good and bad.

We will begin to find out Thursday night when Alfredo Aceves gets the start for the injured Lackey.

Now is this a major test? Nope. But it is the beginning of finding out what kind of team this is. You bounce back and keep rolling, and it says something about this team. If Hanrahan bounces right back, which he is confident will happen, it’s the start of him getting over the “he’s only closed in a non-pressure place like Pittsburgh” label.

But these are the parts of the games that I love. I think we all tend to rush through the grind of the regular seasons around here rather than enjoy them from game-to-game.

We’re eight games in, and I’m looking forward to number-nine tonight at Fenway.

Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on Twitter @RochieWBZ.


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