LOS ANGELES — The Boston Red Sox sure seemed as if they were trying to make a proclamation to the rest of baseball on Sunday night at Dodger Stadium.
Yeah, the Los Angeles Dodgers may be the hottest team in baseball, but the Red Sox are no slouches either.
What began as a brilliant performance by Jake Peavy ended with a Boston tee-off party, and Boston sent Los Angeles to its first series loss since mid-June with an 8-1 victory in the rubber match Sunday night at Dodger Stadium.
“It’s satisfying any time you win, however you can get that done,” said Peavy, who threw a three-hit complete game. “But we were all in the win tonight. It was big came to come into Dodger Stadium and win two of three, and really have a chance to win Friday (during the lone defeat). I think that shows what caliber of ballclub we are. We’re on the same level as those guys; they’ve been on an incredible run, but we’re a good ballclub as well.”
Peavy pitched his second complete game of the season, his first since joining the Red Sox last month in a three-team trade. The Dodgers did not have more than one baserunner in any inning as they dropped their first series in their last 19.
On Saturday, the Red Sox ended the Dodgers’ four-game winning streak with a 4-2 victory.
On Sunday, Peavy yielded only Adrian Gonzalez’s solo home run in the fourth inning, which sliced Boston’s lead to 3-1. Peavy struck out five and walked one, throwing 111 pitches (77 strikes).
Peavy improved to 14-2 with a 2.21 ERA in 24 career starts against Los Angeles. He is 7-1 in his career at Dodger Stadium, though he was making his first start there since 2009, when he was a member of the San Diego Padres.
After receiving some early support, Peavy got even more of a boost when the Boston lineup blasted off late in the game.
The Red Sox hit three home runs in the final four innings, stretching a two-run lead to seven runs on the strength of some big bats.
Saltalamacchia smacked a two-run home run to deep left in the sixth inning, scoring Mike Napoli. Shane Victorino added a solo shot in the seventh, and Napoli hammered a pitch over the left field wall in the ninth inning to score Dustin Pedroia.
Pedroia had three hits, while Victorino, Napoli and Xander Bogaerts each had two.
The Boston offense jumped on Los Angeles early with a consistent approach, notching single runs in the first, third and fourth innings off Dodgers starter Chris Capuano (4-7), who allowed three runs on six hits in five innings.
Napoli opened the scoring with an RBI ground-rule double in the first inning, knocking in Victorino. Pedroia hit a sacrifice fly in the third inning to score Jacoby Ellsbury, and Bogaerts doubled home Will Middlebrooks in the fourth inning.
On Saturday, Jonny Gomes delivered a first-inning home run off Hyun-Jin Ryu and Jon Lester cooled a hot Dodgers lineup as the Red Sox took a 4-2 win.
With a four-run cushion after one inning, Lester shifted into cruise control and shut down Los Angeles in 7 1/3 innings.
Lester allowed just one hit through five innings and two through six in his second straight dominating start on the West Coast.
Five days after holding San Francisco to six hits in 8 1/3 innings in a 7-0 win, Lester allowed seven base runners and one runs while lowering his season ERA more than .20 points.
The Dodgers managed to threaten late with two eighth-inning runs, but Koji Uehara shut down the last four batters for the save.
With one big bop from Gomes, Lester barely needed to break a sweat on the hot southern California afternoon.
After Napoli singled home Victorino to stake the Red Sox a 1-0 lead just four batters into the game, Gomes followed with his 11th home run of the year. The three-run shot, which also scored Napoli and Pedroia, sent Ryu on his way to his second straight loss after a nine-game unbeaten streak (six wins).
Led by Gomes, the heart of the Boston order delivered in a big way despite 13 strikeouts throughout the lineup.
Pedroia had two hits in the No. 3 hole, Napoli followed with three hits, one RBI and one run from the cleanup spot and Gomes and Stephen Drew each added hits.
Ryu allowed five hits and four runs in five innings, just his third time this year he has failed to go at least 5 1/3 innings. But Dodgers manager Don Mattingly applauded his ability to stay in the game after Los Angeles almost reeled off another late-inning win.
Yankees 3, Rays 2 (11 innings): Alfonso Soriano doubled and scored on Curtis Granderson’s sacrifice fly in the 11th inning as visiting New York avoided a three-game sweep.)
Robinson Cano went 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs for the Yankees, who climbed within 6 1/2 games of first-place Boston in the American League East and 3 1/2 of Oakland for the second wild-card spot.
Soriano hit a one-out double off Jamey Wright (2-2) and promptly stole third base before trotting home on Granderson’s fly to deep right-center field. Boone Logan (4-2) recorded the final two outs in the 10th and Mariano Rivera worked a flawless bottom of the 11th for his 38th save as New York won for just the sixth time in 22 games at Tampa Bay.
Evan Longoria singled, homered and drove in both runs while David DeJesus recorded three of the six hits by the Rays, who fell one-half game behind Boston in the AL East.
Longoria gave Tampa Bay the lead with an RBI single in the first, but Cano launched a solo homer in the fourth and added a run-scoring double in the sixth to put New York ahead. The Rays pulled even in the bottom of the frame on a solo blast by Longoria, who went deep in every game of the series.
byline:Wire Service Reports