Hyun-jin Ryu and the Dodgers fell behind early, and Jon Lester and the Red Sox made it hold up. The Dodgers tried yet another comeback but it fell short in a 4-2 loss to the Red Sox, snapping their winning streak at four games.
The loss snapped a seven-game home winning streak for the Dodgers and was their first home defeat at the hands of Boston. The last time the Red Sox won a game at Dodger Stadium was July 31, 1965, when Angels relief pitcher Aubrey Gatewood threw a wild pitch in the ninth inning, allowing Lenny Green to score from third base for a 4-3 win.
The Red Sox had lost eight straight and 16 of their last 17 games at Dodger Stadium before Saturday's win.
After 11 quality starts and a 1.78 ERA in his first 11 home starts, Ryu dug himself an early hole just five batters into the game. After two singles and a hit batter produced one run for Boston, Jonny Gomes hit a three-run home run into the left field pavilion for a quick 4-0 Dodgers deficit.
It was just the eighth time the Dodgers have allowed a three-run home run this season. Only the Reds (six), Red Sox (seven) and Pirates (seven) have allowed fewer three-run home runs than the Dodgers in 2013.
Ryu recovered to retire 14 of his final 16 batters faced, and on the day struck out seven with no walks, but his day was done after five innings.
The Dodgers weren't able to mount much of an attack against Lester, who pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning. Three of the seven runners allowed by Lester to reach base were erased by double plays, none of which were hit on the ground.
After Yasiel Puig walked in the first inning, he was erased on a line drive by Adrian Gonzalez hit right at first baseman Mike Napoli, who was covering the bag. Puig singled to open the sixth inning, but as he broke to steal second base Mark Ellis hit a soft liner into the glove of Shane Victorino in right field, giving Puig no chance to get back.
After a one-out walk to Carl Crawford in the eighth inning Lester was lifted and the Dodgers rallied to cut the lead in half on a two-run double by Gonzalez. But Koji Uehara struck out A.J. Ellis with the tying runs on base to end the eighth inning, then retired the Dodgers in order in the ninth inning for his 13th save.
Boston tried their hand at a bizarre double play of their own in the ninth inning, when Jacoby Ellsbury forgot how many outs there were after he hit into a force out for the second out of the inning. Ellsbury began to walk off the field thinking there were three outs, and then there were once he was tagged out.
- Gonzalez, who doubled in two runs in the eighth inning against reliever Craig Breslow, is hitting .435 (20-for-46) with four doubles with runners in scoring position and two outs this season.
- Puig was 2-for-3 with a walk for his 30th multi-hit game in 68 starts this season. He has reached base at least three times in a game 20 times in 2013, third on the team and just four behind Gonzalez for the lead.
- Jerry Hairston started Saturday in left field but moved to second base after a double switch in the ninth inning. It was the first time at second base in 2013 for Hairston, who played 30 games and started 26 at the position in 2012.
- Brian Wilson made his Dodger Stadium debut in the eighth inning. He managed to load the bases but did not allow a run.
- Dodgers pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts, tying their season high.
- Xander Bogaerts singled as a pinch hitter against Brandon League in the ninth inning for his first major league hit, in his third MLB game and fifth plate appearance.
- Lester at the plate was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts on Saturday. American League pitchers are 0-for-17 with 15 strikeouts against the Dodgers this year.
The Dodgers will be back on ESPN on Sunday night, with Chris Capuano on the hill in the series finale. The Dodgers will try to avoid their first series loss in 10 weeks as they face former longtime National League West foe Jake Peavy.
Home run: Jonny Gomes (11)
WP - Jon Lester (12-7): 7⅓ IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts
LP - Hyun-jin Ryu (12-5): 5 IP, 5 hits, 4 hits, 7 strikeouts
Sv - Koji Uehara (13): 1⅓ IP, 1 strikeout
NL West magic number: 25, pending Arizona at Philadelphia on Saturday night