Hiroki Kuroda pitched great, but it wasn't enough to keep the Dodgers from losing another game in an American League park, as the Red Sox completed their sweep with a 2-0 win behind Clay Buchholz. Since 2005, the Dodgers are a putrid 10-35 in interleague road games.
In his last start Kuroda struck out eight in five innings, one of the best marks of his career. Tonight, he was even better, striking out nine Red Sox in seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk. Kuroda retired 15 of the final 17 batters he faced. Both runs were earned, but the run in the first inning was more due to defensive ineptitude than anything. Dustin Pedroia reached base on a ground ball booted by Casey Blake, that was graciously scored a hit, then stole second and easily took third as no Dodger was covering with the defensive shift on for David Ortiz. A little dribbler up the third base line by Kevin Youkilis became another hit and Pedroia scored easily.
Tonight, that was enough to beat the Dodgers. The Dodgers loaded the bases with one out in the first inning, but Garret Anderson struck out and Casey Blake grounded out weakly to pitcher Clay Buchholz to end the threat. The Dodgers put two runners on with one out in the second inning, but Matt Kemp's line drive found Marco Scutaro's glove, so instead of a run on the board, the inning was over with an easy double play.
For the second straight game (and thanks to reader Langhorne for pointing this out), the Dodgers only got hits from three men: Manny Ramirez, Garret Anderson, and Blake DeWitt. The old men in the outfield had nice weekends: Manny was five for 12 with a home run in his return to Boston, while Anderson had five hits in 10 at-bats, including a home run and two doubles. The rest of the offense was missing in action. Andre Ethier, for instance, went hitless in 12 at-bats during the series, though he did have a walk.
Orel Hershiser, now a commentator for ESPN, wished his dad a happy Father's Day during the broadcast, and mentioned a cool story. Hershiser's parents retired to Florida in 1978, at settled on Vero Beach, the longtime spring home of the Dodgers. The cool part of the story was that Hershiser wasn't drafted until 1979, so it was a nice coincidence that his family happened to be so close for all those spring trainings.
The Dodgers have tomorrow off, and start a series in Anaheim Tuesday, with Clayton Kershaw facing Ervin Santana.
WP - Clay Buchholz (10-4): 6 2/3 IP, 3 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts
LP - Hiroki Kuroda (6-5): 7 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts
Sv - Jonathan Papelbon (16): 1 IP, 1 strikeout