For the first time in 10 weeks, the Dodgers finally lost a series. Jake Peavy looked like his vintage San Diego version, leading the Red Sox to an 8-1 victory at Dodger Stadium on Sunday night, sending the Dodgers to their second straight defeat.
The Dodgers lost two of three games to the Red Sox, their first series loss since dropping two of three contests on June 14-16 in Pittsburgh. The Dodgers were 14-0-4 in their previous 18 series.
But it's hard to win a series with five runs scored in three games.
A ground rule double by Mike Napoli gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Boston loaded the bases against Chris Capuano with just one out but Will Middlebrooks grounded into a double play to end the threat.
Jacoby Ellsbury singled to lead off the fourth inning, stole second, was sacrificed to third then scored on a sacrifice fly by Dustin Pedroia for a manufacured 2-0 Boston lead. The Red Sox added another run in the fourth inning when rookie Xander Bogaerts doubled to center field and was credited with an RBI even though Middlebrooks was held at third before Skip Schumaker bobbled the ball.
Adrian Gonzalez hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning, a booming shot to center field to cut the deficit to 3-1. He was 1-for-4 against Peavy and is now hitting .364 (4-for-11) with two home runs against his former San Diego teammate.
Capuano was lifted after five innings after allowing three runs on six hits, with three strikeouts and a walk. It wasn't necessarily a bad performance for Capuano, but he has gone from alternating great and terrible starts to simply forgoing the good ones in lieu of consistently mediocre performances. Over his last four starts Capuano has allowed 16 runs on 32 hits in 19⅓ innings, and has failed to last past five innings in any one of them.
Chris Withrow followed Capuano on the mound and had the worst outing of his young major league career. He allowed two home runs and three runs in his two innings of work.
The Sox added two more in the ninth inning against Brandon League when Napoli crushed a ball three quarters of the way up the left field pavilion.
That was more than enough for Peavy, who allowed just one run and three hits in a complete game win, with one walk and five strikeouts. Though he hadn't faced the Dodgers since 2009, Peavy looked like the Peavy of old, and improved to 14-2 with a 2.21 ERA in 25 career starts against the Dodgers.
While the game wasn't especially enjoyable from a Dodgers perspective, at least there was this re-air of an ESPN vignette on Vin Scully during the broadcast:
The Dodgers ended interleague play with a 12-8 record in 2013, their first winning mark against the American League since 2004.
The Dodgers continue their homestand by playing much easier opponents, beginning with the Cubs on Monday night. Zack Greinke starts the opener on Monday night, facing Jake Arrieta for Chicago.
Home runs: Adrian Gonzalez (17); Jarrod Saltalamacchia (11), Shane Victorino (9), Mike Napoli (16)
WP - Jake Peavy (10-5): 9 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
LP - Chris Capuano (4-7): 5 IP, 6 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts