Dodgers fall 8-1 to Red Sox
Adrian Gonzalez punctuated the anniversary of last year's blockbuster nine-player trade that brought him to the Dodgers from the Boston Red Sox with a home run.
But that was all the offense the NL West leaders could muster on Sunday night against longtime nemesis Jake Peavy, who pitched the Boston Red Sox to 8-1 victory with a three-hitter.
The Red Sox took the deciding game of the interleague series, becoming the first team to win a series from the Dodgers in 2 1/2 months.
''You never want to lose two games in a row,'' said left fielder Carl Crawford, another player who came over in the trade along with Josh Beckett and Nick Punto.
''But we've just got to get back to doing what we do, put these two games behind us real quick and get back to our winning ways.''
The Dodgers hadn't lost a series since June 14-16, when Pittsburgh took two of three. But they are still 9 1/2 games ahead of Arizona in the NL West and 46-12 since June 22, after trailing the Diamondbacks by as many as 9 1/2 games on June 22.
''I think this was a good little lesson for us,'' manager Don Mattingly said after watching his team total just four runs and nine hits in 24 1-3 combined innings by Peavy, John Lackey and Jon Lester.
''If we're going to be fortunate enough to do anything and get anywhere, that's the kind of pitching we're gonna see. You're gonna see teams with veteran pitching that knows that they're doing, and you better have a game-plan when you walk up there.''
Chris Capuano (4-7) gave up three runs and six hits through five innings in his first career appearance against Boston. The 35-year-old left-hander, who was born in Springfield, Mass., has gotten through the seventh inning in only one of his 18 starts this season.
''They're a veteran team that grinds out at-bats, plays great defense and makes you work for everything you get,'' Capuano said. ''We're definitely disappointed to drop the last two. But at the same time, we have a really good pitcher on the mound tomorrow night (Zack Greinke) and we're looking forward to starting another streak.''
Peavy (10-5) threw 111 pitches in his 300th big league start, going the distance for the 16th time while striking out five and walking one.
The right-hander is 14-2 with a 2.21 ERA in 25 career starts against the Dodgers, the other 24 coming with the Padres.
''We got ahead of most guys and dictated the count. You have to do that when you're going against a lineup as talented as they are,'' Peavy said. ''Fortunately we were able to put a good game plan together.''
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mike Napoli and former Dodger Shane Victorino all homered for the Red Sox, who regained sole possession of the AL East lead and put them a game ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays, who lost 3-2 to the Yankees in 11 innings.
''Tonight was a very big night for us, and we knew that,'' said Peavy, who is 2-1 with a 3.31 ERA in five starts since Boston acquired him in a trade from the Chicago White Sox.
Gonzalez's 17th homer came on an 0-2 pitch with one out in the fourth - the Dodgers' first hit after the Red Sox staked Peavy to a 3-0 lead.
''I don't like facing Adrian Gonzalez,'' said Peavy, Gonzalez's teammate for three-plus seasons in San Diego.
''He's an extremely good player, but that can't happen there on 0-2. I've got to make a better pitch. I was trying to change his eye level way higher than it was. When I played with him, he hit about 40 a year, so I've seen that multiple times. And it doesn't feel good being on the receiving end.''
NOTES: ESPN ''Sunday Night Baseball'' analyst John Kruk, scheduled to work the game with play-by-play man Dan Shulman and former Red Sox ace Curt Schilling, was taken to a hospital less than an hour before gametime because of dizziness and dehydration, according to a network spokesman. ... The Dodgers are 94-72 since the trade, and the Red Sox are 84-82. ... The Dodgers finished their interleague schedule 12-8, their first winning record against AL clubs since 2004 (10-8). The Red Sox, who don't complete their interleague slate until Sept. 24-25 at Colorado, are 13-5 against NL teams.