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Monday, August 26, 2013

Red Sox Prove That The Dodgers Are Overrated (When Kershaw and Greinke aren't pitching)

Before this trip started, I recognized that the Red Sox were lucky to miss both Matt Cain and Ryan Bumgartner in San Francisco then Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke in Los Angeles. Boston (77-55 overall, 37-32 away) took advantage of their favorable schedule by going 4-2 on their West Coast swing. They ended their stay at Dodger Stadium with a 8-1 stomping of the Dodgers (76-54 overall, 38-27 home) on Sunday Night Baseball. LA hadn't lost a series in over two months and came in as the hottest team in MLB.

Jake Peavy (10-5) was the story since he improved to 14-2 lifetime against the Dodgers with his 16th career complete game: 3 hits, 5 strikeouts and 1 walk. His only blemish was a solo homer/bomb to former Red Sox great Adrian Gonzalez in the fourth.

Boston's pitching was top notch all series, allowing five total runs to a legit National League lineup (normally an oxymoron) and finally their bats came alive this evening. The Red Sox had 12 hits including three homers and four doubles.

Possibly dating a porn star seems to have reinvigorated (see what I did there?) Mike Napoli's 2013 season. He bookmarked the win for Boston with an RBI double in the first and a two-run homer (his 16th) in the ninth. In between those, Dustin Pedroia (3 hits, double, run) notched a sacrifice fly in the third, Xander Bogaerts (2 hits) recorded his first MLB RBI with a run-scoring double in the fifth then Jarrod Saltalamacchia (two-run homer; his 11th of the season) and Shane Victorino (solo homer; 9th of the season) brought the power in the sixth and seventh innings respectively.

They only went 9-10 but the Red Sox survived a brutal stretch where they played 16 of their last 19 games on the road. Boston originally left town one game up in the AL East on Tampa Bay and ironically enough, they return in the exact same position. Their reward is that their next nine games: 3 vs. Baltimore (70-59 overall, 3rd in AL East), 3 vs. White Sox and 3 vs. Tigers are all at Fenway Park. In fact, they won't play another road game until September 5 (the same night the NFL regular season begins) and don't look now but there are only 30 games left in the regular season.

After tomorrow's much-needed off day in Boston, on Tuesday (7:10, NESN) Felix Doubront (9-6) takes on Wei-Yin Chen (7-6). Wednesday (7:10, NESN) finds John Lackey (8-11) vs. Bud Norris (9-10) with the series finale on Thursday (7:10, NESN): Jon Lester (12-7) against Chris Tillman (14-4).

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