Lester shuts down Dodgers, 4-2

Lester shuts down Dodgers, 4-2
August 24, 2013, 7:15 pm
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In a hypothetical best-of-five series, it's possible the Sox could use only three pitchers. Who should make the cut?

(AP Photo)

LOS ANGELES -- There were some anxious moments in the late innings, but the Red Sox pitchers rode to the rescue Saturday, helping to deliver a 4-2 victory over the white-hot Los Angeles Dodgers.   

Jon Lester allowed just one run in 7 1/3 innings to win his second straight starts and four relievers combined to get the final five outs as the Dodgers lost for just for just the fourth time in 23 games this month.    

Lester is now 4-1 with a 2.31 ERA in his last seven starts.    

When Craig Breslow and Junichi Tazawa stumbled some in the eighth, Koji Uehara came in for a four-out save, fanning A.J. Ellis with two on in the eighth and setting the Dodgers down in order in the ninth for his 13th save.    

The Red Sox offense, which slumbered through Friday night with just two hits, snapped awake in the first inning, scoring all four of its runs in that inning.    

Mike Napoli, who returned to the starting lineup, drove in the first run with a line single to center and Jonny Gomes followed with a three-run homer in the first inning.    

By the time Gomes, the fifth hitter of the afternoon, crossed the plate, the Red Sox had more hits (3) than they collected over the entire nine innings Friday night.    

The Sox didn't score again after the first, though they threatened with a leadoff double from Stephen Drew in the fourth, then loaded the bases in the eighth inning, before left them that way when Will Middlebrooks fanned for the third time.


Lester continued a strong stretch that has seen him allow just one run over 15 2/3 innings on this West Coast trip. He pitched into the eighth inning and is now 4-1 with a 2.31 ERA over his last seven starts.

Gomes had started just one of the first four games of the road trip, but in the first inning, put a charge into a fastball from Hyun-Jin Ryu for a three-run homer, part of a four-run first that held up through the end of the game.

Ryu didn't pitch badly, going five innings and allowing four runs on five hits. But giving the Red Sox a 4-0 head start in the first inning put his team in a tough spot.

TURNING POINT: The Red Sox bullpen seemed on the verge of melting down in the eighth when Junichi Tazawa and Craig Breslow combined to face four hitters and retire just one. In came Koji Uehara, who struck out A.J. Ellis with the potential tying runs on base, preserving the Red Sox' two-run lead.

The win Saturday was the Red Sox' first at Dodger Stadium, having lost the previous four regular season games here.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "Hit it.'' Xander Bogaerts, misunderstanding a question from a reporter about what he was going do with the ball that was saved as a souvenir for his first major league hit.