BOSTON (AP) — Clay Buchholz and two relievers combined on a four-hit shutout to help the Boston Red Sox beat the Dodgers 2-0 on Sunday night and send Manny Ramirez back to Los Angeles without a win.
Buchholz (10-4) allowed three hits, three walks and two hit batsmen while striking out four to complete the three-game sweep and win for the seventh time in his past eight starts.
Daniel Bard got four outs and Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 16th save and Boston's sixth shutout. The Red Sox earned their season-high sixth straight victory to improve to 8-1 on the interleague homestand and remain just one game behind the New York Yankees in the AL East.
Dustin Pedroia had three hits, including an eighth-inning triple. He also stole second twice, and took third on one of them after seeing that the Dodgers, playing an infield shift with David Ortiz at-bat, had no one covering the bag.
Hiroki Kuroda (6-5) gave up two runs and six hits, a walk and two wild pitches. Kuroda, who had not allowed an earned run in his two previous starts, struck out nine.
There were more cheers — and more boos — for Ramirez, who was playing in Boston for the first time since leaving the city he helped win two World Series titles. The 2004 Series MVP was 2 for 3 with a walk in the finale; he also jogged out of the basepaths without any effort to disrupt an inning-ending double play on James Loney's grounder in the third inning.
Pedroia took two bases on a stolen base in the first when catcher Russell Martin's throw trickled into short center field for an error. Although the play was perfectly backed up, he outran the fielders to the unattended bag and slid headfirst.
Ortiz walked, then Kevin Youkilis hit a check-swing dribbler that third baseman Casey Blake ran past, hoping it would go foul. The ball rolled down the line and hit the base as Pedroia scored without a throw to make it 1-0.
Boston made it 2-0 when Marco Scutaro led off the third with a single, Pedroia singled and Ortiz hit a sacrifice fly.
The Dodgers loaded the bases with one out in the first before Buchholz struck out Garret Anderson and got Blake on a comebacker. Anderson doubled to lead off the seventh, and two outs later Buchholz hit Blake DeWitt with a pitch in the back of his right leg.
DeWitt left for a pinch runner, and that was it for Buchholz, too. Bard came on to get Jamey Carroll on a first-pitch fielder's choice.
NOTES: Buchholz has allowed three runs or fewer in eight straight starts. ... The Red Sox mowed a picture of a soccer ball into the outfield grass to note the July 21 game between Celtic FC of Scotland and Sporting CP of Portugal. ... Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he hoped to have J.D. Drew back from a right hamstring injury on Tuesday. ... Dodgers manager Joe Torre said he hadn't decided on a pitcher for Thursday. It could be Claudio Vargas or Charlie Haeger, both in Triple-A.