Los Angeles, CA – The Boston Red Sox have done what no other team has been capable of doing over the last two-plus months: take a series from the otherworldly Los Angeles Dodgers.
Buoyed by ex-Dodger Shane Victorino and a complete-game gem from Jake Peavy, the visiting Red Sox captured the rubber match of this three-game interleague set with an 8-1 victory at Chavez Ravine on Sunday night, the one-year anniversary of the monster deal between the two clubs.
The win, coupled with Tampa Bay's loss, gave Boston a one-game lead over the Rays in the battle for AL East supremacy.
Victorino doubled and scored in the first inning, dropped down a sacrifice bunt that led to a run in the third and belted a solo homer in the seventh.
Peavy (10-5), meanwhile, limited the Dodgers to three hits in his 300th career start. The right-hander's lone blemish was Adrian Gonzalez's fourth-inning homer.
"I wanted to finish it and I appreciate (Boston manager) John (Farrell) giving me the opportunity," Peavy said.
Los Angeles failed to win a series for the first time since losing two of three at Pittsburgh from June 14-16.
That streak wasn't the only one to end.
The NL West-leading Dodgers came in having won each of Chris Capuano's (4-7) last seven starts, but the Massachusetts native absorbed his first loss since July 4 after allowing three runs on six hits in five frames.
"(Capuano) was okay today, he deserved better," said Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly.
Capuano found himself in immediate trouble as a ground-rule double by Mike Napoli plated Victorino. An intentional walk to Jonny Gomes loaded the bases later in the first, but Capuano avoided further damage by getting Will Middlebrooks to ground into an inning-ending double play.
However, the Red Sox were able to pad their lead with a run in the third and fourth innings.
After leading off with a single and pilfering second base, Jacoby Ellsbury advanced on Victorino's bunt and scored on Dustin Pedroia's sacrifice fly.
Rookie Xander Bogaerts then picked up his first RBI when his two-out double knocked in Middlebrooks.
The Red Sox clubbed a trio of two-out homers off the LA bullpen to turn the contest into a rout.
An inning before Victorino went yard against Chris Withrow, Jarrod Saltalamacchia took the Dodgers reliever deep, mashing an opposite-field, two- run shot to left.
Napoli provided an exclamation point with a towering, two-run blast to left field off Brandon League in the ninth.
"We had a good offensive approach up and down the lineup," said Farrell.
The Dodgers had produced a 14-0-4 mark in their last 18 series ... Peavy, who recorded his 15th career complete game, has now allowed one or two runs in four of his five starts since being traded to the Red Sox on July 30. He improved to 14-2 in 25 career starts against the Dodgers ... Pedroia collected three hits ... Before the game, the Red Sox activated reliever Matt Thornton from the 15-day disabled list and optioned relief pitcher Brayan Villarreal to Triple-A Pawtucket. Thornton landed on the DL earlier this month with a right oblique strain.