Published January 13, 2015
Jon Lester tossed scoreless ball into the eighth and the Boston offense kicked into gear early on, in a 4-2 decision over Los Angeles in the second test in this three-game interleague set.
Lester (12-7) walked four, but surrendered just three hits and fanned six over 7 1/3 innings. Koji Uehara recorded the final four outs to earn his 13th save.
"I commanded the ball pretty well. I moved my fastball around, and got more consistent with my cutter," Lester said. "Any time you get such an early lead, you just try to attack the zone."
Mike Napoli drove in a run with a single and Jonny Gomes clubbed a three-run shot in the first inning for the Red Sox, who recovered from a 2-0 loss in Friday's series opener and remained in a first-place tie in the AL East. The Rays also won, beating the Yankees later Saturday.
It was also the first-ever win in Los Angeles for Boston, who was swept in a three-game set here from June 21-23, 2002.
Adrian Gonzalez collected a two-run double for the Dodgers, who saw their four-game win streak come to an end.
Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-5) was pulled after five full frames, having surrendered five hits and four runs with seven strikeouts.
Boston wasted no time, picking up four runs in the first thanks to a Napoli RBI single and three-run blast from Gomes. Jacoby Ellsbury kicked off the game by grounding to shortstop, but Shane Victorino was plunked, moved up on a Dustin Pedroia single and scored on Napoli's hit ahead of Gomes' 11th homer of the season, which settled into the seats in left center for a 4-0 game.
"I'd never faced him before. I was looking for a fastball and I think I hit it pretty good," Gomes admitted. "It was a good win today because those guys over there are on a roll."
Yasiel Puig walked to begin the home first, but Mark Ellis fanned swinging and Gonzalez lined into a double play to end the frame. The Dodgers stranded runners on first and second in the fourth, then had two on with one down in the seventh before Juan Uribe lined into an inning-ending double play.
Brian Wilson came in for the eighth, and despite loading the bases on a double from Pedroia, an infield hit by Napoli and a Stephen Drew walk, he fanned Will Middlebrooks to keep it a four-run margin.
After Jerry Hairston was retired on a pop to short, Lester exited when he walked pinch-hitter Carl Crawford. Junichi Tazawa then allowed a single to Puig and fanned Mark Ellis before giving way to Craig Breslow, who served up a two-run double to Gonzalez and walked Hanley Ramirez.
Uehara came on and struck out A.J. Ellis, and finished off the game by retiring the side in order in the ninth.
"We were in it at the end but we just couldn't find a way to break through," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "But our bullpen was tremendous. They kept us in the game and gave us a chance to come back."
Lester has won four of his last five decisions over a span of seven starts since July 23 ... Napoli finished with three hits while Pedroia hit safely twice ... Puig was the only Dodger to collect more than one hit ... Red Sox third baseman Xander Bogaerts, who entered the game in the bottom of the eighth, recorded his first major league hit in the ninth ... Boston improved to 6-5 all-time against Los Angeles and 10-6 including a five-game victory in the 1916 World Series.