After slowing down baseball’s hottest team, the Boston Red Sox are looking for more.
Boston tries to become the first team since mid-June to take a series from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday night at Chavez Ravine.
While the Red Sox (76-55) were held to a pair of singles in Friday’s 2-0 loss, they got going right away in a 4-2 victory Saturday. Jonny Gomes’ three-run homer capped a four-run first inning, and Jon Lester pitched effectively into the eighth.
“If you’ve got a good aggressive hitter like Jonny who can hit the ball out of the ballpark and he jumps on that first pitch, it’s huge,” catcher David Ross said.
Boston has now won three of five, a stretch in which its rotation has posted a 1.21 ERA.
“Our starting pitching has been absolutely grinding and keeping us in the game,” said Gomes, who has seven RBIs in his last four games.
The Dodgers (76-53), meanwhile, saw their four-game winning streak come to an end after going 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position. Los Angeles is still 46-11 dating to June 22, by far the best record in the majors over that stretch, but on Sunday it’ll be in danger of losing its first series since dropping two of three in Pittsburgh from June 14-16.
Yasiel Puig, third in the NL with a .345 average since getting called up June 3, collected two of the team’s five hits Saturday.
“More times than not with our offense we’re going to be able to get back in the game all the way, but (Lester) didn’t allow it,” catcher A.J. Ellis said.
The Dodgers will try to bounce back against Jake Peavy (9-5, 4.25 ERA), who has allowed one or two runs in three of his four starts since being traded to the Red Sox on July 30. The right-hander yielded one run and five hits in 5 2-3 innings in a 3-2 walkoff loss at San Francisco on Tuesday.
“You don’t ever like to come out of a game,” Peavy, who was removed after throwing 92 pitches, told MLB’s official website. “It was tough coming out. But that’s the way the game goes.”
Peavy hasn’t faced the Dodgers in more than four years, but he gave them fits while with San Diego from 2002-09. The former NL Cy Young Award winner is 13-2 in 24 career starts versus Los Angeles while compiling a 2.27 ERA - his second-lowest mark against any NL club.
Andre Ethier is 5 for 33 (.152) with 10 strikeouts versus Peavy, and Hanley Ramirez is 1 for 13. Former Padres teammate Adrian Gonzalez, though, is 3 for 7 with a homer.
Gonzalez drove in both Dodgers runs Saturday, giving him 14 RBIs in his last 17 games.
Los Angeles tries to get back on track behind Chris Capuano (4-6, 4.70), who has compiled a 7.53 ERA over his last three starts. The Dodgers, though, have won each of his last seven outings, including Tuesday’s 6-4 victory at Miami after the left-hander gave up three runs and six hits in five innings.
Capuano now returns home, where he is 2-4 with a 6.23 ERA in nine outings, for his first career start against the Red Sox.
Boston, which has outscored opponents 79-30 during an 11-3 stretch in interleague play, is 1-4 all-time at Dodger Stadium.