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Dodgers keep rolling with win over Red Sox

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- Look out, baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers are streaking again.

And not even the American League East-leading Boston Red Sox could stop them Friday on a picturesque night in Tinseltown.

Back home after winning five and seven on a short trip east, the Dodgers got another productive night from starter Ricky Nolasco and one big blast from Hanley Ramirez to beat the Red Sox 2-0 at Dodger Stadium.

That's five straight for the again-surging Dodgers, who moved a season high 24 games above .500 and to 19-3 in August and 29-5 since the All-Star break

Nolasco went eight innings, giving up two hits with six strikeouts for his 10th win of the season.

Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 22nd save -- converting his 15th straight opportunity --.with a 1-2-3 inning.

Nolasco would have liked the chance to complete the game, but with the way Jansen is pitching, he understood.

"Anyone would like to keep going," Nolasco said. "But we've got a great closer back there."

Carl Crawford and Ramirez both had two hits, with Ramirez's two-run blast off Boston starter John Lackey the difference in the game.

Ramirez felt the playoff-like atmosphere.

"Definitely." Ramirez said. "It was a full house today. The cheers, it's loud. It gets you pumped."

Lackey didn't pitch poorly, but with the way the Dodgers are clicking in all areas, all it took was one bad pitch and he was doomed.

"It's frustrating," Lackey said, "because one pitch can decide the game."

Lackey went eight innings and gave up three hits while striking out six -- the problem being one of those hits was a two-run homer.

Lackey was coasting through the first three innings, but the Dodgers got to him in the fourth when Carl Crawford led off with a single and Ramirez drove fastball over the center-field fence to put the Dodgers up 2-0.

It was a frustrating situation for Lackey, who missed on a 1-2 pitch to Ramirez.

"Talked about it with (Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia) , liked the idea, obviously," Lackey said. "But (Ramirez) is a good player."

It was the 13th home run of the year for Ramirez.

"He was trying to quick pitch me, maybe try to get me off-balance," Ramirez said of Lackey. "It's part of the game."

Aside from that, Lackey was as good as he has been all year.

But so was Nolasco.

"All the way around, this was a well-pitched game on both sides," Boston manager John Farrell said. "John makes the one 1-2 fastball to Ramirez and that's the difference in this one."

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly agreed.

"Both sides' pitching was really good," Mattingly said. "Ricky went as deep as he's been for us. He made it look easy."

With the way things are going for the Dodgers -- and one mighty swing from Ramirez -- it added up to their fifth straight win.

NOTES: With the minor league season ending in just over a week, diminishing the chance for Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp to play some rehab games before coming off the disabled list, Kemp had an eventful workout Friday in hopes of igniting his comeback. He ran the bases -- including making hard cuts -- and went through batting practice. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said it was the best Kemp has looked running in some time. Kemp has been on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle. The Dodgers would prefer he played in some minor-league games before returning to the big club, but the longer the injury lingers, the more they have to consider other options. "I'm hoping he can get in to a game or two," Mattingly said. "If not, we'll have to work something else out and set some stuff up." ... Before the game, the Dodgers announced that Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will return next year for his 65th season.
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