Peavy, Red Sox complete series win in L.A

Jon Gold, The Sports Xchange

LOS ANGELES -- The Boston Red Sox sure seemed as if they were trying to make a proclamation to the rest of baseball on Sunday night at Dodger Stadium.

Yeah, the Los Angeles Dodgers may be the hottest team in baseball, but the Red Sox are no slouches either.

What began as a brilliant performance by Jake Peavy ended with a Boston tee-off party, and Boston sent Los Angeles to its first series loss since mid-June with an 8-1 victory in the rubber match Sunday night at Dodger Stadium.

"It's satisfying any time you win, however you can get that done," said Peavy, who threw a three-hit complete game. "But we were all in the win tonight. It was big came to come into Dodger Stadium and win two of three, and really have a chance to win Friday (during the lone defeat). I think that shows what caliber of ballclub we are. We're on the same level as those guys; they've been on an incredible run, but we're a good ballclub as well."

Added Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia: "They were hot, yeah, but we're not a bad team. We're a good team. We know what we've got to do. We have to go out there and play the game. I don't think we were happy with how the last few weeks have gone. We played OK, won some games, but we expect a lot more out of ourselves."

They got it on Sunday, and it was a family affair.

Peavy pitched his second complete game of the season, his first since joining the Red Sox last month in a three-team trade. The Dodgers did not have more than one baserunner in any inning as they dropped their first series in their last 19.

In each of the first two games of the three-game set, Boston held the vaunted Los Angeles lineup to two runs. On Friday, that was enough for Los Angeles and Ricky Nolasco in a 2-0 Dodgers win. On Saturday, the Red Sox ended the Dodgers' four-game winning streak with a 4-2 victory.

On Sunday, Peavy yielded only Adrian Gonzalez's solo home run in the fourth inning, which sliced Boston's lead to 3-1. Peavy struck out five and walked one, throwing 111 pitches (77 strikes).

"Jake threw a lot of strikes, mixed his pitches," Saltalamacchia said. "I think it speaks for itself. He just did an unbelievable job keeping us in that ballgame. They have some guys who can swing the bat over there, so to keep them to one run like that is what we needed."

Peavy improved to 14-2 with a 2.21 ERA in 24 career starts against Los Angeles. He is 7-1 in his career at Dodger Stadium, though he was making his first start there since 2009, when he was a member of the San Diego Padres.

"Tonight was a big night for us," Peavy said. "We needed that. We had to come in here and play great as a team. We watched them on tape and right away you can see why they're so successful. Fortunately, we put a good game plan together. Salty did an outstanding job. It was just a good night for the boys, a team win."

Added Dodgers manager Don Mattingly: "With that good pitching, you can't walk up there and just be swinging. They're going to up there with their game plan, and if you don't know what you're doing, they're going to get you out."

After receiving some early support, Peavy got even more of a boost when the Boston lineup blasted off late in the game.

The Red Sox hit three home runs in the final four innings, stretching a two-run lead to seven runs on the strength of some big bats.

Saltalamacchia smacked a two-run home run to deep left in the sixth inning, scoring Mike Napoli. Shane Victorino added a solo shot in the seventh, and Napoli hammered a pitch over the left field wall in the ninth inning to score Dustin Pedroia.

Pedroia had three hits, while Victorino, Napoli and Xander Bogaerts each had two.

The Boston offense jumped on Los Angeles early with a consistent approach, notching single runs in the first, third and fourth innings off Dodgers starter Chris Capuano (4-7), who allowed three runs on six hits in five innings.

Napoli opened the scoring with an RBI ground-rule double in the first inning, knocking in Victorino. Pedroia hit a sacrifice fly in the third inning to score Jacoby Ellsbury, and Bogaerts doubled home Will Middlebrooks in the fourth inning.

Ever the optimist, Mattingly thought it was the wake-up call his hot team may have needed, a reminder that baseball is not always wins and sunshine.

"That's a team that makes you fight, and if you make mistakes and they'll make you pay," Mattingly said. "That's a good ballclub right there in a tight race. It was good for us."

NOTES: Los Angeles RHP Josh Beckett (thoracic outlet syndrome surgery) said he could resume throwing as soon as next week but he will not pitch again this season. His goal is to be ready by next spring training. ... Dodgers CF Matt Kemp (sprained ankle) could participate in a minor league rehab game as soon as next week. ... ESPN commentator John Kruk was taken out of the Dodger Stadium press box on a gurney because of dehydration before the game. ... Boston RHP Clay Buchholz (strained neck, bursitis in right shoulder) had a poor rehab outing Sunday. He allowed three runs (one earned) on one hit and three walks in two-thirds of an inning for short-season Class A Lowell, making 38 pitches (19 strikes).