The Boston Red Sox were utterly handcuffed by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 23. If the Red Sox didn’t recover on Aug. 24, they could have become just another team steamrolled by the Dodgers over a weekend. Yet after getting two hits and no runs in the series opener, Boston put together four runs in the first inning alone a day later, which was enough for a 4-2 win in Los Angeles.
The Red Sox were shutout by Ricky Nolasco, who is not one of the Dodgers’ aces. As such, it didn’t bode well that Boston was facing 12-4 Hyun-Jin Ryu on Aug. 24. However, the Red Sox struck early in the first on a Mike Napoli RBI, then struck even bigger on a three-run homer by Jonny Gomes.
Jon Lester took care of most of the rest for the Red Sox, holding the Dodgers to three hits in 7 1-3 innings. John Lackey held Los Angeles to only three hits as well on Aug. 23, but was victimized by a Hanley Ramirez homer. This time, Lackey and Boston weren’t victimized until the eighth, when former Red Sox Adrian Gonzalez cut the lead in half with a two-run double.
The Dodgers have made their share of rallies during their nearly invincible run since mid-June. But this would not be one of them, as the Red Sox kept things from slipping away further. Instead of being steamrolled in three straight games like most of Los Angeles’s recent opponents, Boston can actually take this series with a win in prime time on Aug. 25.
This first win helped the Red Sox stay within percentage points of the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East, although it kept the Dodgers from tying the Atlanta Braves for the NL’s best record. The stakes are still high for both teams in the finale, yet far from what they will be if they indeed meet against this year.