Boston-- If you told me before Saturday night's game that Ross Stripling would outpitch Chris Sale at Fenway Park, I would have called you insane. But as we know how bizarre this game can be, just expect the unexpected.
The Dodgers snapped their four-game losing streak in an 11-2 blowout win over the Boston Red Sox.
L.A. did early damage against Sale. Former UVA Cavalier Chris Taylor drew a lead-off walk and after back-to-back strikeouts, Cody Bellinger reached on an infield single. Often injury-prone New England native A.J. Pollock perfectly placed an RBI single for an immediate 1-0 lead in the 1st.
The "red menace" Justin Turner mashed his 11th home run of the year over the green monster to take a 2-0 lead in the 3rd.
Chris Sale has been struggling mightily in his past three starts, posting a 7.02 ERA, while in his eleven previous starts he hoisted a 2.24 ERA. He's lacked the consistency and command on pitches this season that he has showed throughout his career, which is starting to become disturbing for the Red Sox.
Boston cut the lead in half after a home run from Xander Bogaerts off Stripling, to make it 2-1. Nonetheless, Stripling was absolutely exceptional on the mound against a powerful Sox lineup - giving L.A. five innings of one-run ball, striking out seven and surrendering four hits, which is his best start of the season by far.
After scoring seven runs in their past four games, the offense finally stepped up and solved the Sox pitching. Kike Hernandez reached to start the 5th on a single, Austin Barnes was hit by a pitch, Justin Turner hit an RBI double, and then David Freese countered with a two-run RBI double to make it 5-1.
World Series folk hero Joe Kelly entered the bottom of the 6th inning to preserve a 5-1 lead, and man that was scary. The Red Sox scored a run against their former teammate on a pair of singles to make it 5-2, but Christian Vasquez struck out with the potential tying run on base. Somehow Joe Kelly did not meltdown, which was nice to see, but you still cannot trust him.
Thankfully, the Dodgers scored a few more runs, including Cody Bellinger crushing a majestic shot into the beautiful New England night sky for his 31st home run and A.J. Pollock smacking one over the green monster, both off knuckleballer Steven Wright, to make it 7-2. Two more runs scored after an error from Vasquez, and Austin Barnes followed with a triple off the monster for a 9-2 lead.
In the 8th inning, Justin Turner doubled, advanced to third on a fly ball, and then scored on a Bellinger sacrifice fly to make it 10-2. Max Muncy joined in on the party, smoking a home run into straight away center in the 9th for his 23rd of the season.
Julio Urias pitched two innings of relief ball striking out two, sitting down all six batters on just 19 pitches. J.T. Chargois closed the game easily, going 1-2-3 on six pitches.
The Dodgers improve to 61-33 with the victory. They now have a 13.5-game lead over the Diamondbacks in the NL West.
The final game of the 3-game set will be played on ESPN at 7:00 PM EST. Hyun-Jin Ryu vs David Price.