Game over: Dodgers 2, Red Sox 0: Ricky Nolasco allowed only two hits over eight innings as the Dodgers beat the Sox, 2-0, before a crowed of 50,240.
Nolasco (10-9) struck out six without a walk and hit one in a game that lasted only two hours and seven minutes. He threw 101 pitches, 66 strikes. Kenley Jansen finished the Red Sox off for his 22nd save.
It was the 10th time this season the Red Sox were shutout. Their final 13 hitters went in order.
John Lackey was again the victim of poor run support. The righthander allowed only three hits and struck out six without a walk. But that was not good enough. Lackey fell to 8-11.
Top of the 9th: Dodgers 2, Red Sox 0: Status quo for the Sox. They’re mounting no offense to speak of. One runner past first base all night.
Top of the 8th: Dodgers 2, Red Sox 0: Both teams went in order again. Lackey so far: 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. This sure isn’t his fault. Nolasco has been great.
Top of the 7th: Dodgers 2, Red Sox 0: The Sox went in order again. They’ve had runners on base in two of the first six innings. Lackey allowed a single by Crawford, who stole second. But Gonzalez flied to left to end the inning.
Crawford has two stolen bases for only the second time this season. The last time was April 6. Coincidence? Guessing not.
Top of the 6th: Dodgers 2, Red Sox 0: The Red Sox started a rally when Nava was hit by a pitch and Drew singled to right. But Middlebrooks grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Lackey retired the Dodgers in order. The first five innings took 1:13. Not exactly a Sox-Yankees game.
Top of the 5th: Dodgers 2, Red Sox 0: Nolasco has retired the last 10 Red Sox in order. Lackey’s perfect game ended when Crawford singled to right. With two outs, Crawford stole second on a ball that bounced past Salty. Ramirez then hammered a fastball out to center for his 13th homer.
The steal was only the second in 27 games for Crawford.
Top of the 4th: Red Sox 0, Dodgers 0: If you like quick baseball, tonight’s your kind of game. Both teams went in order again. Lackey is at 28 pitches and the three innings took 38 minutes.
Top of the 3rd: Red Sox 0, Dodgers 0: Both pitchers had easy innings. Salty flied to center, Nava grounded to short and Drew flied to center. Lackey then got two fly balls before Uribe grounded to shortstop. Lackey is at a tidy 17 pitches after two innings.
Top of the 2nd: Red Sox 0, Dodgers 0: Pedroia had a single and that was it for the Red Sox as Ortiz grounded into the shift. Lackey set down the Dodgers in order, striking out Puig and Gonzalez along the way. His fastball was 94-95.
The Red Sox players were catching up with Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto before the game. Punto spent far more time in conversation with the Sox players, which speaks to the popularity he enjoyed in the clubhouse during his brief time in Boston.
It’ll be John Lackey (5-2, 1.89 in 10 career appearances against LA) against Ricky Nolasco. The Sox are missing Clayon Kershaw and Zack Greinke this series.
The Dodgers haven’t lost a series since mid-June. If the Red Sox get out of here with two wins, that’ll be a major accomplishment.
Hang out for updates and please feel free to leave your comments.