LOS ANGELES – Jake Peavy pitched a three-hitter and the Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-1 Sunday night, becoming the first team to win a series from the NL West leaders in 2½ months.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli homered for the Red Sox on the anniversary of the blockbuster nine-player trade in which the Dodgers acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto from Boston.
Gonzalez hit his 17th homer, driving an 0-2 pitch to center field with one out in the fourth for the Dodgers’ first hit after the Red Sox staked Peavy to a 3-0 lead.
The victory enabled the Red Sox to regain sole position of first place in the AL East and put them a game ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays, who lost 3-2 to the Yankees in 11 innings.
The Dodgers maintained their 9½-game lead over Arizona in the NL West, following the Diamondbacks’ 9-5 loss at Philadelphia.
The Red Sox were the first team to win a series from the Dodgers since June 14-16, when Pittsburgh took two of three. Los Angeles is 46-12 since June 22.
Peavy (10-5) threw 111 pitches in his 300th big league start, going the distance for the 16th time while striking out five and walking one.
The right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.31 ERA in five starts since Boston acquired him in a trade from the Chicago White Sox.
Chris Capuano (4-7) gave up three runs and six hits through five innings in his first career appearance against Boston. The 35-year-old left-hander, who was born in Springfield, Mass., has gotten through the seventh inning in only one of his 18 starts this season.
Dustin Pedroia was credited with an infield hit in the first inning on a missed call by umpire Mark Carlson, who ruled him safe after shortstop Hanley Ramirez charged Pedroia’s grounder and Gonzalez scooped up the low throw.
Victorino, who had doubled with one out before Pedroia came up, scored on Napoli’s ground-rule double to center. But Capuano minimized the damage by getting Will Middlebrooks to ground into a double play, after loading the bases with a two-out intentional walk to Jonny Gomes.
Pedroia made it 2-0 in the third with a sacrifice fly. Xander Bogaerts, playing in his fourth major-league game, got his first RBI with a fourth-inning double, and the Red Sox increased the margin to 6-1 with Saltalamacchia’s two-run homer in the sixth and Victorino’s solo shot in the seventh — both off rookie Chris Withrow.
Napoli capped the scoring in the ninth with his 16th home run, a two-run shot against Brandon League.
ESPN ANNOUNCER John Kruk, scheduled to work the game with play-by-play man Dan Shulman and former Red Sox ace Curt Schilling, was taken to a hospital less than an hour before game time because of dizziness and dehydration, according to a network spokesman.
RED SOX right-hander Clay Buchholz began a minor-league rehab assignment with Class A Lowell against Hudson Valley and faced seven batters, giving up three runs — one earned — along with a hit and three walks on 38 pitches.
Buchholz is 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA in 12 starts, but hasn’t pitched for the Red Sox since June 8 because of a neck strain.
THE DODGERS finished their interleague schedule 12-8, their first winning record against AL clubs since 2004 (10-8). The Red Sox, who don’t complete their interleague slate until Sept. 24-25 at Colorado, are 13-5 against NL teams.
BOSTON REINSTATED left-handed reliever Matt Thornton from the disabled list and optioned righty Brayan Villarreal to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Thornton missed 16 games because of an oblique strain on his right side. The Red Sox acquired him from the White Sox on July 12. He is 0-4 with a 3.47 ERA in 50 relief appearances this season.
Thornton is one of four lefties in the Red Sox bullpen, along with Craig Breslow, Franklin Morales and rookie Drake Britton.
JOSH BECKETT, a cornerstone of the Dodgers’ blockbuster trade with Boston a year ago, has declared himself ahead of schedule after thoracic outlet syndrome surgery and expects to be ready for the start of spring training.
The three-time All-Star, who flew in from Dallas on Friday to visit his teammates — past and present — expects to go back to Texas on Wednesday to begin a throwing program that will include three or four sessions off a mound. In another couple weeks, he will return to Los Angeles to get re-examined by Dodgers team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
“There’s still some hurdles to get over, but I feel really good for where I’m at,” Beckett said. “We were looking at eight weeks before I started throwing again, and I beat that by about two weeks. So we’re ahead of schedule right now. I don’t think anybody was expecting that, so everything’s going good. But I think we’ll know more probably when I begin my bullpens. December’s going to be long, so I’d like to get over those mental blocks now. It’s something to look forward to.”
Beckett was 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA in eight starts before going on the disabled list in mid-May because of a groin strain. He then experienced a recurrence of nerve irritation in his right arm, causing numbness in his pitching and leading to the surgery that finished him for the season.
“Basically, they cut the rib out of my spine, which was basically where all my the pain was — in my upper back,” said Beckett, who turned 33 in May and has two years and $30 million left on his contract. “Once I got closure on the fact that the surgery was the way we were going to go, my frustration level went down a lot because I at least had something to look forward to. The second week after the surgery, I was doing stuff that a lot of people were doing at four weeks after. “
Beckett said not being part of the Dodgers’ epic run hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm.
“I’m not frustrated. I’m glad they’re we’re winning,” he said. “I’m genuinely happy for everybody — the fans and the ownership that put this thing together after they bought this team. … It’s an exciting time to be a Dodger fan or a Dodger player, or a Dodger owner — or a Dodger DL guy.”