August 24, 2013

Red Sox lose to L.A., fall to second place

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Ricky Nolasco pitched eight innings of two-hit ball, Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run homer with two outs in the fourth, and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Boston Red Sox 2-0 Friday night in the opener of an interleague series that began as a matchup between first-place teams.

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Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury climbs the wall as he tries to catch a ball hit for a two-run home run by the Dodgers' Hanley Ramirez in the fourth inning Friday in Los Angeles.

The Associated Press

The Dodgers won their fourth in a row, while the Red Sox lost for the sixth time in eight games. With the loss, Boston fell percentage points behind Tampa Bay in the AL East standings.

Nolasco and John Lackey dueled through eight innings of Boston's first visit to Dodger Stadium since 2002. They combined for just five hits in a game that lasted 2 hours, 7 minutes.

Nolasco (10-9) struck out six and walked none in tying his longest outing of the season. The right-hander reached double-digit victories for the sixth consecutive season, joining teammate Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia as the only pitchers to do so every year since 2008.

Nolasco is 5-1 in nine starts since being acquired from Miami.

Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 22nd save in 25 chances.

Lackey (8-11) gave up two runs and three hits in eight innings, struck out six and walked none. The right-hander has received no runs of support six times this season.

Ramirez sent a 1-2 pitch over the wall in center field, scoring Carl Crawford, who led off with a single and stole second. Jacoby Ellsbury climbed the wall while attempting to make the catch.

Crawford was part of the blockbuster, nine-player deal between the Red Sox and Dodgers last August. He had two hits against his old team. Los Angeles got Crawford, pitcher Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto in exchange for James Loney, Ivan DeJesus Jr., pitchers Allan Webster and Rubby De La Rosa, and Jerry Sands.

The Red Sox had the tying runs at first and second with one out in the fifth, but Will Middlebrooks grounded into a double play to end the inning.

NOTES: Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully confirmed he will return in 2014 to call all Dodgers home games and road games in California and Arizona. It will be his 65th season with the team. ... Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said slugger Matt Kemp is getting better, but he's not ready to return yet from a sprained left ankle. ... In 2002, the Red Sox were swept in three games in their only other trip to Dodger Stadium. ... Eight of Boston's last 12 losses have been by two runs or less.

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