But uh, just as expected, the Dodgers snapped their losing streak with the offense breaking out against Sale and Stripling turned in a gem in a 11-2 victory.
The Dodgers got things started early against Sale. Chris Taylor drew a lead-off walk and after back-to-back strikeouts, Cody Bellinger reached on an infield single. That set things up for A.J. Pollock, who lined a single the other way for an early advantage at 1-0.
They added to the lead in the 3rd when Justin Turner crushed his 11th dong of the year to make it 2-0.
The Red Sox halved the lead in the 4th behind a solo shot from Xander Bogaerts off Stripling to make it 2-1. However, Stripling was otherwise stellar on the night, giving the Dodgers five innings of one-run ball, striking out seven and surrendering just four hits.
The bats of the Dodgers fought back in the 5th behind a single from Enrique Hernandez, Austin Barnes getting hit by a pitch, a double from Turner to score one, and then a double from David Freese to score two more and make it 5-1.
Joe Kelly entered in relief riding a hot hand of late. He was tasked with the 6th and actually struggled a bit even if he didn’t necessarily pitch poorly. He gave up a fliner single to right, got a routine fly out, and then the baserunner got from first to third on a combination of a stolen base, mediocre throw, and botched catch. That runner then scored on a jam-shot blooper over first for a single to make it 5-2. Kelly then broke a bat on a grounder for an out, walked a batter, threw a wild pitch to put two into scoring position but capped his night with a strikeout.
Joe Kelly, everybody.
So that was a bit concerning, but the Dodgers made it easier in the 7th. Bellinger absolutely murderized his 31st dong of the year and Pollock followed with his 3rd dong of the year, both off wife-beater/PED cheat Steven Wright, to make it 7-2.
Max Muncy then reached on an infield single that smashed off Wright’s toe and led to his exit.
Corey Seager then followed with a comebacker to the pitcher, which ended with Muncy scoring after he took an uncovered third thanks to the shift and following an errant throw.
After Hernandez walked, Barnes followed with a triple off the Green Monster in left for a 9-2 lead.
The Dodgers further tacked on in the 8th behind JT doubling, advancing to third on a fly ball, and then scoring on a Bellinger sacrifice fly to make it 10-2. They added one more in the 9th behind Muncy’s 23rd ding dong of the year, this one a shot to dead center.
Julio Urias then got the 7th and 8th innings, setting down all six batters he faced on just 19 pitches, striking out two. JT Chargois was tasked with finishing things off in the 9th and he did that with a 1-2-3 frame 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, a 5-game lead on the Braves in the NL, and a 1-game lead over the Yankees in the MLB.
The series will conclude with a rubber match tomorrow night on ESPN at 1:00 PM HST/4:00 PM PST/7:00 PM EST. Hyun-Jin Ryu will face off against David Price as the Dodgers face their third lefty in a row.