The Dodgers finally figured Fenway out in a 7-4 rubber-game win in 12 innings against the Red Sox on Sunday Night Baseball. Hyun-Jin Ryu picked up right where he left off in the first half of this season with a solid outing despite not being involved in the decision. A.J. Pollock drove in four runs on three hits including a three-run homer off David Price.
There were 15 pitchers used between the two teams, a ton of foul balls and some good old Fenway shenanigans in the 5 hour and 40 minute interleague battle.
Despite what A-Rod said, this wasn’t the most important game of the year for either team. But it was a good win for the Dodgers, who managed to win two of three in the World Series rematch and a possible preview.
Ryu began his second half with a 2018 World Series pitching rematch. Ryu and Price, two of the best left-handed pitchers in baseball, faced each other in Game 2 of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park. Ryu didn’t even last five innings and allowed four earned runs in the Fall Classic start.
This time in Boston, Ryu ruled. Korean Monster defeated the Green Monster.
The Dodgers took the early lead in Beantown on Sunday evening. The Boys in Blue got two quick base runners on in the first inning. Chris Taylor won a leadoff battle against Price, drawing a walk. Justin Turner then reached safely on a fielding error by shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Price, in his slow and methodical way, was able to get the next two outs. David Freese struck out and Cody Bellinger popped out. Pollock popped another one up, but this one got out and over the right field corner fence for a three-run 326′ home run around Pesky Pole.
Price hadn’t allowed a home run since June 2 and had a 0.8 HR/9 coming into the series finale. The last time he allowed a home run to a Dodger, Freese hit a HR against him in Game 5 of the 2018 World Series.
The Red Sox came right back in the bottom of the first. Mookie Betts started the rally vs. Ryu with a ball off the Green Monster for a leadoff single. Bogaerts then beat out a throw by Taylor on a grounder to short, confirmed on a challenge by the Red Sox. The infield defense wasn’t helping Ryu out at all, as another infield single then followed to load the bases with two outs.
Two runs scored on a ball hit by Andrew Benintendi to short. Enrique Hernandez wasn’t covering second base, so Taylor had to throw to first. Freese dropped the throw from Taylor, and the Red Sox took advantage. They gave the error to Taylor, but it was definitely a ball Freese should have had.
Price threw 27 pitches and Ryu hurled 24 pitches in the first frame. Both starters settled down after the rocky first inning.
Price didn’t allow a hit after Pollock’s homer until Alex Verdugo singled with one out in the fourth. Thankfully, Pollock was at it again the next inning in the fifth. He drove in Freese with an RBI single, increasing the Dodgers’ lead over Boston to two runs.
Ryu allowed a rare walk in the fifth, a two-out free pass to Bogaerts. Martinez singled to left field, but Verdugo made a great throw from left field to erase Rafael Devers at the plate.
DON&amp;amp;amp;amp;#39;T RUN ON THE KID. pic.twitter.com/Hstij8osK2&amp;amp;amp;amp;mdash; Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 15, 2019
Verdugo&amp;amp;amp;amp;#39;s 97.1 mph throw is the second-fastest tracked outfield assist by a Dodger this year, behind his 98.4 mph on May 18.&amp;amp;amp;amp;mdash; Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) July 15, 2019
Price wasn’t as nearly efficient as Ryu. Price threw 113 pitches and allowed four runs on four hits in five innings. Ryu’s final line: 7 IP, 2 R, 8 H, 6 K, 1 BB, 94 pitches (62 strikes).
Pedro Baez took over for Ryu in the bottom of the eighth, and proceeded to serve up back-to-back solo home runs to Bogaerts and Martinez. It was now a 4-4 game.
Dave Roberts alluded that Pedro Baez was tipping his pitches on those back to back HRs #Dodgers— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) July 15, 2019
Even though the Red Sox only have one left-handed relief option in Josh Taylor, and the fact that their pen has been a weakness, they were able to shut down the Dodgers’ offense for 6 innings.
Zac Rosscup, not Jansen, got the ball for the bottom of the ninth in the tied game on the road. He walked Jackie Bradley Jr. to start the frame, and that would be it for him. In another questionable move, instead of bringing in Kenley Jansen, Dave Roberts brought in Yimi Garcia to face pinch-hitter Marco Hernandez with the winning run at first and nobody out.
Hernandez laid down a perfect bunt to move the winning run into scoring position. Betts was intentionally walked, and Roberts finally brought in Jansen to get the last two outs. I would have brought in Kenley to face Betts, but hey, what do I know. Jansen got it done, retiring Devers and Bogaerts to send the game into extras. He returned to the mound to pitch a scoreless 10th, stranding the winning run at second.
The Dodgers failed to score in the 10th. They had a shot in the 11th with two on and two outs, but Verdugo was gunned down at home by Benintendi from left field on a Turner single.
Dylan Floro was the next arm to come out of the bullpen for the Dodgers in the bottom of the 11th. Jackie Bradley Jr. crushed a Floro fastball off the Monster for a leadoff double. The Dodgers got the lead runner out when Bradley ran into an out at third base on a Hernandez grounder to the left side of the infield. Betts flied out, then they intentionally walked Devers to take their chances with Bogaerts.
Taylor knocked down a ball hit by Bogaerts, a single to load the bases with two outs. Martinez grounded into a force out, and the Red Sox blundered another opportunity. Boston ended up going 5-for-14 with RISP and left 13 men on base in 12 innings.
In the 12th, the Dodgers loaded the bases as well. They finally scratched one across. Joc Pederson walked and Cody Bellinger reached safely on interference, then Pollock singled to left to load the bases with nobody out. Max Muncy followed by drawing a walk to bring in a run and the Dodgers had the lead.
Verdugo’s RBI single and a run-scoring force out gave the Dodgers a 7-4 advantage in extras.
Roberts brought in Joe Kelly, the seventh L.A. pitcher on the night, to finish off the bottom of the 12th after Floro walked the lead-off batter. Kelly struck out two and picked up his first save of the season. The Dodgers’ bullpen out bullpen’d the Boston pen. Feels good.
Taylor was hit with a pitch in the left arm.
Dave Roberts said X-rays on Chris Taylor’s wrist were negative, but the Dodgers don’t yet know if he will need to miss time. “He’s still in a lot of pain,” Roberts said.— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) July 15, 2019
With the series win in New England on Sunday, the Dodgers are now 62-33 and 25-21 on the road.
The Dodgers continue their East Coast road trip when they open a four-game series vs. the Phillies (47-45) at Citizens Bank Park on Monday. Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 3.09 ERA, 3.59 FIP) makes his first start of the second half after pitching one inning in the All-Star Game. The Phillies send right-hander Zach Eflin (7-8, 3.78 ERA, 4.65 FIP) to the mound. First pitch is at 4:05 PM PST.