The Dodgers (80-49) closed out their Fenway Park trip with a 7-4 series finale win against the Red Sox (69-62). The rubber game win in Boston marks the Dodgers’ 80th of the season and the eighth consecutive series victory.
The Mookie-Freddie machine keeps on absolutely raking. The buddies both went 3-for-5 with six hits between the dynamic duo. Betts and Outman both drove in two runs with majestic Fenway homers. Outman’s long ball landed in the bullpen, and Mookie sent one over the Green Monster. It was a fitting finale at Fenway for Mookie’s hyped return.
The return of Mookie Betts to Fenway Park over the weekend concluded Sunday afternoon with his third standing ovation and yet another leadoff base hit. Mookie is a hit machine. With that single, Betts extended his hitting streak to 15 games. Freddie Freeman promptly lined a double, his 49th of the season, to center field off Tanner Houck. The double was a historic one. Freeman was momentarily (spoiler alert) tied with Shawn Green (2003) for the L.A. Dodgers record for most doubles in a season.
Later, Max Muncy drew a one-out walk to load the bases for Jason Heyward. Houck got Heyward to chase balls out of the zone for a strikeout. James Outman grounded into a force out, and Houck escaped the bases-loaded jam without surrendering a run.
Dave Roberts went with Caleb Ferguson as opener. Ferguson made 18 pitches and escaped a jam in the first inning. Fergie was able to induce a pop-out from Trevor Story after he walked old friend Justin Turner and gave up a double to Triston Casas.
The Boston defense showed up on Sunday. The Red Sox’s defense has been bad all year, and this was on full display over the first two games of this series. However, the Red Sox played some solid D in the rubber game to prevent the Dodgers from scoring through the first three innings.
Though after the first three innings, the Dodgers’ offense was relentless and scored in every inning thereafter except the ninth.
Until then, the game was pretty slow going, with not much action, until Outman woke everyone up with a solo home run into the Red Sox bullpen for the first run of the game.
Freeman set a new L.A. Dodgers record for doubles in a single season with his 50th double in the top of the fifth.
Muncy’s RBI single cashed in Freeman to make it 2-0. That was another historic statistical moment. Muncy lifted his average to .201 after his RBI knock.
Betts doubled the lead for the Dodgers in the sixth with a huge two-run blast over the Green Monster against left-hander Chris Murphy to make it 4-0.
Gavin Stone pitched the bulk of the innings for the Dodgers. He continued to have problems putting batters away on two-strike counts even though he was largely effective. Stone plunked Turner on the shoulder with two strikes in the bottom of the third, for example.
Stone’s off-speed pitches are still in development, but we can see glimpses of some good stuff.
Gavin Stone, Dirty 86mph Changeup. 🪨 pic.twitter.com/4g58LvuqsH— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 27, 2023
However, Casas hit a two-run home run to cut the Dodgers lead in half in the home half of the 6th inning with some help from the swirling winds at Fenway.
The Dodgers tacked on a fifth run in the top of the seventh when Outman drove in Amed Rosario with an RBI single. Betts drove in his third run of the day in the top of the eighth. Freeman followed suit, of course, with a single of his own. Mookie scored a second run in the frame when Rosario grounded into a force out to push the lead to 7-2.
Justin Turner and Adam Duvall hit back-to-back solo home runs in the bottom of the eighth to make it 7-4 and end Stone’s six-inning relief outing. Perhaps Dave Roberts left Stone in too long, but then again, it gave him some more experience and some length from the pen.
Ryan Brasier came in to face his long-time former team and struck out two for a scoreless inning out of the pen. Evan Phillips shut down the Sox in the home half of the ninth to give the Dodgers a winning road trip.
Thankfully the Dodgers head back to the West Coast and won’t have to deal with the terrible weather, aggressive grounds crew at Progressive Field and the atrocious umpiring in Boston anymore.
The Dodgers return home for a tough seven-game homestand against the D-backs and Braves. Bobby Miller (7-3, 3.86 ERA, 4.00 xFIP) looks to shut down the Snakes in the series opener against Arizona Monday. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. PST on SportsNet LA.