Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/26/13
It was a perfectly fitting anniversary. One year after being the centerpiece of a megatrade that helped reshape two franchises Adrian Gonzalez homered into the center field bleachers before making a diving catch at first base for the Dodgers here last night. And then the Red Sox won. In fact the Sox won easily 8-1 behind a masterful 111-pitch complete game from Jake Peavy and wrapped a challenging trip to the West Coast with a 4-2 record that puts them back in sole possession of first place in the AL East one game ahead of Tampa Bay. “It shows the caliber of ballclub we have” said Peavy who gave up only three hits en route to his 15th career complete game. “We’re on the same level as those guys even though they’ve been on an incredible run. We’re a good ballclub as well.” Indeed if the Red Sox were trying to make a statement it came through loud and clear. After dropping the series opener Friday they rebounded for consecutive wins to hand the scorching Dodgers their first series loss since June 14-16 in Pittsburgh a span of 18 series. Peavy continued the parade of gems by Sox pitchers a run that includes a 1.12 ERA by the starters over the past six games. And a multi-faceted offense manufactured runs in the first and third innings then played home run derby against the Dodgers’ bullpen with long balls from Jarrod Saltalamacchia Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli. “Well-played game in all phases” manager John Farrell said. And while most of the pre-series build-up focused on the blockbuster that sent Gonzalez left fielder Carl Crawford and pitcher Josh Beckett from the Red Sox to the Dodgers last Aug. 25 trading for Peavy last month may prove just as pivotal to the Sox’ postseason chances. In five starts since the deal Peavy is 2-1 with a 3.31 ERA stabilizing the rotation in the absence of injured ace Clay Buchholz and struggling Ryan Dempster. But he hasn’t pitched any better than he did against the Dodgers not allowing a hit until Gonzalez’ homer in the fourth inning and verbally berating himself on the mound to make better pitches. “I love it man” Saltalamacchia said. “It goes to show he doesn’t take any pitch for granted and that’s the reason he went out there and threw a complete game. He didn’t take that last inning for granted even with a seven-run lead. He still pitched like it was the first. I love it.” Peavy retired the final 12 batters after Crawford’s leadoff single in the sixth inning and even though his pitch count had climbed above 100 and the top of the Dodgers lineup was due to hit in the ninth he wasn’t about to yield to the bullpen. “I wanted to finish it” Peavy said. “And I wanted to finish it against (the) 2-3-4 (hitters). It meant something to me to finish it. I wanted to let the guys have a few days off in the bullpen. Any of the guys could have finished it out but I appreciate John giving me the opportunity.”
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