The Dodgers kept things rolling on Sunday with a series-clinching win to further solidify their case as one of the hottest teams in baseball. With opener Caleb Ferguson starting things off, he pitched a scoreless inning before handing it off to Gavin Stone. Stone would pitch well enough for Los Angeles, as the team would be up 7-4 before he was removed in the 8th inning. Home runs from Justin Turner and Adam Duvall in the bottom of the 8th would shrink the Dodger lead slightly, but Boston could not do enough to come from behind in the end. Los Angeles has now won 9 consecutive series and things are clicking extremely well for them.
Here are three takeaways from a big win:
Stone pitches well enough to earn first win of the season
Gavin Stone, who has had his struggles in limited appearances for the Dodgers this season, gave the team 6 big innings in the win against the Red Sox. While he did allow the 4 ER that Boston scored in the game, he provided depth when it was needed the most. Los Angeles was able to save their other arms for future games, and Stone pitched well enough to protect the Dodger lead. He secured his first win of the season, which ironically comes in a game that he did not even start. His clean 1-0 record is somewhat contradictory to his other stats, but the team will nonetheless appreciate his 6 innings of work and feel great heading back home after a series victory against another competitive team. Stone will perhaps begin to improve his numbers if he figures out how to limit the number of home runs he gives up, with Boston hitting 3 against him (including back-to-back home runs from Justin Turner and Adam Duvall).
Freeman makes Dodger history in another solid game
You could make a strong case that the most lethal 1-2 punch to start a lineup in all of baseball is Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman. The paces that they have been on this season are nothing short of incredible and there is no doubt that they should both be in the conversation for NL MVP. In Sunday’s game, Freddie Freeman continued his elite season with a 3-5 performance that helped the Dodgers out in the win. More importantly, he was able to put himself atop the Dodgers single-season doubles list with his 50th double on the season.
With another month still to go in the regular season, it’s safe to say that Freeman blew the record out of the water. The accolade will just go down as another piece of his fantastic season as he looks to put Los Angeles on his shoulders and take home his second World Series ring. So far this year, Freeman’s average is up to .341 (the third-best mark in baseball) and he posts an OPS of .998 (the fourth-best mark in baseball). The California native is thriving and showing no signs of slowing down as the Dodgers look to stay hot in the final month of the season. His efforts have already gone a very long way, and they will continue to take Los Angeles to great places if he can keep up the good work.
Mookie ices the Red Sox with 3-RBI game
While there’s no doubt that Mookie Betts will always have a love and appreciation for the Boston Red Sox and their fanbase, it doesn’t mean that he didn’t have his best foot forward in the rubber match on Sunday. He got the Dodgers off to a good start from the jump as he hit an RBI single in the fifth inning to extend the team’s lead to 2-0. Just one inning later, Betts would hit his first and only home run of the series to make it 4-0 on a ball that got over the Green Monster.
Mookie’s blast marked his 35th home run of the year, tying his career high before the end of the month of August. He should quickly be able to hit his next home run and set a new mark for himself to beat in future seasons. With 93 RBIs and a 1.018 OPS (third-best in baseball), Betts continues to be one of the premier players in all of the MLB and puts on a show every time he steps onto the field. He’s easily on pace for a 100+ RBI season with 40+ home runs and did not fail to remind Red Sox fans about what they’ve been missing out on.
The Dodgers will be at it again on Monday with a new series beginning against the Diamondbacks. Arizona sits in second place in the NL West and is fighting for a Wild Card spot. Los Angeles would love the opportunity to inconvenience one of their divisional rivals and grab their 10th consecutive series victory.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. PT.