LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers' rotation has been reeling from injuries for weeks if not months, but it found at least one peaceful day Saturday, as spot starter Ross Stripling put together five shutout innings against baseball's top offense to lead the Dodgers to a 3-0 win over the Red Sox.
Stripling -- called up to replace Bud Norris (back), who had been acquired to replace Clayton Kershaw (back) -- allowed four hits in his first start since May 19. Since then, the Dodgers had been trying to limit his innings due to his Tommy John surgery in 2014. That limit, along with his 1.022 OPS allowed in his third time through the lineup, led to an early hook. Despite the starter sitting at just 75 pitches through five innings, manager Dave Roberts opted to pinch-hit Chris Taylor in the bottom of the fifth.
"Can't say enough about Ross and the effort he gave us today," Roberts said. "We put him in some tough spots that we've talked about, but he's always risen to the occasion and gave us a huge lift today that we needed."
Three relievers combined to allow just one hit over the final four scoreless frames, with Kenley Jansen earning his 33rd save. Stripling wasn't the only rookie to contribute to the shutout, as Grant Dayton also pitched two scoreless innings with four strikeouts.
"The way [Dayton] carries himself on a big league mound with such little service is rare," Roberts said. "The fastball plays, he throws strikes, and he doesn't scare off."
Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez, struggled in his shortest start since being recalled on July 15. The southpaw allowed eight hits and three runs in 4 1/3 innings, with three of those hits coming from a player the Red Sox know quite well, former Boston first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. The Sox bullpen limited the damage from there, but it was a moot point with the lineup unable to score or even collect an extra-base hit.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Boss Stripling: Stripling started his day on a discouraging note, allowing hits to Mookie Betts and Brock Holt and having to face the heart of the Red Sox lineup with no outs, but he more than got it together. Stripling struck out Xander Bogaerts, induced a groundout from David Ortiz, then threw out Sandy Leon on a weak comebacker after walking Jackie Bradley Jr. Stripling allowed just two more baserunners for the rest of his start.
"You don't want to give them any opportunities," Stripling said. "After you start getting a few guys out, things start falling in line for you. Pitching out of the windup is nice, able to get in a rhythm. Before you know it, five innings are behind you and the team gets a win."
E-Rod struggles: Rodriguez found himself in trouble throughout the day, allowing the leadoff batters to reach in three of his five innings. It was the fifth that proved to be the left-hander's undoing, as he allowed a single, a walk and then an RBI double to Corey Seager to begin the frame. Gonzalez followed that up with a one-out RBI single to chase Rodriguez.
"He obviously fell behind in that fifth inning, and they were able to bunch some hits together," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "On a day when three runs seems like a large margin, it holds up."
Reddick's first hit: The frustration seemed to be getting to Josh Reddick, who was still hitless as a Dodger entering Saturday's game. After a 98-mph line drive found its way into the glove of Ortiz during the fifth inning, the outfielder put his hands on his knees and stared at the ground for several seconds. Reddick found relief in the eighth inning, though, with a line drive that barely beat out a diving Holt and landed safely in the outfield.
"Would have liked to have it a little bit earlier, got it out of the way now," Reddick said of the single that broke an 0-for-15 start to his Dodgers tenure. "The positive thing is I've been swinging at great pitches and I've been hitting the ball well. Could be worse; I could be striking out twice, three times a game, but that's not the case. I think that's the one thing that kept me sane."
Papi pulls two in: Ortiz showed that he can still flash the leather at first base. At the position for the first time since last August, Boston's typical designated hitter nabbed two line drives to his right during the game. Howie Kendrick led off with a shot at Ortiz, before the first baseman gobbled up a ball hit by Reddick with runners on the corners and two outs in the fifth inning.
"He made two very outstanding plays," Farrell said. "It is somewhat ironic that he hasn't been on the field in almost a year, and the first ball that is put in play is a snare of a line drive on his part." More >
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With his RBI double in the fifth inning, Seager set the Dodgers' rookie record for doubles in a season with 31. The previous record holder, Erik Karros, was at Dodger Stadium to see the feat as a broadcaster for FS1.
WHAT'S NEXT Red Sox: Left-hander David Price will make his third start on the Red Sox's road trip in Sunday's 7:05 p.m. ET series finale. He cruised through seven innings on Tuesday against the Mariners, but allowed four straight hits to begin the eighth. All four batters wound up scoring and Price finished the day allowing four runs on seven hits for the no-decision.
Dodgers:Rich Hill was initially scheduled to start Sunday for the Dodgers, but a new blister for the southpaw means Brandon McCarthy will instead take the mound in the 4:05 p.m. PT finale vs. the Red Sox. McCarthy has lasted a total of seven innings in his last two starts, but he has still had strong numbers since returning from Tommy John surgery.