Sox fall to Dodgers, now tied with Tampa atop AL East
Los Angeles shortstop Hanley Ramirez hits a two-run home run against the Boston Red Sox in the fourth inning of Friday's game at Dodger Stadium. (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers starter Ricky Nolasco outdueled John Lackey and Hanley Ramirez provided the difference with a two-run homer as Los Angeles blanked the visiting Boston Red Sox, 2-0, in the opener of a three-game series Friday night.
Nolasco (10-9) surrendered two hits and did not walk a batter while striking out six in eight innings to improve to 4-0 in his last five starts.
Kenley Jansen retired the side in the ninth to secure his 22nd save.
Carl Crawford burned his former team with two hits, two stolen bases and a run scored for the Dodgers, who have won four in a row to push their lead in the National League West to 10 1/2 games over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Red Sox slipped into a tie with the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the American League East.
Lackey (8-11) allowed three hits and did not walk a batter while pitching a complete game.
The right-hander retired the first nine hitters before Crawford singled leading off the fourth. Ramirez followed three batters later and drove an 0-1 fastball out to right-center to provide all the scoring.
Dustin Pedroia and Stephen Drew singled for Boston, which has dropped six of nine.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Los Angeles 1B Adrian Gonzalez, who went 0-for-3 with a strikeout, was facing the Red Sox for the first time since being traded to the Dodgers just under a year ago. ... Boston RHP Ryan Dempster, who is sitting out a five-game suspension for intentionally throwing at New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez, is actually expected to get 11 days between starts as the team shuffles its rotation around upcoming off days. ... Beloved Dodgers announcer Vin Scully will return in 2014 for his 65th season with the team.