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Red Sox 0, Dodgers 3: Let down

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On Friday the Red Sox finally put together a total package performance. On Saturday, most of the team decided to rest on their laurels.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

On Friday, the Red Sox did everything right, from pitching, to fielding, to hitting.

Saturday? Well, they did all right in the field, and the bullpen did well. But Eduardo Rodriguez and the offense were a let down, and a pretty big one at that.

For Rodriguez, it wasn't a disaster. It just wasn't good, and not nearly so good as it should have been. The Dodgers entered Saturday's game as one of the worst teams in the majors against left-handed pitchers. With Rodriguez having started to really establish some momentum in his return to action this past month, this National League lineup should have presented a real opportunity for something of an exclamation point.

Instead, he turned in a short, unimpressive outing. The Dodgers struck early for a run Rodriguez never should have given up, allowing Los Angeles to take a 1-0 lead when he surrendered a two-out single to the number eight hitter instead of just facing the pitcher.

If that was a strategic error, the fifth inning was just plain bad pitching. Rodriguez surrendered a hit and a walk to start the frame, then had Corey Seager hit a rocket line drive past David Ortiz at first base for an RBI double. The second run of the frame would score on a lucky bloop behind second base from Adrian Gonzalez which would end Rodriguez day, but having already allowed three baserunners in the first four batters, Rodriguez really only has himself to blame.

Rodriguez having made very little out of a big chance for a good start might sting a bit worse if the lineup hadn't made anything short of perfection completely inconsequential. But sure enough it did. The Sox had a chance to score early when they put the first two batters of the game on base with a pair of singles. But Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz continued their cold starts to August. A strike out and ground out respectively saw the pair retired, with Howie Kendrick laying out to prevent the latter from reaching the outfield, and while Jackie Bradley Jr. was able to draw a walk to load the bases, Stripling handled an easy ground ball back to the mound off the bat of Sandy Leon to end the threat.

And when I say the threat, I mean the threat. Mookie Betts gave them a leadoff baserunner in the third, but the Sox only produced one at bat with a man in scoring position off that, and it was the last one they'd get for the entire game. The Sox would do nothing more against Ross Stripling and the Dodgers bullpen from there, managing to put only a few men on first from that point on. Kenley Jansen would finish it off by striking out the side in the ninth, completing their futility.

Just a pitiful follow-up to Friday's great performance from a Red Sox team that almost seems adamant about not putting together a sustained run of success or, indeed, making anything significant out of this road trip.