BOSTON -- The disciplined and dynamic offense that made the Dodgers such a first-half juggernaut ended its extended All-Star break on Saturday night with an 11-2 rout of the Red Sox that snapped a four-game losing streak.
Manager Dave Roberts said “it was just a matter of time” before the offense would break out, with four homers and more runs in nine innings Saturday than it had during the entire losing streak.
“Collectively, getting on base, slugging, getting deep into their 'pen, a lot of great things,” Roberts said. “Just a purpose for every pitch, trying to win every pitch.”
The kind of things that had been missing during the games that bookended the break, although Justin Turner dismissed that as the natural course of a marathon sport.
“You play a 162-game season, there’s probably going to be a few lulls in there where you have a hard time getting things going, but that’s uncharacteristic of this offense,” said Turner, who homered, doubled twice and drove in more than one run for the first time since June 8. “Hopefully, we’re right back where we’re supposed to be.”
In only the Dodgers’ second Fenway Park victory ever, Cody Bellinger slugged home run No. 31 on his 24th birthday, A.J. Pollock followed back-to-back with his first homer since May elbow surgery, and Max Muncy homered on a three-hit night that included heads-up scoring from first base on a groundout to the pitcher when the Red Sox were caught in a shift and forgot to cover third base.
Bellinger also beat out a single back to starting pitcher Chris Sale, an example of his hustle, desire and speed skill that Roberts cited as a key to the game.
“It feeds throughout our clubhouse,” Roberts said.
Bellinger’s infield hit set up a first-inning run by Chris Taylor, who took over the leadoff spot and walked against Sale as his pitch count soared to 71 through four innings before departing in the fifth.
“A really, really good pitcher had to work really, really hard,” Turner said. “We got his pitch count up. Quality at-bats, taking walks, putting good swings on balls, got into scoring position, did a lot of things right.”
Turner has hit for average all season, but the slugging hasn’t been as consistent. This was his first game with three extra-base hits since a three-homer game on May 7. He has 11 home runs, fifth on the club, while batting .295, and he scored three runs.
“He has a purpose every at-bat,” Roberts said. “Even when he’s not swinging well, he gives you a quality at-bat. For him to pull the ball in the air, when he’s doing that, good things will happen.”
Six batters drove in runs, seven scored runs. Pollock had an RBI single in the first and the home run -- after a single on Friday night in a statement return from a disappointing April and a discouraging injury that cost him 2 1/2 months.
“It’s only two games, but I like where I’m at,” Pollock said. “Physically, feel great, my legs feel really good and I’m in a good place health-wise. Hopefully I can have different results than my first go-round. It’s fun to get back. It’s a great group to be part of.”
Ross Stripling earned his first win since replacing the injured Rich Hill in the starting rotation. Stripling (4-3) allowed one run in five innings with seven strikeouts. Boston World Series hero Joe Kelly, despite pumping triple-digit velocity, allowed one run in his inning. Julio Urias pitched two perfect innings, and JT Chargois worked a clean ninth.