Series: Game 3 of 3

Los Angeles won 3-0

Game 1: Friday, June 21
Boston 2Final
Los Angeles 3
Game 2: Saturday, June 22
Boston 4Final
Los Angeles 5
Game 3: Sunday, June 23
Boston 6Final
Los Angeles 9

Red Sox 6

(45-27, 28-12 away)

Dodgers 9

(46-28, 24-14 home)

    4:10 PM ET, June 23, 2002

    Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California 

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    BOS 000014001 6 - -
    LA 04500000 - 9 - -

    W: A. Ashby (7-6)

    L: R. Arrojo (4-2)

    Dodgers hold off Red Sox for sweep

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers didn't look at this series against the Boston Red Sox as a possible World Series preview -- or even a measuring stick against the team that came to town with baseball's best record.

    Dave Hansen

    But their three-game sweep of the first series between the teams since the 1916 World Series, capped by Sunday's 9-6 victory, put Los Angeles alone atop the NL West for the first time since Aug. 10 of last season, and dropped the Red Sox out of first place in the AL East for the first time since April 15.

    "I don't even think we worried about those guys having the best record,'' Dodgers left fielder Brian Jordan said. "We just caught them at a good time. They haven't been playing well lately, and we have.''

    Los Angeles has won its last eight series and 10 of 11 since getting shut out by Pedro Astacio and Jeff D'Amico of the New York Mets in back-to-back two-hitters May 14-15.

    "The chemistry here has been great, and that's the key,'' said Jordan, who came to the Dodgers last winter from Atlanta along with left-hander Odalis Pezez in a trade for Gary Sheffield.

    "You can have a bunch of superstars on your team, but if the chemistry's not there, you're not going to win. Right now our bench players have given us a boost, and they're always ready. And when you've got guys pulling for each other and having fun, you can go a long way.''

    Dave Hansen drove in three runs in a rare start at first base. Cesar Izturis and reserve catcher Chad Kreuter each had two RBI for the Dodgers (46-28), who are 18 games over .500 for the first time since Sept. 8, 1997 (81-63).

    Hansen, who needs three pinch-hits to break Manny Mota's franchise record of 106, is 7-for-25 with eight RBIs in his eight starts at first and third base.

    "You don't go out and find Dave Hansens every day,'' Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "He's tremendous, as far as preparation is concerned. You know you're going to get the very best he has to offer, no matter what situation you put him in.''

    Before the game, Tracy vowed he would not use major league save leader Eric Gagne under any circumstances, following his fourth save in as many days. The offense settled that issue early, staking Andy Ashby to a 9-0 lead with four runs in the second inning and five in the third.

    Ashby (7-6) won for the fifth time in seven decisions, allowing five runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. He also had an RBI single.

    Rickey Henderson hit an RBI single in the fifth, and the Red Sox got home runs from Carlos Baerga and pinch-hitter Juan Diaz during a four-run sixth. Diaz's two-run shot was his first homer in the big leagues, and it chased Ashby after 104 pitches.

    "I would have liked to have given us a few more innings, especially with the offense coming out and scoring that many runs,'' said Ashby, who got as much run support in this outing as he received in his previous four starts combined.

    Guillermo Mota relieved and gave up just one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

    "We just got in too big of a hole to make it up today,'' Boston manager Grady Little said. "It was a rocky road right from the start.''

    Rolando Arrojo (4-2) was charged with nine runs and nine hits in 2 1/3 innings, after allowing only four earned runs over 25 innings in his previous four starts this season. The right-hander moved into the rotation June 1 when an ineffective Darren Oliver was demoted to the bullpen.

    "I think we might have gotten a little predictable, but they did a good job of hitting,'' Boston catcher Jason Varitek said. "They had a good plan against him and they stuck with it. We need to maybe take a look at it and change programs.''

    Jordan led off the second with a single to left and advanced to third when the ball squirted through Henderson's legs for a two-base error. Hansen followed with an RBI single, and Arrojo walked two batters before giving up a two-out RBI single to Dave Roberts and a two-run single by Izturis.

    Arrojo gave up hits to his first four batters in the third -- including a two-run single by Hansen, who started at first base while Eric Karros got the day off. Dodgers catcher Paul Lo Duca also got the day off and was replaced by Kreuter, whose two-run double gave Los Angeles an 8-0 cushion and chased Arrojo. Ashby greeted Oliver with an RBI single that capped the five-run third.

    Game notes

    Flags at Dodger Stadium were at half-staff in memory of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile, who was honored with a moment of silence before the game. ... Arrojo threw 58 pitches -- one fewer than Gagne threw during his four saves in four days. ... The Red Sox, needing a situational left-hander, obtained Alan Embree in a four-player deal with San Diego, but won't have to drop a player from the 25-man roster until he joins the team Tuesday in Boston.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press