The Boston Red Sox won their 26th series of the season when they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-1 on the road on Sunday


That’s the most series victories of any major league team this year.

But it had to be especially rewarding to topple the Dodgers, who hadn’t lost a series since June 14-16 and had been the hottest team in baseball.

“We had to come in here and play a very good team that hadn’t lost a series in quite a while,” said Red Sox starter Jake Peavy, who got the win. “They’ve been on an incredible run, but we’re a good ballclub as well, and this shows the caliber of ballclub that we are. We’re on the same level with those guys.”

In his 300th major league start, Peavy (10-5) threw a complete game while allowing three hits, striking out five and walking one.

The game was played on the anniversary of the trade between the teams that saw the Dodgers acquire Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto from the Red Sox.

Halladay wins in return from DL: This season didn’t start out in typical fashion for Roy Halladay. The Philadelphia right-hander hit the wall when he lost consecutive 14-2 games against Cleveland and Miami in late April and early May, allowing a combined 13 hits, 17 earned runs, four home runs and six walks in 4.3 innings pitched.

But Halladay’s shoulder wasn’t right, and he needed surgery. He returned from the disabled list on Sunday, throwing six strong innings while giving up four hits and 2 earned runs with a pair of walks and strikeouts in the Phillies 9-5 home win over Arizona.

“I felt good and feel like each time out it’s getting better,” Halladay said. “I’m getting stronger and looking forward to continuing to build.”

Halladay got the call to pitch the game instead of starting a Class AA rehab game. He drove 70 miles from Reading, Pa. to Philadelphia on Sunday morning.

The win improved Halladay’s numbers to a 3-4 record and 7.81 ERA. The question is if Halladay can be as effective a starter as he used to be. The 36-year-old has an attractive resume in 15 years of major league experience. Halladay is 202-104 with a 3.37 ERA during his career and has had just one losing season. He is a six-time All-Star.

But his velocity has diminished, and his fastball on Sunday was clocked between 89-91 miles per hour.

Against the Diamondbacks, Halladay threw a variety of fastballs, curveballs, cutters and changeups. He likely won’t be able to rely on his fastball as much going forward.

“I feel like I’m getting back to who I was,” Halladay said. “You always change over your career. Just from talking to the doctors, the velocity is going to be the last thing to come.”

Whether Halladay pitches for the Phillies beyond this season is uncertain. He will become a free agent in November.

StatsWatch: Chris Davis led the major leagues with 46 home runs at the start of this week. Here are his year-over-year homer totals, with number of at-bats:

  • 2008, Rangers, 17 HR, 295 AB
  • 2009, Rangers, 21 HR, 391 AB
  • 2010, Rangers, 1 HR, 120 AB
  • 2011, Rangers, Orioles, 5 HR, 199 AB
  • 2012, Orioles, 33 HR, 515 AB
  • 2013, Orioles, 46 HR, 464 AB

Diamond Notes: Cleveland’s Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis granted the wish of an Indians fan by hitting home runs in Saturday’s game against Minnesota. Before the game, 8-year-old Niko Lanzarotta, who has cerebral palsy, was on the field with his parents. He asked Santana and Kipnis if they would each hit a homer for him. Santana hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Kipnis hit a two-run shot in the third. “It was the best day of his life,” said Niko’s father, Mike Lanzarotta. “To see your kid that happy is a great thing.” The Indians won 7-2. Kipnis’s homer was his first since July 21. “He must be a good luck charm for us two,” Kipnis said…Mets’ right-handed pitcher Matt Harvey has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, the team announced on Monday. Harvey likely won’t pitch again this season and may need Tommy John surgery. Harvey is 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA and leads the NL in strikeouts with 191…Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla started a rehab assignment for Triple-A Gwinnett this week in a comeback from Lasik eye surgery. He had eye problems all season before going on the disabled list on Aug. 13. Uggla was batting .186 with an NL-leading 146 strikeouts when he went on the DL…Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez hit the 650th home run of his career in a 5-2 loss at Toronto on Monday night. He needs 10 more homers to tie Willie Mays on the all-time list and secure a $6 million bonus.

Copyright ã 2013 Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.

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