Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Red Sox Squeak Past Twins To End Skid (5-10)

Lester was fine except for
an inning
After a five game losing skid, the Red Sox turned to Jon Lester-- their ace-- expecting him to break them out of the skid. I wouldn't say it's because of Lester that they won, but they did win, and that's what counts. The Sox got going fast-- putting runners on the corners with one out in the first. Adrian Gonzalez took a low and outside sinker to left for a sacrifice fly to put the Sox on top. Then in the second inning, the Sox capitalized on another nice pitch by Jason Marquis; this one was a low and inside slider which Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove to his pull field for a two-run homer (his second of the year) to put the Sox up 3-0. Deuces were wild in the bottom of the fourth as with two outs, two men on, and two strikes, Ryan Doumit lined a double into the left field corner to score two and make it a game at 3-2. The next batter, Danny Valencia shot a high fastball into the seats, also with two strikes, to make it a 4-3 lead for Minnesota. An RBI double play for the Twins in the fifth would advance their lead to 5-3 in the fifth.

Cody Ross hit a pair of
home runs
However, from that point on it was all Red Sox. Lester settled down from his bad inning (outside of that, he was very good) and lasted seven strong; his final line looking like 7 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 4 K (outside of the fourth it was 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 3 K). With a man on first in the top of the seventh, Ross crushed a ball into the second deck-- just staying fair-- to tie the game up at a 5-5 ledger. Entering the eighth inning, the Red Sox turned the ball over to their bullpen-- something that has not often ended well this year. Franklin Morales entered the game to face two batters before being pulled in favor of Daniel Bard, who was recently transferred back to the bullpen. Bard worked two thirds of an inning before the game entered the top of the ninth. Cody Ross came up to bat and further endeared himself to Red Sox fans with an opposite field line drive (his fifth of the year) which just cleared the fence to give the Sox a 6-5 lead. Alfredo Aceves worked a scoreless ninth to give the Sox their fifth win of the year and snapping s five game losing skid.

Bright Spots:
Alfredo Aceves- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, SV (3)
Ryan Sweeney- 2-4, 1 2B
Dustin Pedroia- 2-4
David Ortiz- 2-4
Jarrod Saltalamacchia- 2-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Cody Ross- 2-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI

Dull Spots:
Kevin Youkilis- 0-4, 1 R, 2 LOB

Player of the Game:
Cody Ross- Ross piled on some clutch hitting with both the game-tying and game-winning home runs late in the game. Those were Ross's fourth and fifth home runs of the year and he is now .283/5/13.

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