Thursday, May 3, 2012

Late Rallies Not Enough As Sox Drop Series (11-13)

Daniel Bard took the loss
For the first time in a pair of series, the Red Sox lost a series-- dropping this game and thus, the series, to the Oakland A's. Tonight was the major league debut of top prospect Will Middlebrooks and he first came up in the second inning-- walking on four pitches and stealing second base. There was no scoring for either team until the fourth inning. With one out, Yoenis Cespedes doubled into left-center and was promptly driven in by Seth Smith, who grounded a ball into right-center to make it 1-0 A's. Daniel Bard had been cruising along other than that fourth inning blemish, but in the sixth, things got much worse. With one out and a man on first for the A's, Seth Smith doubled to left on a ball that Cody Ross overran to make it 2-0. Kila Ka'aihue doubled down the first base line to score another run and then Brandon Inge doubled off the monster to make it 4-0 in the fourth, Inge would be Bard's last batter.

Will Middlebrooks made his
major league debut
Bard was taken out after recording one out in the sixth with a final line of 5.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 K before being pulled for Matt Albers. Albers recorded the final two outs of the sixth, and then his night was done as well. Newly recalled Clayton Mortensen entered the game for the seventh and threw a scoreless inning before the Sox got on the board in the bottom of the seventh. The Sox put runners on second and third to start the inning on a walk to Jarrod Saltalamacchia and a double for Will Middlebrooks. Marlon Byrd knocked a sacrifice fly to bring in Salty and make it a three-run game at 4-1. Mike Aviles got out before Ryan Sweeney and Dustin Pedroia walked to load the bases, bringing Adrian Gonzalez to the plate-- who struck out to end the inning. Dustin Pedroia knocked in another run with an RBI double in the ninth to make it 4-2, again leaving Adrian Gonzalez with the clutch hitting-- this time, Gonzalez grounded out. A lack of clutch hitting and one bad inning spoiled Will Middlebrooks' debut.

Bright Spots:
Clayton Mortensen- 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 6 K
Ryan Sweeney- 1-3, 1 2B, 1 BB
Dustin Pedroia- 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
David Ortiz- 2-4, 2 2B
Will Middlebrooks- 2-3, 2B, 1 BB, 1 SB

Dull Spots:
Adrian Gonzalez- 0-4, 1 BB, 2 K, 4 LOB
Cody Ross- 0-4, 1 K, 2 LOB

Player of the Game:
Will Middlebrooks- Yes, I'm a little bit biased since it was his debut, but he played a really good game-- going 2-3 with a double, a walk, and even stealing a base.

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