Closing Time: Ryan Sweeney paves the way for Red Sox first win of the season
|04.09.12 at 10:32 pm ET|
TORONTO — The Red Sox will not be 0-4 for a second straight season.
The Sox mounted a furious comeback in the ninth inning, scoring three times on the way to claiming a 4-2 win over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. It was (as you could tell from the presence of such dignitaries as Martin Short) the home opener for the Jays.
The key hit in the comeback came from Ryan Sweeney, who rifled a single between first and second with two outs in the ninth, scoring pinch-runner Darnell McDonald.
Dustin Pedroia had gotten things going for the Sox in the ninth with a leadoff double against Toronto closer Sergio Santos. After Pedroia moved to third on a passed ball, Adrian Gonzalez tied the game with a sacrifice fly.
David Ortiz and Cody Ross kept things going in the ninth with two-out walks, paving the way for Sweeney’s RBI single. Ross would ultimately score on a Santos wild pitch.
Here is what went right (and wrong) for the Sox …
WHAT WENT RIGHT
- Pedroia helped get the Red Sox on the board in the sixth inning, launching his first home run of the season over the left-center field wall.
- Felix Doubront passed his first test in the starting rotation, allowing two runs on four hits, striking out a career-high six and walking three.
- Scott Atchison did his job, pitching three innings of scoreless relief. The righty allowed just one hit, while striking out three, to earn the victory.
- Alfredo Aceves pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.
WHAT WENT WRONG
- Colby Rasmus — who was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round of the 2005 draft with the comp pick garnered when Edgar Renteria signed with the Red Sox — displayed some of the talent that on which so many have been waiting. First, the center fielder robbed Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the third inning with a head-first, diving catch. Then, in the home half of the third, the outfielder scored the first run of the game after he rifled a one-out triple into the right-center field gap.
- The Rasmus run was made even more frustrating for the Red Sox considering it came on a slow roller back to the mound by Kelly Johnson. Doubront scooped up the ball and threw it to Saltalamacchia, who couldn’t get the tag down before Rasmus crossed the plate. The Blue Jays would score one more run in the third, with Edwin Encarnacion singling in Yunel Escobar with two outs.
- The Red Sox saw a threat in the fifth inning fizzle when, after a single from Cody Ross and double by Ryan Sweeney with one out, Saltalamacchia hit a first-pitch grounder to first, and Mike Aviles dribbled weakly to third base.
- Doubront wasn’t exactly pitch efficient, starting his fifth — and final — inning at 80 pitches.
- The Red Sox couldn’t solve Toronto starter Henderson Alvarez, only managing one run against the righty. Alvarez continuously kept the ball on the ground, inducing 11 groundouts and just three fly ball outs.
- David Ortiz was thrown out trying to steal in the seventh with one out, Sweeney at the plate and the Sox trailing by a run. It was Ortiz’ first steal attempt since 2010. Sweeney would strike out to end the inning.
- After going 0-for-4, Kevin Youkilis is still without a hit this season.
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