Closing Time: Josh Beckett dominates Rays; Jacoby Ellsbury injured
|04.13.12 at 5:28 pm ET|
Beckett allowed five hits and one run, throwing 94 pitches (61 strikes). He gone 4-0 with an 0.81 ERA in his last six starts against the Rays, striking out 32 and walking four. The offense also did their part, ripping 16 hits against Tampa Bay pitching while managing seven-run eighth.
The optimism surrounding the win in the home opener was tempered somewhat because of an injury sustained to Jacoby Ellsbury’s right shouler during a baserunning incident in the fourth (see below).
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox‘ second win of the season:
WHAT WENT RIGHT
– The Red Sox were able to work out the count consistently against Tampa Bay starter David Price, who was forced to throw 83 pitches through three innings. Price would only last three innings, giving up three runs on three hits, striking out three and walking three.
– David Ortiz notched his third RBI of the season in a most unusual fashion. With runners on first and third and one out, Ortiz checked his swing, sending a dribbler toward third base. Because third baseman Evan Longoria was in the shift against the Sox’ DH, it allowed Dustin Pedroia to score with the Sox’ third run.
– Kelly Shoppach had a big day against his old team, not only going 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBI, but also stealing his first base as a major leaguer (in his first major league attempt).
– Kevin Youkilis contributed in both of his first two at-bats, singling to leadoff the second inning, and then bringing in the Sox’ second run with a sacrifice fly in the third. He finished with two hits and three RBI. Adrian Gonzalez also had a solid day coming away with three hits.
– Beckett retired 14 of 15 batters before Matt Joyce‘s two-out single in the sixth inning.
– Darnell McDonald made two quality plays in left. The first came when he ended up finishing the seventh by tracking down a Luke Scott fly ball and crashing into the metal scoreboard, with the second arriving in the following frame when the outfielder snatched a sinking liner to begin the eighth.
WHAT WENT WRONG
– Ellsbury left Friday’s game after the bottom of the fourth inning due to an injury incurred while trying to break up a double play. Ellsbury, on first after an RBI single that put the Sox up, 4-1, with one out, was running on a full-count pitch to Dustin Pedroia. Shortstop Reid Brignac, moving to cover second with the pitch, was in perfect position to field a smash up the middle by Pedroia. Ellsbury arrived at second just after Brignac, and slid hard into the bag and the shortstop, a maneuver that did not prevent Brignac from completing the double play. After the encounter at second, Ellsbury appeared to be reaching for his right shoulder. After being examined by a Red Sox trainer, he left the field holding his arm pinned to his chest.
– Cody Ross had a tough day, going hitless while stranding five runners.
– Beckett almost finished an outing without striking out a batter for the first time in his career. The righty ended up fanning Carlos Pena on the 29th batter he faced, making it the 10th time in the pitcher’s career he has made an appearance in which he only struck out one. Before Friday, he had never won a game when striking out a single batter. Beckett totaled two or fewer punch-outs in 20 appearances, with this team totaling a 6-14 mark.
– Mark Melancon came on to pitch the ninth, giving up a solo home run to Ben Zobrist.
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