Closing Time: David Ortiz, Mike Aviles pace Red Sox to another win over Rays
|04.14.12 at 7:23 pm ET|
The Red Sox new leadoff hitter (for now) made his mark Saturday.
Mike Aviles, whom filled the void at the top of the lineup left behind by the injured Jacoby Ellsbury, led off the seventh inning with a solo home run off of Rays’ reliever Burke Badenhop, giving the Red Sox the lead for good. The end result was a 13-5 win over the Sox over Tampa Bay at Fenway Park.
The Aviles homer was one of five for the Red Sox, with Jarrod Saltalmacchia, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Cody Ross also going deep. Ortiz finished his day with four hits, raising his average to .406.
Earning the win was starting pitcher Clay Buchholz, who rebounded from a four-run first inning to complete seven frames. His final line saw him allow five runs on six hits, striking out five and walking three while throwing 104 pitches.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox third win of the season:
WHAT WENT RIGHT
– Cody Ross followed up Aviles’ heroics in the seventh with a two-run, bases-loaded double off the left field wall, increasing the Red Sox’ lead to three runs. Ross’ final at-bat would be a two-run homer in the eighth, capping the scoring
– Kevin Youkilis made perhaps his best defensive play of the season, successfully throwing out Sean Rodriguez on a well-executed bunt in the fourth inning. The throw was made on the run and showed good mobility on behalf of the Sox’ third baseman.
– Jarrod Saltamacchia, who went 3-for-42 (.071) against Tampa Bay pitching in 2011, got things going for the Red Sox with a two-run homer in the second inning. Also going deep for the Sox, and inning later, as Dustin Pedroia.
– David Ortiz worked a seven-pitch at-bat against Hellickson before launching a cutter into the Red Sox’ bullpen for a two-run homer, tying the game at 5-5. Youkilis was on base at the time. It was Ortiz’ first homer of the season, and boosted his batting average to .367.
– The Red Sox were able to drive the Rays’ starter, in this case Hellickson, from the game before the sixth inning for a second straight game. Hellickson lasted just five innings, allowing five runs and six hits while throwing 99 pitches.
– Franklin Morales turned in another stellar performance out of the Sox’ bullpen, pitching a flawless eighth inning. In three outings, he has allowed just one hit while striking out four.
WHAT WENT WRONG
– Buchholz needed 27 pitches (just 13 strikes) to get out of the first inning. The result was a four-run frame for the visitors, whose biggest blow came off the bat of Luke Scott via a three-run homer deep into the right field stands.
– After leading off the home half of the first inning with a single, Aviles got picked off with the count 2-0 to Dustin Pedroia.
– With the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth, Aviles worked the count to 3-0 against Rays’ starter Jeremy Hellickson. But after four foul balls, the Sox’ leadoff hitter ended up flying deep to right field to end the threat.
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