Closing Time: Kevin Youkilis, Jarrod Saltalamacchia key Red Sox latest win
|04.26.12 at 11:13 pm ET|
CHICAGO — The Red Sox continued their recent offensive onslaught, scoring six or more runs for a fifth straight game. This time the Sox used a grand slam from Kevin Youkilis and two homers by Jarrod Saltalamacchia to claim a 10-3 win over the White Sox Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
The Red Sox have now scored 43 runs over their last five games.
Earning the win on the mound for the Sox was starter Felix Doubront, who turned in another solid outing. The lefty allowed three runs on five hits over six innings, striking out two, walking three and throwing 11o pitches, putting his ERA at 4.09.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ eighth win of the season:
WHAT WENT RIGHT
– Before the game, Bobby Valentine had this to say about Saltalamacchia: “He’s a good hitter. He wasn’t hitting into any luck at all. Every ball he hit hard early seemed to find a glove. Last night, he gets jammed, and he gets a two-RBI single. He’s feeling good about himself. He’s also hit some balls where he’s elevated some of the balls. The only gloves those could find are the gloves the fans have on. Salty has had good at-bats. For the majority of this season, his at-bats have been solid.” By the time Thursday night’s game was over, Valentine proved to be prophetic, with Saltalamacchia going deep twice for the third time in his career. Coming into the game, the catcher was hitting .471 with a 1.235 OPS over his past four games.
– Youkilis’ second career grand slam came with one out in the third inning, giving the third baseman two homers for the season. Youkilis’ 364-foot blast to right was quickly followed by Saltalamacchia’s first home run of the night. Youkilis finished with three hits, raising his batting average to .241.
– Adrian Gonzalez notched his fourth first inning hit of the season after coming in having gone 3-for-15 (.200) in the initial frame. The single scored Mike Aviles, who led off the game with a walk and stolen base. Gonzalez finished 2011 hitting .370 in the first inning. Also of note was Aviles’ second first-inning steal of the season, and the free pass moved his first-inning on-base percentage up over .500.
– The Red Sox have now totaled 28 runs in the first three innings of their last five games. In their initial 13 games of the season, the Sox had managed a total of 22 in innings 1-3.
– The Sox had no problem with Phil Humber, who was coming off pitching a perfect game. The righty gave up nine runs over five innings, being forced to throw 115 pitches. It was the second time the Red Sox faced a pitcher coming off a perfect game, having done so when taking on David Wells of the Yankees after his historic start in 1998.
– Junichi Tazawa was stellar in relief of Doubront, pitching three scoreless innings to finish things off for the Sox.
WHAT WENT WRONG
– For the first time in four starts, Felix Doubront allowed a first inning run. The Sox starter needed 28 pitches to get through the first frame, allowing an RBI single from Paul Konkero in the process. Scoring the run was Adam Dunn, whom Doubront walked despite the fact the White Sox DH was hitting .100 against lefties this season, after going 6-for-94 vs. southpaws in 2011.
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