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Mother Nature, White Sox were no match for Felix Doubront

04.27.12 at 12:17 am ET
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CHICAGO — With the thermometer reading 39 degrees at first pitch Thursday night, Felix Doubront was not in his element.

The native of Venezuela had pitched a few years back in the cold of Portland, Maine, but nothing like this. And it didn’t go unnoticed by the Red Sox starter, who allowed a first-inning run for the first time this season.

So what did Doubront do? He adjusted.

“It was cold. I started feeling it,” he said of his fourth start of the season, this one coming against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. “My hands started getting cold. I got lazy with my front shoulder. I realized I had to work a little faster to get warm and make my arm speed up and get the release point right in front.”

Doubront figured it out well enough that he managed to earn the win in the Red Sox’ 10-3 victory over the White Sox, giving up three runs over six innings, while throwing a career-high 110 pitches.

“The first two innings, pretty good. One inning I started to open my front shoulder a bit. And the weather got me a little bit,” said Doubront, whose ERA dropped to 4.09. “I got lazy with my front shoulder and the ball was moving a lot. When my front shoulder opened, I couldn’t throw strikes. But I made adjustments and got into the sixth inning and that’s the most important thing.”

One of the last hurdles for Doubront to overcome is getting past the six-inning barrier, having now gone five and six frames two times apiece. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine explained that will come with a bit more experience, and a few more favorable calls.

“Felix got his first win. That’€™s a great stepping stone. I think he’€™s a very good pitcher,” Valentine said. “[Thursday night]  he did what it took to get through the sixth and get us a win and get himself his first win. His stuff is very good. He’€™s just missing on that outside part of the plate. His ball is just running off a little at times where it’€™s getting his pitch count up. But the changeup, the fastball and the curveball are all plus pitches, I think. Once he starts getting a few more calls, he’€™s going to be a real good pitcher.”

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