|Closing Time: Cody Ross, Adrian Gonzalez provide thunder as Red Sox blow out White Sox 10-1||07.18.12 at 10:15 pm ET|
On a day filled with lightning flashes and tornado watches around Massachusetts, it was Cody Ross and Adrian Gonzalez providing the thunder for the Red Sox, who blew out the White Sox 10-1 in Game 3 of a four-game series with the White Sox on Wednesday.
Ross launched two three-run blasts off Pedro Hernandez, who was making his major league debut, while Gonzalez drove in four runs of his own to propel Boston in front by nine runs after the first six innings. The big blow for Hernandez came in the fourth inning, when Ross and Gonzalez hit back-to-back blasts over the Green Monster.
Felix Doubront started off slow, allowing three hits and a run in the first inning to Chicago. But despite not being very efficient with his pitches, Doubront held the first-place White Sox to only one hit over the following five innings, turning his outing into a solid six-inning, one-run performance.
The Red Sox will face the White Sox again on Thursday for the final matchup of the series, sending Clay Buchholz to the mound to match up with Jose Quintana.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
– Cody Ross hit third in the Red Sox lineup on Wednesday, a decision that ultimately paid off as he pulled a three-run home run just to the right of the foul pole to move the Red Sox ahead 4-1 in the third inning. The homer followed back-to-back singles by the two men who recently returned from injury, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford.
Ross launched a three-run homer over the Green Monster again in the fourth inning, this time scoring Ellsbury and Pedro Ciriaco. He earned his 47th RBI on the season with the blast, which was his 15th home run on the year. It was also his third multi-home run game of the season, a feat he last accomplished on June 24th against the Braves. Ross hit a double in the sixth inning as well, ending the night 3-for-5.
Ross continues to use Fenway Park to his advantage this season, as he has recorded 10 home runs at home this season. The 31-year-old outfielder also continues to crush left-handed pitching, as he improved his slugging percentage against lefties to .836 on the season.
– Adrian Gonzalez came through again for the Red Sox, knocking a two-out single into right field to score Ellsbury from second base in the first inning, tying the game at one. Gonzalez was not done with the one RBI though, driving an opposite-field solo shot as the second half of back-to-back home runs with Ross. He also hit a two-run single in the sixth inning to drive in Crawford and Ellsbury.
Gonzalez has been on fire since the end of the All-Star break, going 9-for-16 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in the past four games. With David Ortiz now on the 15-day DL, Gonzalez and Ross will be relied on to help replace Ortiz’s production at the plate.
– Ellsbury continued to make an impact from the top of the Red Sox lineup, going 3-for-4 with two singles and a double. The center fielder scored all three times he was on base, twice on the Ross home runs.
Now six games into his return from the DL, Ellsbury is 11-for-27 (.407) with three doubles and five runs. He and Crawford (who went 2-for-4 on Wednesday) have combined for 17 hits in 38 at-bats (.447) since their returns to the lineup, providing a big spark at the top of the lineup.
-- After allowing a run in the first, Doubront settled down big time, only allowing one more hit in the ballgame. Doubront finished the game allowing four hits and three walks while striking out two through six innings pitched.
The win is his 10th of the season, making Doubront the first Red Sox pitcher to reach double-digit wins this season. The Venezuelan lefty has earned four wins in his last five decisions.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
– The Red Sox kept up their ongoing streak of allowing runs in the first inning when Paul Konerko drove in Alejandro De Aza in the first inning on an RBI single to right field. With the run, Boston starters have now allowed runs in the first inning in each of the past 10 games.
Doubront’s past five games are representative of this recent trend of the pitching staff, as he has allowed a run in the first inning in four of his last five starts.
– While Mike Aviles was the only Red Sox starter who did not earn a hit, Kelly Shoppach struggled after his second-inning single, striking out three consecutive times.
Coupled with the recent struggles for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox catchers have now struck out in 21 of their last 43 at-bats.
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