Closing Time: Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Napoli lead Red Sox’ pounding of Phillies
|05.27.13 at 10:39 pm ET|
The Sox got contributions from throughout their lineup — six different players scored runs, with home runs from Mike Napoli and Dustin Pedroia highlighting an attack that drove Phillies starter Tyler Cloyd from the game before the third inning was over. On the mound for the Sox, Alfredo Aceves worked out of a few troublesome spots to hold the Phillies to just one run in his first start with the Sox since April 23.
Here’s a look at what went right and what went wrong for the Sox on Monday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
— Jacoby Ellsbury had been the Sox’ hero on Sunday against the Indians with a game-winning double, and he had another standout game on Monday. He went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, scored a run, turned an inning-ending double play from center field and made a catch that kept Aceves’ night from taking a turn for the worse. With the bases loaded in the top of the sixth, Freddy Galvis smacked a long fly ball to center that could have scored at least two, possibly three Phillies, but Ellsbury caught it on the run to end the inning.
The Sox have been hurting for production from their leadoff spot this year — they entered Monday with a .249 average (10th in the AL), a .321 OBP (eighth), and a .336 slugging percentage (14th) from that slot — so that performance from Ellsbury, who had just a .301 OBP in May entering Monday’s game, represents the potential for a welcome difference-maker in the Red Sox lineup.
— Aceves gave up a few hard-hit balls, but he ultimately gave the Sox the start they needed from him. He got through six innings on 93 pitches, throwing 62 percent of those for strikes. Outside of a 29-pitch sixth inning, in which Aceves nonetheless held the Phillies scoreless, the righty worked efficiently (throwing 64 pitches through his first five innings) and surrendered his only run on a solo homer to Erik Kratz in the third.
With Franklin Morales set to be activated from the DL on Tuesday, the Sox may have a decision to make regarding Aceves’ place on the roster, but his Monday start helped his case to be a part of the Sox’ pitching staff going forward.
— Before Monday’s game, Sox manager John Farrell emphasized that Dustin Pedroia, the only Sox player who’s played every game this year, doesn’t want to take a day off. Pedroia continued to show that with his play on Monday: his two-run homer in the first kicked off the scoring, and he dove to turn a tough double play to end the following inning after Aceves allowed John Mayberry to reach on an error.
— Mike Napoli had his first multi-hit game since May 12, and both of his hits went for extra bases. He put the Sox up 3-0 with a solo homer in the first, then drove in David Ortiz with a ground-rule double to make it 4-0 in the third. He went 2-for-4 with a walk.
— Stephen Drew quietly went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks on the day, scoring two runs. His third-inning single scored Napoli from second and was the last straw for Cloyd, who was pulled from the game immediately afterward. Drew later added a bases-loaded walk. That followed a 3-for-4 performance from Drew on May 26 against Cleveland, before which he had been hitless in his last five games.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
— Aceves did flirt with danger in the sixth, putting men on first and third with nobody out. He then retired Delmon Young and Domonic Brown but walked Mayberry to load the bases. Although the Sox had a comfortable seven-run lead at that point, Galvis’ drive to center field could have changed the tone of Aceves’ night a bit if Ellsbury hadn’t gotten to it in time.
— Daniel Nava was the only Sox player without a hit on Monday, going 0-for-5 with a pair of strikeouts. That snapped a modest six-game hitting streak for him.
– Andrew Miller entered the game with one out in the eighth and quickly gave up the first Phillies runs since the third inning, allowing a two-run homer to Brown that cut the lead to 8-3. That ended a streak of six appearances, dating back to May 12, during which Miller hadn’t given up a run.
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