Closing Time: David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury propel Red Sox to rout of Mariners
|07.11.13 at 1:35 am ET|
It was only three days ago that the Red Sox offense was shut out for the first time since June 14, only managing five hits off Jered Weaver in Anaheim. However, Boston’s offense has had no trouble getting back on track, scoring 26 runs in its past three games — 11 of which came in the Red Sox 11-4 win over Seattle Wednesday.
The offensive outburst was consistent throughout its battle with Mariners starter Aaron Harang, as the Red Sox scored runs in four of the six innings Harang appeared in — including four runs through the first three innings. The run production was spread rather evenly throughout the Red Sox lineup, as six different Red Sox drove runs in during the game.
A strong outing from Felix Doubront was more than good enough to preserve the extra run cushion his team’s offense provided him, as he earned his sixth win of the season. The lefty’s ERA now stands at 3.91 after having totaled a 2.54 EEA over his last eight starts.
“I feel confident,” the starter told reporters. “Tonight was one of the best games, where I feel good about myself. I’ve had it before. I’m happy with the work I’m doing now.”
Here is a look at what went right (and wrong) in the Sox’ win at Safeco Field:
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
– Doubront had one of his best starts of the season as he only allowed five hits and two walks while holding the Mariners to only one run through seven innings. The lefty mixed up his pitches well, and used four different pitches as the payoff pitch in his six strikeouts.
Doubront continues to pitch well as of late, as he has not allowed more than three runs in his past five starts and has dropped his ERA to 3.91, which is the first time it has been below 4.00 this season.
– Jacoby Ellsbury showed no ill-effects from his wrist injury that kept him out of the past two games, leading off the game with a single to right field. Ellsbury added a double high off the wall in the fourth inning before driving in a run with a single in the top of the sixth. He also scored twice in the game.
The leadoff hitter picked up right where he left off before the injury, as he extended his hitting streak to 18 games with the hit. Entering Wednesday night’s game, Ellsbury was batting .389/.483/.514 since the beginning of the streak.
– With an opposite-field double in the second inning, David Ortiz recorded his 1689th hit of his career ‘ passing Harold Baines for the most all-time hits by a designated hitter. The 37-year-old was not done on the night, as he drilled a two-run home run deep to right field in the third inning to give the Red Sox a four-run lead. He drove in three runs on the night.
Ortiz did exactly the opposite of backing into the record, as he has had 12 hits and three home runs in his last seven games. Ortiz is batting .462/.481/.884 during that span.
– Shane Victorino clearly did not look 100 percent healthy in the game, leaving with the Red Sox ahead by nine runs in the sixth. The outfielder, however, showed he can still be productive at less than 100 percent, going 2-for-4 with two RBI singles. Victorino now has a six-game hitting streak and has driven in three runs in his past two games.
– Part of the reason the Red Sox offense was so successful Wednesday night was its patient approach at the plate, as it drew seven walks from Mariners pitchers. Red Sox hitters have been generally patient in July, as they have combined for five or more walks three times in their last nine games. Boston has scored at least seven runs in each of the three games it has walked five or more times.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
– Brandon Workman did not have a pleasant welcome to the majors, as he allowed a home run to Brendan Ryan in the eighth inning — the first batter he faced in his career. Things did not get much better for Workman, as he immediately allowed a doubles to Dustin Ackley and Kendrys Morales — the second and third batters he faced in his career.
Workman pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning though, and finished his debut having allowed three runs on four hits through two innings. The bright spot for the young right-hander was that he was averaging between 95 and 96 mph on his fastball and that he struck out four batters — three on fastballs and one on a curveball.
“I was definitely excited they sent me back out for the second inning,” the rookie told reporters. “Obviously giving up a home run to my first batter wasn’t ideal, but I feel like I did a good job of bouncing back and making some better pitches in the second inning, and obviously I had better results.
“That’s not the way I saw it going in my head. I made some pitches up over the plate and they hit them hard. That’s part of it. I sharpened up my second inning and it was better.”
– Dustin Pedroia went 0-for-3 Wednesday night, as he, Napoli and Brock Holt were the only Red Sox starters that did not record a hit in the game. Pedroia’s hitless night drops him to a .286 batting average in July, which is slightly below his .318 batting average on the season.
– Another game, another strikeout for Mike Napoli, who struck out swinging in the top of the eighth inning. Napoli has now struck out 13 times in his last six games and 20 times in his last 10 games. However, Napoli did show a better plate approach in the game, walking twice against Harang.
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