Closing Time: Felix Doubront, Red Sox rediscover winning ways with rout of Giants
|08.21.13 at 6:32 pm ET|
SAN FRANCISCO — Felix Doubront rediscovered something Wednesday afternoon. And he uncovered it at a very opportune time for the Red Sox.
The Sox starter rebounded from two subpar outings in which he couldn’t get past four innings to execute one of his better outings of the season. Doubront allowed just one run over eight innings, leading the Sox to a 12-1 win over the Giants at AT&T Park.
The five-hit performance by Doubront, in which he threw 114 pitches, marked the second time this season he has pitched through eight innings. Koji Uehara came on to close things out with a perfect ninth using just six pitches.
It was a welcome performance for the Red Sox, who had lost their previous three series. They now have a day off before heading to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers in what would conclude a 19-game stretch which had John Farrell’s team on the road for all but three games.
Leading the charge for the Red Sox’ offense were the top three hitters in their order — Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia — who went a combined 8-for-11.
Giving the Red Sox their initial lead was Will Middlebrooks, who took San Francisco starter Barry Zito over the left field wall for a two-run homer in the second inning. It continued a solid resurgence for the Sox hot corner production, which is the second-best (.422 batting average) in the majors since Middlebrooks’ promotion 11 games ago.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ 75th win :
WHAT WENT RIGHT
- Pedroia’s two doubles marked the first time since May 31 he has notched multiple extra-base hits.
- Ellsbury now has the third-most games with three or more hits, going 3-for-4. Also collecting three hits was Victorino, making it seven times this season the top two spots in the Sox’ order has totaled six more hits.
- Stephen Drew capped a five-run seventh inning, launching a three-run homer over the right field wall to give the visitors a 10-run lead. Entering the game, the shortstop was hitting .311 with four home runs (fourth-best of any player at the position during the span).
- Middlebrooks made his big league debut at second base, replacing Pedroia in the seventh. He immediately showed some skills by effortlessly turning a 6-4-3 double play on a Hunter Pence grounder for the frame’s first two outs. The infielder also flawlessly executed the fielding of a grounder off the bat of Marco Scutaro in the ninth.
- The fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth hitters in the Sox’ lineup (Jonny Gomes, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Drew and Middlebrooks) combined for nine RBI. Only one other time this season has that collection of spots in the order managed as many RBI for the Sox (April 22 vs. Oakland).
WHAT WENT WRONG
- Xander Bogaerts made his major league debut at third base, coming on in the seventh, with Middlebrooks moving over to second base and Pedroia getting the final three innings off. Bogaerts was greeted by a hard grounder from Buster Posey, with the ball taking a big hop before deflecting off the infielder’s glove. Bogaerts’ subsequent throw was late and wide, resulting in a hit for Posey.
- Gomes attempt at breaking up a double play on Saltalamacchia’s grounder to shortstop went awry, with the baserunner initially being called safe before over-sliding the bag and resulting in a Marco Scutaro tag.
- David Ortiz left the game in the fifth inning with lower back tightness, giving way to Mike Napoli
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