Closing Time: Anthony Ranaudo, Mike Napoli help Red Sox sweep Reds
|08.13.14 at 3:37 pm ET|
On a day when he didn’t have his best stuff, Anthony Ranaudo gave a glimpse of a pitcher who is willing to compete and grind through innings to give his team an opportunity. On Wednesday, his performance was good enough to allow the Red Sox to fashion a 5-4 win.
The big right-hander, making his second big league start, attacked the strike zone even on a day when he elicited few swings and misses. The result was some hard hit balls en route to an eight-hit yield that included a pair of homers, a double and a triple, but an ability to limit the damage to four runs while walking one and striking out one. He threw 61 of 91 pitches (67 percent) for strikes.
Ranaudo has now given the Sox six innings in both of his first two big league starts, offering a suggestion that he hasn’t been overwhelmed by the initial challenge of competing at the highest level. He became the first Red Sox pitcher to win each of his first two big league starts since Justin Masterson in 2008.
The Red Sox went 5-3 on the road trip, finishing with three straight victories.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
— Mike Napoli slammed a two-run, opposite-field homer and drove in three runs while going 1-for-4. The homer was Napoli‘s third in August, a mark that leads the team, and his 15th of the year. Napoli is hitting just .206 this month but with an .870 OPS.
— Yoenis Cespedes went 1-for-3 with a run-scoring single, giving him eight runs batted in over his last four games.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. went 1-for-3, with a single up the middle in his first plate appearance that snapped an 0-for-35 stretch.
— Junichi Tazawa had a perfect eighth inning that included a pair of strikeouts, his first multi-strikeout game since July 27.
— For the 10th time in 11 games, Brock Holt collected at least one hit, going 1-for-3 with a double (his first extra-base hit since Aug. 1) and a walk. Wednesday marked the third time in August that Holt has reached multiple times in a game.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
— Cespedes had to leave the game for a pinch-hitter due to what the team described as a right hand contusion. Manager John Farrell told reporters that Cespedes jammed his hand and was taken out for precautionary reasons.
— Dan Butler went 0-for-4, and he’s still looking for his first big league hit. The 27-year-old is 0-for-7 in his two contests.
— Will Middlebrooks punched out in his only plate appearance after entering the game as a pinch-hitter. Since Saturday, he’s 1-for-15 with seven strikeouts.
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Red-Hot Red Sox Emerging as Alpha Dog in AL
- David Ortiz Passes Dave Kingman for Most HRs by a Player in His Final...
- Dustin Pedroia Injury: Updates on Red Sox Star's Knee and Return
- Price Starting to Become Clutch Ace at Crucial Time
- David Ortiz Comments on Donald Trump
- Yoan Moncada to Be Recalled from Double-A Portland by Red Sox
- Moncada Could Provide Red Sox with Spark
- Scouting Scratch: Fall Instructs Part Two, Jason Groome and Gerson Bautista
- Scouting Scratch: Fall Instructs Part One
- Weekly Notes: Fall Instructional League begins
- Podcast Ep. #106: AJ No-Teller
- Weekly Notes: Benintendi & Moncada among award winners
- SoxProspects.com 2016 season-end award winners
- Groome highlights 2016 Fall Instructional League roster
- Moncada named Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year
- Weekly Notes: Minor league season ends, Moncada struggles in Bigs
- Cup of Coffee: Salem's narrow loss ends season for whole system