Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Red Sox Use Rally to Take Victory Over Twins

AP/ Jim Mone

Red Sox 4 Twins 3
Winning Pitcher: Matt Albers (4-3)
Losing Pitcher: Matt Capps (3-6)
Save: Jonathan Papelbon (26)

The Red Sox won their fourth straight on Tuesday night after falling behind behind early. Darnell McDonald starter their rally with a home run in the 5th. Erik Bedard made the start for the Red Sox, and pitched pretty well aside from a shaky start. His first inning was far from spectacular, as he threw 37 pitches en route to allowing two runs. He led the inning off by walking the leadoff man Ben Revere, never the way anyone wants to start an inning. Joe Mauer hit a single to right to move Revere over to third, and a Michael Cuddyer sacrifice fly scored the Twins' first run. Bedard then fell into more control problems, walking three more batters, the last of which scored a run with the bases loaded. That would be the end of the scoring for the inning, and Bedard settled down tremendously after the inning. After throwing nearly 40 pitches in the first inning, he ended up going five innings, throwing 90 pitches in the outing. He allowed just the two runs, and after that first inning, he went four shutout innings, allowing 2 hits and no walks, while striking out four. His fastball maxed out at 93 MPH, and it was settling at around 90-91. He had some good stuff going most of the day, creating 13 swings and misses. Bedard has now allowed five runs in ten innings with the Red Sox, with a 1.4 WHIP and 11:4 strikeouts to walk ratio. 
The Red Sox offense got started late, but provided enough production to win the game. The team had a chance to put some runs on the board in the first, but Jed Lowrie stranded the bases loaded to end the inning. Twins starter Francisco Liriano was able to settle down in the following innings, until the 5th. With the Sox trailing 2-0, Darnell McDonald walked up to the plate with Jason Varitek just having reached on a walk. McDonald, in right because of the lefty on the mound, quieted down his critics for the time being, blasting a shot into the Monster seats and tying the game for Boston. In the next inning, Liriano walked two straight batters to put Lowrie in scoring position, and Varitek came up with a base hit to left, allowing Lowrie to come in and score to give the Red Sox their first lead of the game. After Minnesota tied it back up in the bottom of the inning, David Ortiz came up in the 7th with the bases loaded and one out. After his big 3-RBI day yesterday, he had been hitless to this point, but the BABIP gods smiled down on him for this at bat. He hit a little knubber to the pitcher, who was not able to come up with it and everybody advanced safely, and the winning run was scored on an Ortiz infield single. That is why we love this game.

Quick Hits
  • Jonathan Papelbon has been scorching as of late. He has not allowed a run in the past 11 appearances (11 innings). In that span, he has allowed just two hits and zero walks. He has also struck out 12 batters. 
  • After not allowing an earned run in the entire month of July, Matt Albers has now allowed three runs in 4.2 innings in the month of August. He seems to be regressing back to where he has been his entire career after a surprisingly good first half. 
  • If you take away last night's first inning, Erik Bedard has not allowed a walk with the Red Sox. With Seattle, he allowed three walks per nine innings, with a 2.9 K/BB ratio.

The Red Sox and Twins finish up their three game series tonight at 8:10 PM ET. Boston will send Jon Lester (11-5 3.23) to the mound against Minnesota's Nick Blackburn (7-9 4.58).   

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