Monday, April 9, 2012
For A Change, The Red Sox Give Winning A Chance
Things were looking good for the Toronto Blue Jays (2-2) in their home opener at the Rogers Centre tonight as they led 2-1 going into the top of the ninth and had closer Sergio Santos (0-1; 2nd blown save) enter for the save. He wasn't able to get finish it though as Boston (1-3) rallied for three runs and a 4-2 win.
Adrian Gonzalez tied it with a sacrifice fly that scored Dustin Pedroia who led off the ninth with a roped double. Ryan Sweeney's (2 hits) single scored pinch runner Darnell McDonald although the Red Sox had some good luck on the play as Jose Bautista's throw was on target but catcher J.P. Arencebia dropped it. Finally, Cody Ross came home on Santos's wild pitch.
The best aspect of it for the Red Sox was that Alfredo Aceves returned to the hill a day after blowing a save in Detroit and he was able to get a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save of the season. He didn't allow a hit and had a strikeout. The key was that he threw first-pitch strikes to all three hitters that he faced.
Felix Doubront only went five innings for Boston before he reached 101 pitches but the young lefty showed plenty of promise. He allowed two runs (both earned) on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
Reliever Scott Atchison (1-0) was the unsung hero as he pitched three scoreless innings, only allowing one hit with no walks and three strikeouts to pick up the win.
Blue Jays rookie Henderson Alvarez looked good too, he went six innings and allowed one run (earned) on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
Toronto scored its only two runs in the third on Kelly Johnson's fielder's choice and an RBI single by Edwin Encarnacion. The Red Sox should have tagged Colby Rasmus out at home on Johnson's grounder but Jarrod Saltalamacchia was too far in front of the plate to reach behind in time. Yunel Escobar scored on Encarnacion's hit.
Pedroia sparked Boston's offense with a solo homer in the sixth inning, his first of the season, which cut the Blue Jay lead to 2-1.
Daniel Bard makes his first career start tomorrow as he tries to bring Boston to the .500 mark with its second win in a row. Toronto counters with young righty Kyle Drabek. I have no idea what to expect from Bard but at least Aceves got the job done tonight so we don't have to speculate about making Bard the closer for one outing.