Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Red Sox Rally Falls Short In The 9th, A's Win 5-3
Oakland (12-13, 6-6 away) held on for a 5-3 win after they almost squandered a 5-1 lead in the ninth with closer Grant Balfour on in a non-save situation. Boston (11-12, 4-6 home) made it very interesting with a two-run single by Mike Aviles but Jordan Norberto was able to strike out Lars Anderson and get Dustin Pedroia (potential winning run) to ground into a fielder's choice to second to end it with runners on first and second.
A's rookie Jarrod Parker (1-0) was impressive as he picked up his first MLB win. He went 6.2 innings, allowing one earned run on four hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
Cody Ross (3 hits, run) was the only Red Sox with multiple hits including a pair of doubles.
Red Sox rookie Felix Doubront (1-1) gave tangible evidence for why strikeouts are one of the most overrated stats in baseball (not to sound like Bull Durham). He struck out eight but since his pitch count (94) went way too high, he was done after only four innings. He allowed five earned runs on six hits with two walks.
Oakland jumped on top early with a run in the first then four in the fourth. Yoenis Cespedes (yes, he's real) had an RBI single in the first before Cliff Pennington (2 hits) hit an RBI double and Jemile Weeks (2 hits, 2 runs) knocked in two with a single. Weeks later scored on Doubront's wild pitch.
Dustin Pedroia scored in the fourth on a ground out by David Ortiz.
Forgotten in the loss and comeback that fell short was some superb relief by Scott Atchison (2 innings), Southie resident Rich Hill (1.2 innings) and Matt Albers (1.1 innings) who combined in five innings of work to give up no runs, four hits and strike out six with no walks.
A's de-facto ace Brandon McCarthy (1-3) takes the ball tomorrow night (7:10 p.m., NESN) in the series finale against Daniel Bard (2-2). Both teams will be looking to clinch the series 2-1. Runs should be at a premium.
There was a flurry of roster moves today by the Red Sox and expect at least one more tomorrow. The Red Sox sent reliever Junichi Tazawa to Pawtucket and called up Jose Iglesias. It was a strange move since Kevin Youkilis is hurt (out of the lineup for the third straight game with back trouble) and a DL trip appears imminent for Youk who's body is rapidly breaking down. Will Middlebrooks couldn't be any hotter at Pawtucket and he plays third base. Weird. After tonight's game, Anderson was sent back down (yeah!) which seems to indicate that Aaron Cook will be called up (today was his deadline for opting out). It'll be interesting to see what role they use him in. He's been a decent MLB starting pitcher so I don't know how much he'll want to relieve-his likely role. I would love to see him go into the rotation and Bard go to the bullpen but that's not going to happen, at least at this time.
UPDATE 5/2: Try to keep up. Middlebrooks was called up today, along with Cook who will start on Saturday (the Texas Toughguy is skipping a start). Youk went on the DL and reliever Clayton Mortensen was also called up. Middlebrooks will make his MLB debut tonight, hitting eighth and playing third base.