Saturday, June 2, 2012
Breaking News: For The First Time In 2012, The Red Sox Are Ahead Of Someone In The AL East
They finally did something about it by beating the Toronto Blue Jays (27-26, 15-12 home) 7-4 this afternoon at Rogers Centre. The win clinched the series for the Red Sox (28-25, 15-11 away) while also sending Toronto into last-place.
Felix Doubront (6-2) continued to earn his surprising moniker as best Boston starting pitcher this season with another solid outing. He tied a season-high with 6.1 innings, he allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits with seven strikeouts and a walk. Like Clay Buchholz on Friday night, both of Doubront's runs came on solo homers. Needless to say, for whatever reason the ball flies out of the Rogers Centre even when the roof is closed.
File this away since it will likely never happen again this season but Nick Punto was the catalyst of Boston's offense. He went 3 for 4 with two runs and two RBIs while also falling a triple short of a cycle.
Alfredo Aceves wrapped up the win with a 1-2-3 ninth (including a strikeout) for his 14th save of the season.
Blue Jays starter Kyle Drabek (4-6) had another underachieving start for a guy of his talents. He went 6.2 innings but allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits with four strikeouts and four walks.
Boston put up four runs in the second inning thanks to some timely hitting and terrible defense by Toronto. Will Middlebrooks (RBI single), Punto (RBI double) and Daniel Nava (two-run single) all had two-out RBIs. Nava's "hit" deserves an asterisk though since it was an easy catch that Blue Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus failed to make. It's a joke that the Blue Jays scorekeeper didn't credit him with an error, maybe his overbearing dad is in charge of that thankless task.
Backup catcher Jeff Mathis (3rd of the season) had a solo shot in the third to get Toronto within 3-1. Even though Middlebrooks grounded into a double play, a run scored in the fourth. The Blue Jays showed some life as Kelly Johnson (2 hits) had an RBI single in the fourth and Jose Bautista (13th of the season) went deep in the fifth, with nobody on base.
David Ortiz scored on Ryan Sweeney's ground out in the eighth and Brett Lawrie answered with an RBI single. Punto added the insurance run in the ninth with his first homer as a Red Sox. Proving that anything in life is possible, light-hitting Punto crushed it 444 feet to right.
Daniel Bard (5-5) faces rookie Drew Hutchison (4-2) tomorrow afternoon (1:07 p.m., NESN) as the Red Sox go for the sweep in Toronto.