Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Doubront Flirts With No-Hitter & Red Sox Offense Finally Explodes
Not to get all Ken Burns on you (making you fall asleep instantly) but baseball will always be a simple game: if you get good starting pitching and timely hitting, your team will be tough to beat.
For once this season, the Red Sox (31-32, 17-13 away) got both of those key elements in a 10-2 triumph vs. the Marlins (32-31, 17-18 home) this evening at Marlins Amusement Park.
Miami is reeling (no pun intended) as they've lost eight of their last nine games. Boston heads out of town with a satisfying interleague series win (2-1). The two teams will meet again next week as the Marlins come to Fenway Park for three games (June 19-21).
Felix Doubront (7-3) carried a no-hitter for 5.2 innings before Jose Reyes emphatically ended it with a long solo homer (his 2nd of the season) in the sixth inning. Justin Ruggiano's fielder's choice scored a run in the seventh but that's all Miami would get against Doubront. He went seven strong innings (the longest outing of his short pro career), allowing two earned runs on three hits with a career-high nine strikeouts and one walk.
Boston's offense kept chipping away (14 hits) at the Marlins and it paid off as they forced Miami manager Ozzie Guillen to use six pitchers. Ricky Nolasco (6-5) took the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits in six innings with four strikeouts and a walk.
Save these numbers in your head since they won't happen again this season: the Red Sox' top four hitters combined to have nine hits, seven RBIs and six runs. Plus, Boston was 7-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Scott Podsednik (2 runs, 2 hits) made it 1-0 with a groundout in the third inning. David Ortiz (3 RBIs, 2 hits) had an opposite field home run (his 15th of the season) in the fourth. The Red Sox got some insurance in the sixth on Adrian Gonzalez's (3 hits, 2 RBIs) RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Ortiz that opened up a 4-0 advantage.
Things went bananas (in a good way) in the eighth as the Red Sox piled up six more runs after 11 men came to the plate. Nick Punto started the inning with a pinch hit double and he later added a two-run RBI single for the final run. In between that, Dustin Pedroia (2 hits, 2 runs), Gonzalez and Ortiz had three run-scoring singles in a row. Jarrod Saltalamacchia plated another run with a sacrifice fly.
Thankfully, tomorrow is an off-day so we can all mentally prepare for the hype surrounding Boston's first trip to Wrigley Field since 2005. The Cubs (21-41) are the worst team in MLB but that doesn't mean this weekend shouldn't be fun since these two teams so rarely play each other (and yes I remember the Cubs were in Boston last season).
Day drinking should be especially helpful on Friday (2:20 p.m., NESN) as Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-1) faces Ryan Dempster (2-3). Jon Lester (3-4) gets former Notre Dame wide receiver Jeff Samardzija (5-4) Saturday night (7:15 p.m., Fox) and Josh Beckett (4-7) opposes Paul Maholm (4-5) Sunday night (8:00 p.m., ESPN).