Saturday, June 23, 2012
Franklin Morales Picks Up A Win, Will Middlebrooks Continues To Rake
The funny thing about trade rumors in any sport now with Twitter in our lives is that the rumor mill works 24/7. That means we read about Kevin Youkilis getting dealt from the Red Sox basically every waking moment for the past few weeks. Make it stop!
Youk's replacement Will Middlebrooks was 3-for-4 with a double, solo homer, two RBIs and a run as the Red Sox (37-34, 18-20 home) beat the Braves (38-33, 23-16 away) 8-4 tonight at Fenway Park.
To say the rookie third baseman is swinging a hot bat is an understatement. In his last five games, he's 10-for-14 with three homers, three doubles and nine RBIs. I think that'll do just fine.
The other two biggest storylines from the victory: Franklin Morales (1-1) picked up a win in his second start while Dustin Pedroia (3 for 4, double, two RBIs, run, walk) finally looked like himself at the plate after scuffling since he hurt his thumb the first time.
Morales went six innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. His impressive stuff in two outings illustrates the point about how some guys just aren't made to start (cough, Daniel Bard) while others can pick it up no problem.
Randall Delgado (4-8) lasted only 1.1 innings as he allowed four earned runs on six hits. Boston built an insurmountable 5-1 lead by the third inning.
Atlanta scored first as Brian McCann's infield single plated Michael Bourn (3 hits, 2 RBIs, 2 stolen bases) in the first inning.
The Red Sox went ahead in their first at bat and never looked back. Adrian Gonzalez (2 hits, run) tied it with an RBI single then Middlebrooks' RBI double made it 2-1.
Pedroia had a two-run double in the second then Middlebrooks hit a solo homer to left (his 9th of the season) in the third for the 5-1 advantage.
Bourn's RBI single in the fifth cut it to 5-2 for Atlanta but Cody Ross (2 doubles, run) drove in Gonzalez with an RBI double in the home half of that frame.
Atlanta continued to hang around as old man Chipper Jones produced an RBI double in the sixth and Bourn knocked in another run, this time with a groundout in the seventh.
Daniel Nava gave Boston some breathing room with a two-run single in the seventh.
After Scott Atchison allowed a run (something which has very rarely happened this season), the Red Sox bullpen picked him up as Andrew Miller induced a double play, Vicente Padilla pitched a scoreless eighth and Alfredo Aceves had a 1-2-3 ninth in a non-save situation.
Mike Aviles was 2-for-4 with a double and run. Boston was 5-for-12 with runners in scoring position while Atlanta was 2-for-11.
Apparently Clay Buchholz picked up the plague or something since he was sent home from the ballpark today and his start tomorrow was cancelled. Instead, Aaron Cook (0-1) was called up from Pawtucket and he'll make his second start of the season against Mike Minor (3-5) tomorrow afternoon (1:35 p.m., NESN).
It is the rubber game of the series and the final installment of interleague play. Cook has nothing to lose after his first start on May 5 was a complete disaster: 2.2 innings, six earned runs, eight hits and he had to leave early after getting a nasty gash on his leg.
UPDATE 6/24: Buchholz went on the DL (intestinal bleeding, ahhhhh!) with Cook taking his spot.