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Friday, June 28, 2013

Koji Uehara Scoffs At Your Days Off As He Converts His Third Save In As Many Nights

Baseball seasons are so long that oftentimes you stumble into the right role for a player when it was only supposed to be a temporary solution. I don't want to get too ahead of myself here but by notching his third save in three games, I think that Koji Uehara looks very promising as a closer this season for the Red Sox. Boston (49-33 overall, 27-15 home) beat Toronto (39-40 overall, 17-23 away) 7-5 tonight at Fenway Park for their fourth straight win that put them a season-high 16 games over .500.

Staked to a 5-0 lead in the fourth, Red Sox rookie pitcher Allen Webster had everything lining up for his first MLB win. However, when he left after six innings the Blue Jays had cut it to 5-4 and Andrew Bailey (remember him?) allowed a solo homer to Edwin Encarnacion (2 for 3, 2 RBIs, walk) in the seventh that tied it at five and handed Webster a no-decision.

Boston manager John Farrell pushed all the right buttons against his former team as Jonny Gomes-pinch hitting for Daniel Nava (2 for 3, run)-came through with an RBI single in the seventh which put the Red Sox back on top for good. Jarrod Saltalamacchia walked with the bases loaded for the final margin.

Andrew Miller (1-2) got four outs in relief for his first win of 2013 then Uehara had his third consecutive clean ninth with two strikeouts for his fourth save of the season. Dustin Pedroia was 3 for 5 with a triple and run plus Jose Iglesias was 2 for 4 with a run and stolen base. New London CT native Rajai Davis was 2 for 4 with two stolen bases and a run for the Blue Jays.

Stephen Drew had a two-run triple in the second but he left in the fourth with a hamstring injury following a double. It is truly shocking to see a warrior like one of the Drew brothers get hurt. I'm sure he'll be right back in the lineup tomorrow. Mike Napoli had an RBI single in the third and Jacoby Ellsbury (2 for 5, run) knocked out overrated Josh Johnson with a two-run single in the fourth.

For once, Toronto got back into a game by playing small ball and not simply relying on homers. Jose Bautista and Encarnacion had RBI singles in the fifth while Adam Lind added a sacrifice fly. Maicer Izturis trimmed it to 5-4 Boston with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

Boston and Toronto face each other tomorrow afternoon in a rare 4:05 p.m. start on NESN. Felix Doubront (4-3) takes on mighty Esmil Rogers (3-3) and people have been talking about this matchup for weeks, haha yeah right.

UPDATE 6/29: Drew isn't on the DL (yet) but the Red Sox called up Jonathan Diaz from Pawtucket. Diaz is in the lineup today at third base, making his MLB debut. To make room on the roster, Clayton Mortensen was designated for assignment.

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