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Thursday, April 10, 2014

He's Still the Same David Ortiz

It's hard to call any MLB game before say late August a must-win but it was clear that the Red Sox needed a jolt of life after scuffling through the first week plus of the 2014 regular season. Obviously David Ortiz (double) would be the one to deliver them out of their funk as he crushed a go-ahead three-run homer (his second roundtripper of the season) around Pesky's Pole in the eighth to spark a 4-2 win Boston this afternoon at Fenway Park vs. Texas.

The Red Sox (4-5 overall, 2-4 home) were able to take two of three from the Rangers (4-5 overall, 2-4 away) who are understandably a shell of themselves with the litany of injuries that they have already suffered in spring training and early on this season. Ortiz's usual heroics saved what had been a really solid outing by Jake Peavy (6.2 innings, 1 earned run, 3 hits, 8 strikeouts, 4 walks) that looked like it would be wasted.

Boston held a 1-0 lead on Dustin Pedroia's infield single and throwing error by the Rangers starting pitcher Robbie Ross in the third inning. Mitch Moreland tied it for Texas with a solo homer into a bullpen in the seventh then Alex Rios put them up 2-1 with a sacrifice fly in the eighth. The teams combined for nine hits as reliever turned spot starter Ross was effectively wild (5.1 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 4 strikeouts, 6 walks).

Andrew Miller (1-0) allowed the run to Texas in the eighth but he still "earned" the win. Koji Uehara pitched a 1-2-3 ninth on 11 pitches including a strikeout for his second save of the young campaign.

Are you ready for Red Sox-Yankees? Me neither! However, we'll just have to deal with it as they meet four times this weekend in the Bronx. Sickly Clay Buchholz (0-0) opposes Michael Pineda (0-1) tomorrow night (7:05, NESN), Jon Lester (0-2) takes on anorexic C.C. Sabathia (1-1) on Friday night (7:05, NESN), John Lackey (2-0) gets Hiroki Kuroda (1-1) on Saturday afternoon (1:05, NESN) then Felix Doubront (1-1) wraps up what promises to be a very long series on Sunday night (8:05, ESPN) vs. Ivan Nova (1-1).

It is the first of 19 games against the Yankees over six series. This will be Boston's first look at Jacoby Ellsbury (assuming he can make it through the next few days healthy) in a New York uniform.

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