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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Who Needs Ellsbury or Uehara When You've Got Sizemore and Mujica, Wait What?

Does it get any better than Red Sox-Yankees in April? The cold temperatures, empty seats at Yankee Stadium and games that really don't mean that much. With that said, Boston's (5-6 overall, 3-2 away) 4-2 win over New York (5-6 overall, 2-3 home) tonight in the Bronx sure was pleasing. Jon Lester (1-2) had his worst (6.2 innings, 2 earned runs, 6 hits, 6 strikeouts, 2 walks) of three starts this season but at least the Red Sox won for a change.

Hey gang, did you know that CC Sabathia (1-2) lost a ton of weight? 'Tis true, he also has a dead arm and is a sliver of what he used to be on the mound (literally and figuratively). For a while it looked like the ghost of CC would get the win as Alfonso Soriano's (2 hits) solo homer in the second was the only run through five innings. Boston's bats finally woke up in the sixth thanks to Jonny Gomes' (2 hits) solo homer, his first of the season.

That was nothing though compared to Grady Sizemore's (2 hits) three-run blast later in the inning, his second homer of the season. Sabathia went seven innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits with nine strikeouts and two walks. Boston still needs to improve its hitting with runners on base: they were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position and left six on base.

Lester was cruising until the seventh when a tight strike zone caught up to him. Kelly Johnson's RBI single cut it to 4-2 Red Sox and ended Lester's night. Junichi Tazawa got four outs then turned it over to Edward Mujica. Yes, the guy that was so shaky in the home opener got a chance to close since Koji Uehara's shoulder was stiff. Yikes!

Naturally, Mujica had a 1-2-3 ninth with one strikeout on 13 pitches. Why did we ever doubt him? After splitting the first two games, the teams meet tomorrow afternoon (1:05, NESN) as John Lackey (2-0) takes on Hiroki Kuroda (1-1).

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