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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cue the Duckboats, Red Sox Finally Reach .500 Mark Again In 2014!

You know what they say, the ninth time is always the charm. Haha that's how many times it took the Red Sox to reach the .500 mark this season after they went 0-8 when they were one game under .500 following the first couple days. Boston (17-17 overall, 10-11 home) also picked up their first sweep of 2014 as they beat Cincinnati (15-18 overall, 7-11 away) 4-3 tonight at Fenway Park. Granted it was only a two-game set against a banged up and mediocre National League team but the Red Sox will take it and hopefully now they won't look back so they'll continue to climb the standings both in the AL East and AL as a whole.

It was a nice win for the home team for reasons other than what I just led with; they also rallied from two different deficits to come out on top. Skip Schumaker gave the Reds a 2-0 lead with a two-run bomb in the third. It was only the 26th home run of his 10-year MLB career.

Boston tied it in the sixth with a pair of runs on David Ortiz's (2 for 4) RBI single and Mike Napoli's (run, walk) RBI double. Both starting pitchers pitched pretty decently but neither factored into the decision: Mike Leake went seven innings for Cincinnati, allowing two earned runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and two walks while Jake Peavy went six innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits with four strikeouts and four walks.

The Reds took a 3-2 lead in the seventh on a ground out but the Red Sox answered once again with two runs in the eighth. A.J. Pierzynski (2 for 3, walk) sliced a ground-rule RBI double into the right field stands by the Pesky Pole and Will Middlebrooks followed with one of the bigger hits of his young career-an RBI single.

Boston's bullpen was superb with every guy doing his job: Chris Capuano (1 out), Burke Badenhop (2 outs) and Craig Breslow (2-0; scoreless eighth) paved the way for Koji Uehara's first 1-2-3 inning since April 9. Oh by the way, his eighth save of the season was completed by striking out the side.

The Red Sox get their second off day in the last four days (when does that ever happen without a rain out?) before they go to Texas (17-17 overall, 3rd in AL West) for three this weekend then three in Minnesota (15-17 overall, 4th in AL Central). Boston's next game at Fenway isn't until Friday, May 16 vs. Detroit. Boston always seems to struggle in Texas but at least on paper their pitching matchups look OK: Clay Buchholz (2-2) vs. Yu Darvish (2-1) on Friday (8:05), Jon Lester (3-4) vs. Martin Perez (4-2) on Saturday (8:05, NESN) and John Lackey (4-2) takes on Robbie Ross (1-3) Sunday afternoon (3:05, NESN).

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