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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Well At Least Brock Holt Cares

The Red Sox absolutely still can't score runs but that's ok at the moment since their pitching has been great and they're playing the Twins who are equally terrible. After last night's 1-0 victory, Boston (33-38 overall, 19-19 home) took the middle game of the series 2-1 tonight at Fenway Park vs. Minnesota (32-37 overall, 17-20 away). It was the third time in a week that they'd scored less than three runs but won, that's pretty hard to do.

Brock Holt (2 for 4, double, 2 runs, stolen base) continued to be one of the only reasons to tune in to the Red Sox at least so this season. He made his MLB debut in center field this evening and obviously turned in a web gem with a diving catch after Jonny Gomes lost the ball in the twilight sky. Magically, he has turned into the leadoff hitter that the team desperately needed.

Jon Lester (8-7) is over .500 for the first time in 2014. He threw 33 pitches in the rocky first inning but hung in there to go 6.1 innings, allowing one earned run on four hits with six strikeouts and one walk. Can Boston just sign him to the long-term deal that he deserves already?

Dustin Pedroia's (2 for 4) RBI double in the first scored Holt and Xander Bogaerts' sacrifice fly in the third plated Holt for the 2-0 lead. Joe Mauer's RBI double in the sixth provided Minnesota's lone run. Former Yankees bust Phil Hughes (7-3; 8 innings, 2 earned runs, 8 hits, 6 strikeouts, 0 walks) is really coming into his own with the Twins, not that anybody in the world has noticed.

Burke Badenhop and Craig Breslow each notched an out in the seventh before Junichi Tazawa struck out the side in the eighth for the hold (his 7th of the season). Koji Uehara was unavailable (rest) so Edward Mujica was called on for the save. Naturally the compete opposite of what you'd expect actually occurred: he had a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts for his second save as a Red Sox.

It isn't officially summer until Saturday but I say go with it since the weather is finally cooperating. This series wraps up tomorrow afternoon (1:35, NESN) with John Lackey (8-4) facing Kyle Gibson (6-5). Skip work, school or whatever and go to this matchup, mostly to enjoy the sun and see if the Red Sox can earn a rare sweep.

Boston won't return to Fenway until June 30 (vs. Cubs) since they head out on a 10-game road trip after tomorrow's matinee: four in Oakland, three in Seattle and three in New York vs. Yankees. That is a very tough stretch and if they hope to go anywhere this season, they have to at least win half of them.

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