It’s official-the Boston Red Sox have won a game in 2012. The panic button can finally be depressed because tonight the Sox got their first win of the season in a 4-2 come from behind win over the Blue Jays.
For all the things that have gone wrong in the first three games, tonight things went mostly the way you would want them to.
Solid starting pitching, excellent relief pitching and offensive output when it counts–the best recipe for a win.
The Red Sox got a solid outing from Felix Doubront who went 5 innings, gave up 4 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks and struck out 6–throwing a career high 101 pitches in the game.
The Jays’ starter Henderson Alvarez was impressive as well. The 21 year old righty went 6 innings giving up 4H,1R,1BB and striking out 2 on a total of 95 pitches.
The Blue Jays got to Doubront in the third when Kelly Johnson hit a slow grounder to the right side of the mound after a Colby Rasmus triple. Doubront fielded and threw to Jarrod Saltalamacchia who wasn’t in position to block the plate, allowing Rasmus to elude the tag and score the first run of the game.
The Red Sox would get a run back in the sixth when Henderson Alvarez threw a fastball up and in to Dustin Pedroia that ended up in the seats for a solo homer, but it wasn’t until the ninth that the Red Sox kicked it into gear.
Scott Atchison threw 3 scoreless innings in relief to give the Sox an opportunity in the ninth, which they cashed in on.
Dustin Pedroia smoked a Sergio Santos offering for a double to lead off the inning and J.P. Arencibia let one get by him to give the Sox a runner on third and nobody out for Adrian Gonzalez. Typical Gonzo–he got the job done. After working the count full Gonzalez got a pitch up and away that he lifted into left field, plenty deep enough to score Pedey from third. Tie game and they were just getting started.
After Kevin Youkilis struck out, David Ortiz and Cody Ross drew walks off Santos–who couldn’t get the ball over the plate–and Bobby Valentine elected to pinch run for Papi with Darnell McDonald, the move paid off when Ryan Sweeney ripped a single into right, scoring McDonald from second and putting runners on the corners. It would get worse for Toronto’s new closer.
With Salty at the plate, Santos threw a pitch that got away from Arencibia and went all the way into the Red Sox dugout, scoring Cody Ross from third and ending his outing with his second blown save in as many chances. Sound familiar? Not tonight.
With a 4-2 lead, Bobby Valentine chose to go to his closer Alfredo Aceves–who going into the ninth had a 1.000 BAA and an uncomputable ERA as he had yet to record an out in 2 appearances. Aceves got the job done in this one though, looking much better in doing so. He was consistently at 95 mph and displayed a swing and miss fastball. The result was a much needed 1-2-3 inning and a save for the newly appointed closer.
The Red Sox and their fans–myself included–can rest easy tonight. The Red Sox avoided another disaster and maybe now we can play some baseball.