The series finale between the Red Sox and Twins became a scene all to familiar to the Red Sox this season. Like a young child who continues to wet the bed and all he can say is “oh oh, I did it again” the Red Sox bullpen was once again doing there best to blow the game….again.
After the offense had pulled the Sox out in front to a 7-1 lead, Clay Buchholz was finally lifted for some relief but not before he loaded the bases in the sixth inning. Buchholz, who threw 107 pitches and appeared to be the latest victim of manager Bobby Valentine’s lack of knowledge of when to pull his starters, scattered 10 hits over 5.1 innings of work. He was tagged for 5 earned runs, walked 3 and struck out 2 while picking up his second win on the season.
Back to the bullpen. First it was Scott Atchison who inherited Buchholz’s, or should I say Valentine’s mess and in an unlike Atchison fashion he gave up a single off his foot to Joe Mauer that scored two runners. Atchison would be replaced by Justin Thomas and things would get a whole lot more interesting.
Thomas surrendered a double to Justin Morneau cutting the lead to 7-5. Thomas would then hit Chris Parmalee with a pitch before giving the ball over to Matt Albers. It was at this point that I honestly thought to myself, here we frickin’ go again.
Albers who has been as hot and cold as a guy who got what he wanted on a first date only to never call the girl again, was cold on this night. Trevor Plouffe of the Twins singled in a run off Albers making the game very interesting for the final three innings with a 7-6 Red Sox lead.
Vicente Padilla pitched the seventh and gave a clean inning, as did Franklin Morales in the eighth. It should be noted that Morales went through the heart of the Twins order without a hit or a walk while fanning one. An impressive outing to say the least.
Finally, it came to the ninth and it was Alfredo Aceves who was beckoned to save the game. Yes, the same Aceves who said last week that he’s not comfortable being the closer and may never be comfortable in that role.
He showed that again tonight giving up a hit, a walk and a hit batsman to load the bases before striking out Denard Span to end the ballgame. Ok, so I didn’t exactly build up the ninth with a whole lot of drama, but I feel as though we’ve been through enough drama already this season that there’s not point adding anymore in here. Red Sox win, Aceves gets the save (barely) and the Sox have won three in a row. Shhh, don’t tell Bobby V that his club is on a 3-game winning streak or he might open his mouth again.
From an offensive standpoint, it was Dustin Pedroia who led the charge on this night, going 3-for-4 and was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle. Oddly enough Pedey never collected a RBI on the night. Mike Aviles continues to produce at the lead-off position, cranking his fourth homer of the year in what was a three-run shot. In all, the bats were good for 10 hits, mainly all singles.
Up next for the Olde Town Team is a battle of the Sox when the Red Sox head to the windy city to battle the White Sox. We’ll have a series preview for you right here on BoSox Injection.
Tags: Alfredo Aceves Bobby Valentine Boston Red Sox Clay Buchholz Denard Span Dustin Pedroia Franklin Morales Joe Mauer Justin Morneau Justin Thomas Matt Albers Mike Aviles Minnesota Twins Scott Atchison Vicente Padilla