Red Sox sink(er) Phillies behind Masterson, 6-2
For the Boston Red Sox it was sunny in Philadelphia despite being night and temperatures that made a run at the freezing point. Citizens Bank Park appeared more appropriate for the Frozen Four than a MLB game as fans and players bundled up.
The Red Sox used a six run third inning, some Justin Masterson sinkers, a three run Xander Bogaerts triple and a quality bullpen effort to take the rubber game of the series 6-2.
The game was scheduled to be a battle of sinkerball pitchers with David Buchanan taking the bump for the Phillies and Justin Masterson for the Red Sox. For Buchanan it was an outing he would best forget. For Masterson it was a welcome back game.
The first two innings was Masterson of 2013 as his slider was eating up Phillies with three punch outs to show for it. All Masterson needed was some run support and he got it. With a game time temperature at 40 degrees the Red Sox finally broke the ice in the top of the third.
After two quick outs David Ortiz hit one into the shift for a single and his first hit of the season. Hanley Ramirez (2 hits) followed with a shot back to Buchanan for a hit and a throwing error on the pitcher. Pablo Sandoval walked and the bases were loaded.
Shane Victorino banged out an infield hit to deep third for one run and a second run came in on a bases loaded walk to Ryan Hanigan. Bogaerts then took a 3-2 offering and blooped it down the Right field corner in front of Tuesday night’s hero Jeff Francoeur. Bogaerts (3 hits) had himself a triple and promptly came home on a Masterson shot up the middle. Red Sox had a six spot.
Buchanan was done after his three with seven hits, six runs, four walks and one strikeout. Buchanan tossed 79 pitches in his outing, but the Phillies got something going in the bottom of the third.
A single by Freddy Galvis, a walk and a Masterson wild pitch got a run in. A walk had two on and two out for Chase Utley who dumped a run scoring shot into right. Ryan Howard came up and Masterson settled down and bagged his fifth strike out.
With Masterson in cruise control the Phils needed some pitching and they got it. Dustin McGowan and Justin De Fratus each put up two scoreless innings to take the game into the last of the seventh and Craig Breslow starting the bullpen parade for Boston.
The Phillies had the door shut on them by Victorino in the seventh. With two on and two out Ben Revere drove a ball to right that had extra bases stamped on it until multiple Gold Glove winner Victorino tracked it down and kept the game at 6-2.
Tommy Layne and Edward Mujica came in to finish up the game and let everyone get to their Amish heaters.
Boston now travels to Yankee Stadium for a Friday night game against the Yankees. Wade Miley and New York’s Nathan Eovaldi will both be appearing in their first start for their new teams.
• Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis and pitcher Justin Masterson were both born in Kingston, Jamaica.
• The Phillies have a Massachusetts connection since they were founded in 1883 to replace the Worcester, Massachusetts NL franchise.
• Masterson was 1-1 against Philadelphia going into last night’s game.
• Masterson had a second best GB% in 2014 for all pitchers with a minimum of 125 innings pitched.
Six strong innings by Masterson allowing two runs on three hits with a pair of walks and seven strike outs. Masterson was keeping the ball down all night and it showed with only one fly ball out in his 95 pitch effort. The two runs came after a long third inning.
Victorino saved this grade with a fine defensive play. Tommy Layne had a spotless inning and Edward Mujica finished up with his first appearance of the season.
For Bogaerts in may not have been a wall ball but it still was a three run triple for a player who had a terrible RISP in 2014. Masterson chipped in with two hits.Mookie Betts
combined for a 1-10. The Sox left 12 on-base and were 3-11 in RISP.
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