Friday, April 5, 2013

Sox Win First Series of Season

The Red Sox are no longer undefeated, but they are still in first place.

Boston followed up a rousing Opening Day victory with another convincing win in Game 2 on Wednesday. Shane Victorino knocked Hiroki Kuroda out of the game in the second inning by lining one off Kuroda's right (throwing) hand. The Sox proceeded to feast on his replacement, Cody Eppley, for four runs in the top of the third, giving Clay Buchholz a 6-0 cushion.

Like Jon Lester, Buchholz carried over his Spring Training success into the regular season, allowing just one run across seven stellar innings. Andrew Miller and Alfredo Aceves struggled in the eighth, allowing New York to mount a comeback when Vernon Wells homered with Juan Francisco and Kevin Youkilis on base. With the score now 7-4, Joel Hanrahan closed the door in the ninth to earn his first save with his new team.

Unfortunately the Red Sox were unable to finish off the sweep last night, losing 4-2 on a night when 40 year-old Andy Pettitte and 43 year-old Mariano Rivera stifled their offense. Ryan Dempster pitched reasonably well in his Sox debut--good enough to keep his team in the game but not good enough to compete with Pettitte's vintage performance. Sox pitching allowed solo homers to Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli--two players who probably won't combine to hit ten all year.

If you think that's fluky, get this: Boston's leading hitter is Jose Iglesias, of all people. The all-glove/no-bat shortstop went 7-for-12 batting out of Boston's nine-hole. If he can prove to be at semi-capable (a poor man's Mike Aviles?) with the lumber, that will go a long way towards stretching out John Farrell's lineup, not to mention giving Jacoby Ellsbury more RBI opportunities. At the very least, he must hold his own this weekend until Stephen Drew returns from his concussion, which could be as soon as Monday.

Starting tonight, the Red Sox have three games in Toronto before coming back to Boston for their home opener against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.

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