Cody Ross’ Defense, Felix Doubront’s Pitching Heroics Stave Off Sweep From Orioles


Cody Ross' Defense, Felix Doubront's Pitching Heroics Stave Off Sweep From Orioles
Editor's
note: NESN.com is going to tell the story of the 2012 Red Sox in Bobby
Valentine's words. Each game day, we will select a Valentine quote that sums up
the day for the Red Sox.

BOSTON –– Felix Doubront's gem almost never happened.

In the top of the first inning, Orioles slugger Adam Jones
pounded Doubront's pitch and sent it screaming towards the seats around Pesky pole. Fortunately for Doubront, right fielder Cody Ross rescued him by
snagging the ball over the wall.

"It was a home run," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine
said, had Ross failed to make the catch. "It was a Pesky Pole on Pesky Day
and he was there keeping it in the ballpark –– both Johnny and Cody."

That's all the assistance that Doubront needed as the
left-hander extended his streak of quality starts to three games, allowing just
one run over seven innings while tallying a career-high 11 strikeouts.

In the process, Doubront became the second Red Sox pitcher
this season to record a double-digit strikeout performance, joining Jon Lester. At 24 years
and 336 days old, he is the youngest southpaw in franchise history to record 11
strikeouts in a game in the DH era.

Cody Ross' Defense, Felix Doubront's Pitching Heroics Stave Off Sweep From Orioles"I’m
learning a lot," Doubront said. "This is the year that I’m looking at
a lot of challenges and learning from them. Next year, when I get those
challenges, it’s going to be easy for me."

With
the performance, he silenced all the critics that clamored for Valentine to
shut him down for the season. Through all the adversity, Doubront was
determined to push through his problems and he relayed that message to his manager.

"He
came back and just wanted to prove that these innings aren't something for us
to be concerned with and that he's a good pitcher," Valentine said.
"He had some hurdles to get over and when he's not pitching, you can't get
through those hurdles. And I've seen him get through them and continue to get
better."

After
bailing Doubront out in the first inning, Ross saved his teammates once again
in the eighth inning. With Dustin Pedroia on second base in the eighth inning,
Ross ripped a double to left field to score the go-ahead run.

When
asked which play was more gratifying, Ross offered the politically correct
answer.

"They’re
both equally as great," Ross said. "You don’t necessarily think a
play in the first inning will be a game-saving catch. It ended up being a big
play but if you do something later on the innings –– seventh, eighth or ninth
–– that’s definitely more gratifying."

So
was the result for Doubront.

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