Final, Red Sox 12-1: The ninth inning was quick and painless for Koji Uehara, and the Red Sox finished off a convincing 12-1 victory.
The Red Sox’ offense completely rolled over Barry Zito and Co. Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino each had three hits as part of Boston’s 12-hit attack. Will Middlebrooks and Stephen Drew went deep in the rout.
Felix Doubront earned the win after tossing eight excellent innings. Doubront gave up a second-inning home run to Joaquin Arias, but that was the only offense that the Giants could muster up. The left-hander surrendered five hits while striking out five and walking one. He threw 114 pitches (68 strikes) and was in total control throughout.
The Red Sox certainly needed a victory after Tuesday’s crushing walk-off defeat. They’ll now have Thursday off before starting up a three-game series against the red-hot Dodgers in Los Angeles on Friday.
Good night, everyone.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 12-1: The Red Sox’ offense was finally slowed down in the ninth inning.
Jonny Gomes struck out, Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded out and Stephen Drew flied out.
Koji Uehara, who hasn’t pitched since Saturday, will come on for some work in the ninth inning.
End 8th, Red Sox 12-1: The Red Sox’ offense has been the big story, but Felix Doubront has been excellent.
Doubront tossed another scoreless inning in the eighth, and that might be the end of his afternoon. It was an impressive rebound performance by Doubront, who entered the game on the heels of back-to-back subpar outings.
Doubront yielded a one-out single to Brandon Crawford in the eighth inning, but he retired the other three batters he faced. The Red Sox are now three outs away from giving Doubront his ninth win of the season. For more on Doubront’s season in a historical context, check out BostonFanFavorites.com.
Daniel Nava, who pinch-hit for Jacoby Ellsbury, took over in right field in the eighth. Shane Victorino, meanwhile, shifted over to center field.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 12-1: The Giants’ defense has been very sloppy.
Daniel Nava pinch-hit for Jacoby Ellsbury with one out in the eighth inning, and he grounded up the middle. Marco Scutaro ranged over and got a glove on it, but he couldn’t make the play. Scutaro was charged with an error as Nava reached.
Shane Victorino then singled into left field to put runners at first and second for Xander Bogaerts, who is playing in just his second major league game.
Bogaerts hit a ground ball back to the mound that should have been a double play. Mike Kickham fired his throw into center field, though, and Nava scored.
Mike Napoli grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning, but it wasn’t before Boston’s huge lead grew a little bit bigger.
End 7th, Red Sox 11-1: The beauty of a 10-run lead is that you can try out some things.
Xander Bogaerts took over at third base and Will Middlebrooks shifted to second base before the bottom of the seventh inning.
Bogaerts logged time down at the hot corner in the minors and figures to play some third base with Boston. Middlebrooks has never played second base, although he’s the Red Sox’ backup second baseman with Brock Holt out of the mix.
Bogaerts was tested right away, as Buster Posey ripped a hot shot to the left side. Bogaerts made a nice play to knock it down, but his throw to first base was off the mark and Posey reached with an infield single.
Middlebrooks was then tested a bit, as Hunter Pence hit a tailor-made double play ball to Stephen Drew at short. Drew tossed to Middlebrooks, who came across the second base bag and fired to first to complete the double play.
Joaquin Arias flied out to center field to end the seventh inning.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 11-1: The Red Sox have blown this game wide open.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia connected on a two-run single and Stephen Drew launched a three-homer as the Red Sox scored five runs with two outs in the seventh inning to take a commanding 11-1 lead.
Jacoby Ellsbury started the inning with a single that deflected off the glove of pitcher Mike Kickham, and Dustin Pedroia made it second and third with one out by doubling into right field.
Kickham bounced back to strike out Mike Napoli, who replaced David Ortiz at first base, on a pitch down and in. He failed to retire Jonny Gomes, though, and the Red Sox did plenty of damage from there.
Gomes walked on five pitches to load the bases, and Saltalamacchia followed with a two-run single into right field. Marco Scutaro dived for it, but it scooted past him and Saltalamacchia now has a hit in nine straight games.
Drew then decided that a seven-run lead wasn’t enough. He launched a three-run bomb over the right field wall — against a left-hander, no less — and the Red Sox are in total control right now.
End 6th, Red Sox 6-1: Felix Doubront is putting together a heck of a start.
Joaquin Arias’ solo homer in the second inning is still the only blemish on Doubront’s pitching line. The left-hander has surrendered just the one run on three hits in his first six innings.
Doubront needed 11 pitches to toss a perfect sixth. He’s up to 88 pitches total thus far.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 6-1: Mike Kickham did a nice job in his first inning of work.
Kickham kept the Red Sox’ offense at bay, making it two straight scoreless innings for the Giants after Boston scored in the previous three frames.
Stephen Drew and Will Middlebrooks both grounded out before Felix Doubront struck out to end the inning.
End 5th, Red Sox 6-1: Mike Napoli replaced David Ortiz at first base before the bottom of the fifth.
Ortiz had been 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, so perhaps the decision is just about getting him back off his feet with a five-run lead.
Meanwhile, Felix Doubront worked another scoreless frame. The leadoff guy reached, but that was it.
Joaquin Arias, whose solo homer is still San Francisco’s only run, hit a sharp ground ball to the right side. Dustin Pedroia made an excellent stop and fired to first, but his throw brought Napoli off the bag. Pedroia might not have gotten him with a good throw, anyway.
Doubront then retired Roger Kieschnick, Brandon Crawford and Brett Pill, who pinch-hit for the pitcher, in order.
Mike Kickham will take over on the mound for the Giants in the sixth inning.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 6-1: Jean Machi made quick work of the Red Sox in the fifth inning.
Machi started the fifth by striking out David Ortiz and Jonny Gomes. Both sluggers have now struck out twice in this game, and Ortiz is now 0-for-8 with four K’s in the series.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia skied a fly ball to center field that Andres Torres easily handled for the inning’s final out.
End 4th, Red Sox 6-1: Felix Doubront tossed his second straight 1-2-3 inning in the fourth.
Doubront induced a pair of flyouts before striking out Hunter Pence to end the inning.
Jonny Gomes made a nice play to start the fourth. Brandon Belt lifted a fly ball down the left field line, and Gomes ranged over to make the grab before sliding across his stomach.
Gomes’ defense has been better than advertised this season, even though he doesn’t exactly have the best range.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 6-1: Jean Machi quickly retired Dustin Pedroia upon entering the game. The Red Sox still came away from the fourth inning with another run, though.
The Red Sox have now scored in three straight innings, thanks to some boneheaded defense by the Giants in the fourth.
Felix Doubront now heads to the mound seeking his second straight shutdown inning.
5:03 p.m., Red Sox 6-1: Barry Zito is coming out of this game after just 3 2/3 innings.
Zito started the fourth inning by walking Will Middlebrooks, who took second base when Felix Doubront dropped down a sacrifice bunt.
Two batters later, Shane Victorino hit a popup into right field. It should have been an easy out, but three Giants watched as the ball fell in the middle of them. Middlebrooks scored while Victorino headed into second base with a double.
Jean Machi will be the new Giants pitcher.
End 3rd, Red Sox 5-1: Felix Doubront put together a nice shutdown inning in the third.
Doubront threw 10 pitches while retiring the side in order.
Barry Zito struck out, Andres Torres grounded out and Marco Scutaro flied out.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 5-1: The Red Sox’ offense struck again.
Jacoby Ellsbury is now 2-for-2 after singling into right field. Ellsbury wasted no time moving up into scoring position via his major league-leading 46th stolen base.
Shane Victorino opted to drop down a bunt after Ellsbury stole second, and he reached safely following a little mishap by first baseman Brandon Belt. Barry Zito fielded Victorino’s bunt and flipped to Belt, who was retreating back to the bag. Belt couldn’t find the bag with his foot, though, and Victorino’s hustle paid off.
Dustin Pedroia drove in Ellsbury from third base by yanking a ground ball past third baseman Joaquin Arias and up the left field line. Victorino went from first to third as Pedroia headed to second with a double.
Zito buckled down to strike out David Ortiz for the first out. Ortiz was way out in front of one of Zito’s trademark looping curveballs to fall behind in the count, and he then foul tipped a high fastball into the mitt for the third strike.
Jonny Gomes also fell behind in the count, but he ended up dropping a bloop single into left field. Both Victorino and Pedroia scored to make it 5-1 Red Sox.
Gomes was thrown out at second base when Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded into the hole. Brandon Crawford’s throw brought Marco Scutaro off the bag, and Gomes was initially called safe. Gomes came off the bag on his slide, though, and the umpire called him out after Scutaro tagged him.
Stephen Drew ended the inning with a groundout, but it was a very productive inning for Boston’s offense.
End 2nd, Red Sox 2-1: The Giants responded with a long ball of their own in the second inning.
Joaquin Arias launched a solo homer with one out to cut the deficit in half. He hammered a 3-2 cutter into the left field seats, marking his first home run of 2013.
Felix Doubront, who struck out Hunter Pence to begin the inning, retired Roger Kieschnick and Brandon Crawford following Arias’ blast.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 2-0: Will Middlebrooks has been locked in since rejoining the Red Sox.
Barry Zito left a hanger in the second inning, and Middlebrooks jumped all over it. The slugger hammered a lined shot over the left field fence to give the Red Sox a 2-0 advantage.
The home run was Middlebrooks’ 11th of the season and second since returning to the majors. He’s now hitting .469 (15-for-32) since his recall.
Middlebrooks’ home run was of the two-run variety because Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed Jonny Gomes’ strikeout with a one-out walk.
End 1st, 0-0: If Felix Doubront wasn’t awake, he is now.
Andres Torres drilled a comebacker to lead off the bottom of the first inning. It hit off Doubront and kicked away. The left-hander tracked it down behind the mound, but his throw slipped out of his hand and traveled toward the dugout as Torres reached at first base.
Doubront wasted no time getting Torres off the bases, though. He picked off the Giants leadoff man for the inning’s first out.
Marco Scutaro, whose bases-loaded walk capped the Giants’ 3-2 victory Tuesday, earned a free pass in his first plate appearance of this game.
Doubront followed Scutaro’s walk by retiring Brandon Belt and Buster Posey on a pair of flyouts.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Jacoby Ellsbury went right to work in the first inning, although the Red Sox came up empty-handed against Barry Zito.
Ellsbury got an offspeed pitch on the outside corner and sent it into the left-center field gap. The ball hung up in the air for a while, but Roger Kieschnick couldn’t track it down and it rolled all the way to the wall. Ellsbury cruised into second base.
The Red Sox spoiled the leadoff double, though. Zito bounced back to retire the next three hitters.
Shane Victorino struck out swinging, Dustin Pedroia flied out to right field and David Ortiz grounded to first base.
Ortiz actually drilled a pitch down the right field line prior to grounding out, but it sailed foul and landed a few feet short of McCovey Cove.
3:45 p.m.: Barry Zito’s first pitch is a strike. Let’s play some baseball.
3:38 p.m.: The Red Sox have won more series (24) than any other team in baseball this season. However, they’ve lost their last three series.
The Sox will look to snap that skid Wednesday, and one thing working in their favor is their success in day games.
The Red Sox are an AL-best 22-12 (.647) in day baseball this season. The only MLB team better is the Cardinals, who are 26-13 (.667).
2:06 p.m.: Xander Bogaerts got the start at shortstop and made his major league debut Tuesday. Stephen Drew, who replaced Bogaerts as part of a double switch in Boston’s 3-2 loss, will return to the starting lineup Wednesday.
The Red Sox’ lineup is pretty standard, in fact. David Ortiz, who sat out Tuesday, will be back in his customary cleanup spot while playing first base.
Check out the complete lineups below.
Red Sox (74-54)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Felix Doubront, LHP (8-6, 3.95 ERA)
Andres Torres, CF
Marco Scutaro, 2B
Brandon Belt, 1B
Buster Posey, C
Hunter Pence, RF
Joaquin Arias, 3B
Roger Kieschnick, LF
Brandon Crawford, SS
Barry Zito, LHP (4-8, 5.34 ERA)
8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox are putting their fans through the wringer lately.
We’ve seen the highest of highs and lowest of lows over the last few weeks. It’s led to panic followed by tranquility followed by more panic. Tuesday’s loss, which followed a gem thrown by Jon Lester on Monday, undoubtedly has some Red Sox fans scratching their heads.
The Red Sox fell to the Giants 3-2 on Tuesday, with Marco Scutaro working a bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning to cap San Francisco’s victory. Franklin Morales struggled with his control in the ninth, which prompted John Farrell to turn to Brayan Villarreal, who threw four straight balls to Scutaro. It was a curious decision, and it’s one that cost the Red Sox big time.
The Red Sox enter Wednesday’s series finale in the Bay Area tied with the Rays atop the AL East. In fact, Boston (74-54, .578) is actually a few percentage points behind Tampa Bay (72-52, .581).
The Sox would certainly like to finish their three-game series against the Giants with a victory, especially with three games against the red-hot Dodgers looming. Felix Doubront will take the ball for Boston, and he’s looking to bounce back after back-to-back subpar starts.
There’s some good news, though. You won’t have to lose much sleep Wednesday night. Wednesday’s contest is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. ET, so get home, throw on some sweats, grab a cold one and tune in on NESN.