Sunday's afternoon win was the first in the month of August and it was capitalized by a stellar pitching performance from Franklin Morales, the resurgence of Carl Crawford's bat and a two-run home run from Adrian Gonzalez in the fifth inning that proved to be early insurance runs.
Boston had a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning and after Crawford singled to center and Dustin Pedroia flied out to right, Gonzalez hit a two-run Nick Blackburn pitch over the Green Monster to bump the Sox' lead to 4-1. Gonzalez finished the afternoon 2-for-3 with that key home run and three RBIs.
Crawford has seven hits in his last 14 at-bats, and it's starting to look like the Red Sox may be getting their money's worth. The left fielder has three home runs in his last 10 games and has seen his average jump up to .279 going into a key series against the Texas Rangers.
Likewise, Gonzalez struggled in the first half of the season and was having difficulty getting his batting average near the .300 mark. In the second half of the season, however, he's pushed his average to .304 and has a nice five-game hitting streak going.
As for the pitching staff, when Boston acquired Craig Breslow in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks, questions arose whether it would allow Morales to return to the rotation, a role that worked well for him and the team earlier this season. Morales got his shot on Sunday and tossed six innings of three-hit baseball giving up only one earned run. He is now 3-2 on the season with a 3.14 ERA.
Sunday's win was a much-needed one for the Red Sox, as they avoided the four-game sweep. Which player had the biggest impact in Sunday's victory?
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