Will Middlebrooks Productive In Return; Other Notes From Red Sox’s Win


Will Middlebrooks, Jackie Bradley Jr.The Boston Red Sox wasted no time in burying an ugly loss to the New York Yankees.

The Red Sox, who traveled to Toronto after Thursday’s 14-5 defeat, rolled to an 8-1 victory Friday in their series opener against the Blue Jays. Boston’s pitching, defense and offense all were much improved.

The Red Sox and Blue Jays will return to action Saturday afternoon, so Boston doesn’t have much time to enjoy Friday’s win. Let’s sneak a peek at what happened Friday before officially turning the page.

— Jake Peavy, who struggled in his last start on Easter Sunday, was excellent against the Jays. The Red Sox right-hander allowed only one run on five hits over seven innings. He struck out seven, walked two and threw 113 pitches (74 strikes) while earning his first win of 2014.

“He’s been pretty consistent each time out for us,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “And given the stretch that we’ve come through, sure, that’s a big night to give us seven innings of work, give some guys an additional down day or day of rest. But Jake has been very consistent throughout, both in terms of stuff and really overall location.”

Peavy started the season with four no-decisions before Friday’s win.

— Mark Buehrle entered the game having surrendered just two earned runs through his first four starts — a span of 28 innings. The Red Sox hardly seemed intimidated.

Boston jumped on Buehrle for four runs in the second inning en route to scoring seven runs (six earned) on 12 hits against the veteran Blue Jays left-hander. The Red Sox finished with 16 hits total.

“Just the overall approach,” Farrell said while pointing to positives from Friday’s win. “We get an early lead (and) Jake made it stand up. Just a well-played game all-around.”

Buehrle’s ERA jumped from 0.64 to 2.16.

— David Ortiz drilled his 378th career home run as a member of the Red Sox. He’s now one shy of tying Dwight Evans for fourth on the franchise’s all-time list.

Ted Williams (521), Carl Yastrzemski (452) and Jim Rice (382) represent the top three.

— Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who was activated from the disabled list before Friday’s game, enjoyed an excellent return, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.

— Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. also enjoyed a big game. He reached base four times, finishing 3-for-4 with a triple, two doubles, a walk, an RBI, a stolen base and two runs scored.

The most impressive aspect of Bradley’s offensive performance was that he used all fields.

“(Middlebrooks) and Jackie had two very good nights offensively,” Farrell said. “It’s good to see Jackie learn from how pitchers are trying to attack him (and) make some adjustments along the way. But Will’s addition certainly lengthens out our lineup.”

— A.J. Pierzynski joined Bradley in collecting three hits. The Red Sox catcher went 3-for-4 with two singles, a double, an RBI and two runs scored.

Pierzynski also gunned down Jose Bautista trying to steal third base in the fourth inning.

— Chris Capuano and Andrew Miller capped Boston’s win with a scoreless eighth inning and ninth inning, respectively.

Capuano struck out the side in the eighth. He hasn’t given up a run in 14 innings over 10 appearances this season.

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