Xander Bogaerts Showing Improvement; Other Notes From Red Sox’s Win


Xander BogaertsThe Boston Red Sox avoided falling back below .500 Wednesday.

The Red Sox, who were dealt a crushing, walk-off loss Tuesday, rebounded with a 9-4 win over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.

The teams won’t have much time to sit on Wednesday’s result, as they’ll be back in action Thursday afternoon. Clay Buchholz and Phil Hughes are the probable starters for Thursday’s series finale.

Let’s go over some notes from Wednesday’s contest.

— The Red Sox never trailed. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back.

— David Ortiz just keeps clobbering baseballs.

Ortiz drilled two home runs Wednesday, marking his second straight game with two dingers. The slugger’s first home run came off Twins starter Kevin Correia in the third inning, and his second blast came off Caleb Thielbar in the fifth inning.

Ortiz is locked in offensively, and he’s starting to carry the Red Sox’s much-improved offense.

— Ortiz’s first home run was his 383rd as a member of the Red Sox, moving him past Jim Rice and into sole possession of third place on Boston’s all-time home run list.

— Grady Sizemore had a solid night offensively. He went 2-for-4 with a double, a single, a walk and two RBIs.

Sizemore, who has three multihit games in his last six contests, is hitting .323 (10-for-31) with six RBIs in nine games this month.

— Xander Bogaerts, who has had a tough month so far, showed signs of improvement. He reached base three times — 2-for-4 with a double, a single, a walk and two runs scored — and made a nice defensive play to begin an inning-ending double play in the seventh.

— Jackie Bradley Jr. (0-for-4) was the only Red Sox starter without a hit.

— Felix Doubront was solid in a winning effort. The left-hander gave up just one run on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked one.

Doubront worked at a noticeably quicker pace — something Red Sox manager John Farrell said before the game he wants to see more of from Doubront and Clay Buchholz.

“(Catcher) A.J. (Pierzynski) wants to keep it moving quick and we’ve seen that be very successful with John (Lackey) and we’re hopeful that it will add something to both Clay and Felix,” Farrell said.

— Burke Badenhop induced his sixth double play of the season in the seventh inning. He should have added to his total — which is tops among American League relievers — in the eighth inning, but the right-hander fired an errant throw into center field.

Badenhop has stranded 14 of his 17 inherited runners this season.

— Edward Mujica surrendered a two-run homer to Trevor Plouffe in the ninth inning, raising the right-hander’s ERA to 9.00.

— David Ross, who rolled his ankle Tuesday during batting practice, was available Wednesday and is in line to start Thursday’s series finale.

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