Red Sox Notes: Koji Uehara’s Dominance Becoming More Amazing Each Game


Koji UeharaBOSTON — The Red Sox have dealt with offensive issues all season. Their pitching continues to keep them in ballgames.

Boston’s bats were silenced for much of Monday’s game against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park. The Red Sox walked away 1-0 winners, however, because Rubby De La Rosa and Co. shined.

The Red Sox have been involved in three straight one-run games. They’ll turn to Jon Lester in Tuesday’s middle game against the Twins, but let’s first glance over some notes from Monday.

— De La Rosa was tremendous, further complicating matters for the Red Sox when Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront are deemed ready to rejoin the major league club.

De La Rosa tossed seven shutout innings. He walked two of the first three hitters, but then issued one walk and surrendered one hit the rest of the way. The right-hander struck out three and threw a career-high 106 pitches (62 strikes).

— Jackie Bradley Jr.’s strong arm helped save a run in the third inning.

Danny Santana singled into center field with one out and Sam Fuld on second base. Bradley came up firing and the Twins held Fuld at third. Santana, anticipating that Bradley’s throw would go through, headed for second base, but first baseman Mike Napoli cut off the throw.

The cutoff was big, as Napoli started running toward Santana, who was caught up in no man’s land. Seeing that, Fuld vacated third base and started home, at which point Napoli fired to Xander Bogaerts at third. The result was a rundown in which Fuld was tagged out and Santana ended up on third base with two outs in the inning.

De La Rosa retired Brian Dozier to keep the game scoreless.

— A.J. Pierzynski drove in the lone run in the fifth inning with a sacrifice fly to left field.

Daniel Nava and Stephen Drew delivered back-to-back hits to begin the inning.

— Burke Badenhop escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning by striking out Dozier. Boston’s trust in Badenhop continues to grow.

Badenhop got the call in the high-leverage situation because Junichi Tazawa was unavailable after working back-to-back games against the Cleveland Indians.

— Brock Holt went 0-for-3 with a walk but saw a team-high 27 pitches out of the leadoff spot. He began the game with an 11-pitch at-bat.

— Drew collected two hits for the second consecutive game since returning from a right oblique injury.

— Koji Uehara worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning, continuing his complete and utter dominance of Major League Baseball.

Uehara, who now is 15-for-15 in save opportunities this season, has made 20 straight scoreless appearances dating back to May 3, lowering his ERA to 0.57. He has held opponents to a .108 average (7-for-65) with 25 strikeouts and three walks over 21 innings in that stretch.

Uehara owns a 0.39 ERA (two earned runs in 46 1/3 innings) in regular-season and postseason save opportunities since taking over the Red Sox closer’s role on June 21, 2013. He has struck out 65, walked three and held opponents to a .105 average (16-for-152) while converting 42 of 44 save chances in that stretch.

— The Red Sox improved to 9-15 in one-run games this season.

— Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks both played with Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday as part of their rehab assignments.

Victorino played five innings in right field and went 0-for-2 with a strikeout. Middlebrooks played four innings at third base and went 0-for-2.

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