Red Sox Weekly Recap
The Marlin’s headed into Boston to begin the week and Mark Buehrle was looking for a better performance this time out as he faced off with Clay Buchholz. It wasn’t to be for Buehrle as he gave up 3 home runs – one to the returning Cody Ross, one to big Papi and one to Kelly Shoppach – en route to a 7-5 loss. Had it not been for Logan Morrison, Buchholz may have had a better outing. Lomo drove in all 5 Marlins runs to set a career high in RBIs. Nevertheless, (and as has been the case almost all year) the offence provided Buchholz with enough runs to grab the win and he improved to 8-3.
The second game of the series saw Felix Doubront start for Boston against Miami’s Ricky Nolasco. The home run weather index displayed 10/10 as the temperature hit 95. Dustin Pedroia sat due to his thumb troubles but it didn’t stop the ‘Lasershow’. Mike Aviles hit his 9th home run of the year, Will Middlebrooks hit his 7th (after entering the game as a pinch runner for Youk in the 6th), SaltalaMaggio hit his 13th but the biggest blast of the night was from number 34. A grand slam in the bottom of the 4th inning off replacement pitcher Chris Hatcher to give Boston a 7 run lead that would put the game beyond Miami. Melancon pitched another scoreless inning to reduce his ERA to 18.56.
The sweep of the series was completed when the Red Sox rallied for 3 runs in the 8th to take a 1 run lead that would be enough to win. Will Middlebrooks hit a 2 run homer following a Saltalamacchia double off Edward Mujica. Ryan Kalish would come around to score what would be the winning run on a Daniel Nava single.
Youkilis would sit for the second straight game as Atlanta came into town for the weekend series. Jair Jurrjens was recalled from triple A to make the start for the Braves, Boston would counter with their ace, Jon Lester. Lester would give up 10 hits, 7 to left handers, and 3 runs over seven. Bobby Valentine would say Lester was “making good pitches” and only gave up “one hard hit ball”. Mark Melancon would give up a run in the 9th to end his scoreless streak since returning.
Youkilis continued to sit and made some comments to the media about just what he is being told about not playing and the trade rumours that continue to surround him. Will Middlebrooks would continue to rake, going 3-4 with a double and a home run. Franklin Morales making his second start in place of Josh Beckett and would have another good start picking up the win with 6th solid innings.
Clay Buchholz was scratched from Sunday’s game due to illness and Aaron Cook would be recalled to take the ball against Mike Minor. Cody Ross would power the offence with 2 homeruns and 5 runs batted in and Adrian Gonzalez would hit his 6th of the year as the Sox moved to a season high four games over .500. As it would turn out this would be the last game in a Red Sox uniform for Kevin Youkilis who was traded to the White Sox during the game. In the bottom of the seventh Youkilis would go up to bat for the last time and hit an RBI triple before being replaced by a pinch runner as a precaution. The Fenway crowd gave him a standing ovation as he walked off and hugged team mates in the dugout, before cheering even louder as Youk took his curtain call.
Mark Melancon finished off what turned out to be an emotional finale to the series, a series that puts the Red Sox 5.5 games out of first place at 38-34. This week brings the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista into Fenway for 3 games before Boston travel to Seattle to face the Mariners and Ichiro in a four game set.