Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 10, Marlins 2
June, 13, 2012
By Matt Porter | ESPNBoston.com
MIAMI -- The Boston Red Sox departed South Florida with a fine kind of victory.
The Red Sox's 10-2 win Wednesday against the Miami Marlins was notable for an outstanding night by Felix Doubront and an offensive explosion the likes of which Boston hadn't seen in a month.
Doubront, coming off a career-worst start, went 5 2/3 innings without allowing a hit and a career-high 7 innings total, and struck out nine, tying a season high.
He departed with a 4-1 lead, but the Sox were far from done. They scored six times in the eighth inning to break open the game.
In total, Boston tagged six Marlins pitchers with 14 hits, the Sox's second most in June.
Boston (31-32) has won two in a row and is now one game under .500.
REBOUND EFFORT: For much of his night, the only marks next to Doubront's name in the scorebook were in the strikeout column -- eight of them through 5 2/3 innings, with no hits.
With two outs in the sixth, Jose Reyes homered over the wall in left to break up the no-hit bid (and the shutout), but Doubront rebounded and ended the inning with yet another strikeout. He entered the game with a strikeout-per-9 IP rate of 9.77, second best among major league lefties and second overall in the American League.
Doubront allowed three hits, tying a season low. He has allowed three earned runs or fewer in nine of his 13 starts this year.
Doubront threw 99 pitches, 66 of them strikes. His season high is 111. He was at 87 pitches through six and seemed to tire in the seventh, when he gave up a single to Hanley Ramirez and a rocket double by Giancarlo Stanton to put runners on second and third. Doubront escaped with just a run allowed.
In his previous outing, June 8 against the Washington Nationals, Doubront allowed a career-high six runs over four innings. He gave up eight hits, including a career-high five doubles, and walked two.
BREAKOUT GAME: That must have felt nice. The Red Sox's 10-run output was their most since May 13.
After Ricky Nolasco struck out three of the first six batters he faced, the Red Sox manufactured a run in the third. Mike Aviles singled and went to second on a bobble by center fielder Justin Ruggiano. Doubront laid down a quality sac bunt, and Scott Podsednik's RBI groundout made it 1-0.
David Ortiz homered in the fourth, then followed Adrian Gonzalez's sixth-inning RBI single with a sac fly that made it 4-0.
The Red Sox really got going off reliever Randy Choate in the eighth. Choate, a lefty who had allowed just one earned run in 18 2/3 innings, gave up five straight hits, including RBI singles by Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez and Ortiz, to make it 7-2 Boston.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia's sac fly and Nick Punto's two-run single -- in his second at-bat of the eighth inning -- made it 10-2.
The top of the order -- Podsednik, Pedroia, Gonzalez and Ortiz -- went a combined 9-for-17 with seven RBIs and six runs scored.
RESTED PAPI RETURNS: After Tuesday's day off, Ortiz went 2-for-2 with a homer, three RBIs, a run scored and a walk. He is now batting .307.
In the fourth, he homered on a 1-2 fastball from Ricky Nolasco to put the Sox up 2-0.
Ortiz's opposite-field blast, which came after he went down 0-2 to Nolasco, was estimated at 383 feet. It was his 15th of the season and No. 393 of his career, tying him with Jim Edmonds for 53rd all-time.
He lifted a sac fly to center in the sixth and drove in an eighth-inning run off Choate, who struck him out as a pinch hitter late in Tuesday's win.
GONZO WATCH: Things were tough at the start for Adrian Gonzalez, but he ended up 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored.
In the first he whiffed on a high-and-outside cutter, a pitch he had no business swinging at. Hanley Ramirez had no business getting to Gonzalez's hot-shot liner in the fourth, but the Marlins third baseman leaped to grab it.
However, Gonzalez followed a pair of sixth-inning singles with an RBI single to right. He tacked on another RBI single as part of Boston's six-run eighth. Gonzalez has three RBIs in his past six games and eight in his past 10.
In the ninth, his liner to left was dropped by Marlins rookie Donovan Solano but was mysteriously ruled a hit.
PODS STILL HOT: Scott Podsednik continued his nice run, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI groundout. Podsednik, who made his second start of the season in left, is batting .380 in 16 games.
PUNTO POP: Pinch hitting certainly agrees with Nick Punto.
Punto, who came in batting .188, led off the eighth in the pitcher's spot against reliever Chad Gaudin. Punto lifted a 1-2 slider to the right-field wall for a stand-up double. After the Sox batted around, Punto slapped a two-run single to left.
REYES REDUX: Jose Reyes didn't triple to lead it off, as he had done the previous two games, but the Marlins shortstop made an impact. His sixth-inning line-drive homer, which came on a first-pitch fastball and was estimated at 419 feet, broke up Doubront's no-hit bid and spoiled what would have been his first career shutout.
SCORER SLEEPING? OK, maybe that's a little harsh. But the game, which was blazing-fast with Doubront dealing and wound up lasting 2 hours, 58 minutes, began to drag. We're looking for an explanation for Gonzalez's third hit, which should have been caught, and the following hit, a Darnell McDonald liner to third that Hanley Ramirez waved at with his red cape. (Ole.) Could have been an error there.
HERO'S HAND: Former Marlins and Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell was cheered wildly as he was shown on the big screen in center field. His son was wearing a Red Sox cap.
WEB GEMS: In the fourth, Marlins third baseman Hanley Ramirez leaped back and to his left to grab an Adrian Gonzalez liner that was sure to fall on the grass.
David Ortiz tracked a foul pop for the first out of the seventh, a critical out with runners on second and third and Doubront laboring.
Solano made a shoestring running catch in left with the bases loaded and no outs in the eighth, but it saved runs only for a moment.