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The Red Sox are definitely the hottest team in baseball. They have now won nine out of ten games after an 8-3 victory over the Rangers at Fenway. Clay Buchholz had a very strong outing after a few shaky ones, going six strong innings and allowing zero runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out six.
The Sox bats were also the story, even though the lineup was without Jason Varitek, Mike Lowell, and Manny Ramirez. They touched Texas pitching for eight runs over a two-inning span in the fourth and fifth innings. Former Sox lefty Kason Gabbard lasted just two innings, but he allowed no runs. He left the game with back stiffness, and what a shame for the Rangers. His replacement was terrible.
Reliever Dusty Nippert entered…and was dare I say atrocious. His line was 2 1/3 innings, nine hits, eight earned runs, four walks, and two strikeouts. He raised his season ERA to 16.62. Hey…at least he got to pitch in Fenway Park?
Jacoby Ellsbury sparked the Sox offense with a 2-4 afternoon. He also reached base via a walk, and had an RBI to go along with two more stolen bases (he has eight now this season). Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz also had two-hit games, but Julio Lugo led the charge and surprised all with a 4-4 afternoon with a double, an RBI, and a walk to go along with two runs scored.
All-in-all, the Sox have really impressed me so far this season. It seems that the Japan-LA-Oakland-Toronto road trip didn’t affect the Sox too much. At 14-7, the Sox are atop the AL East standings and have won five games in a row and nine of their last ten games. Nice.