|Connelly’s Top Ten: The Countdown is on!||NBA All-Star Game Starters Announced, Illustrate Flawed Selection Process||Video: Bill Belichick Deflate-Gate Press Conference||The National Media is to Blame for Deflategate Outrage|
For six innings, it looked like we were going to have quite the pitchers’ duel to discuss, but after an eighth inning home run explosion, the Red Sox earned themselves a 7-3 victory. The Sox are now 15-1 against the Angels since they were swept in the 2009 ALDS
Angels’ first basemen Mark Trumbo took Sox starter Jon Lester over the Monster [in the second inning], and for a while, it seemed like that would be the game’s only run. Both Lester and Angels’ starter Dan Haren were dealing. Haren was making Boston hitters look lost, but in the sixth they figured him out.
The Angels were the first to put a tally in the run column when Mark Trumbo went yard off Lester in the top of the second.
After the homer, both pitchers looked to be dialed in. Lester and Haren proved their worth in the second game of a four-game set at Fenway.
Aside from the early dinger, Lester was strong as he went seven innings allowing only the one run while striking out 11.
A David Ortiz single down the right field line sent Gonzalez to third, leaving runners at the corners for Jed Lowrie. Lowrie took a low cutter and sent it into right to give the Sox the lead for good.
Haren returned in the eighth, and Adrian Gonzalez turned on one and sent it out of the ball yard in right to end Haren’s evening. Haren finished giving up four runs on nine hits in seven [plus] innings. He also struck out eight.
Hisanori Takahashi entered the ball game, and the home run derby continued. Big Papi took Takahashi deep to right and into the stands. Even Marco Scutaro joined the party and hit his first home run of the season to drive in two.
Jonathan Papelbon came on in the ninth and struggled, allowing two runs. Thanks to the extra wiggle room the Sox gave him in the eighth, it wasn’t an issue, and he got Peter Bourjos to ground out to second to seal things for Boston.
Carl Crawford also finally showed some life, and went 2-for-3. He also showed us how valuable his speed can be when he scored all the way from first on the Saltalamacchia double.
Kevin Youkilis was scratched from the lineup due to an illness.
We expected to see a lot of offense and solid pitching this year from the Old Towne Team, but so far, we haven’t been rewarded with that kind of play. The last two games, though, they look like they might finally be clicking. Crawford’s finally hitting and Gonzalez finally hit his second long ball of the year. Hopefully, we’ll continue seeing more of the Red Sox team we were so excited for over the winter.
Follow Brian Moller on Twitter: @Brian_Moller