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The Boston Red Sox finally earned their first win of the 2012 season on Monday night, defeating the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-2. Sox starter Felix Doubront pitched five innings, giving up two runs and striking out six, but received the no-decision. Fellow Venezuelan Henderson Alvarez was better, going six deep while giving up just one run. In the end, though, the game was decided by the bullpens, with Scott Atchison tossing three shutout innings of relief to pave the way for a spotless save by Alfredo Aceves. For Toronto, Darren Oliver and Francisco Cordero both pitched scoreless innings, but Sergio Santos couldn’t close the door, giving up three runs in the ninth before Luis Perez put out the fire.
It looked like tonight was going to be more of the same from the Red Sox after Edwin Encarnacion singled in the third inning to give the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead. The Muddy Chicken would have none of it. After homering in the sixth to slice the lead in half, he led off the ninth with a double. A J.P. Arencibia passed ball allowed him to advance to third, and Adrian Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly to plate the second baseman. Four batters later, Ryan Sweeney would single home Darnell McDonald to give the Sox the lead, and a Santos wild pitch scored Cody Ross. The win is manager Bobby Valentine’s first in Boston; his last managerial win in the major leagues came on September 29, 2002 as the Mets beat the Braves, 6-1, on the strength of home runs from Mike Piazza and Mo Vaughn.
The Sox and Jays continue their series Tuesday at 7:07. Daniel Bard will make his first start in five years against Kyle Drabek.