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It’s been no secret that the Sox offense has struggled in the early part of the 2011 season. After a 9-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels, we may know what this offense is really capable of.
To say the Sox have struggled with runners in scoring position would be an understatement. The Red Sox had a .212 average coming into tonight’s game, but all that would change. Boston went 5-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Bobby Abreu RBIs in both the third and fifth innings left the Red Sox on the wrong side of a 2-1 ballgame, but Dustin Pedroia was looking to turn things around. In the bottom of the fifth, Pedroia battled Angels starter Jered Weaver in a 13-pitch at bat that ended with a two-run single up the middle to give Boston the lead.
Bobby Abreau took the lead back when he added two RBIs in the 3rd and 5th. With Weaver pitching well, it seemed that would be enough for LA.
However, Pedroia stepped to the dish in the bottom of the 5th and singled up the middle. Two runs scored and the hit gave the Boston bats a bit of a spark.
In the seventh inning, the bases were full of Red Sox for Adrian Gonzalez. He answered the bell and doubled off the Monster to clear the bases. The Sox weren’t done denting the Monster though. Kevin Youkilis sent Gonzalez home when he slapped one off the Monster too.
Slugger David Ortiz came up to cap off the six-run inning by going over the Monster for his third homer of the season.
Dan Wheeler came in for one and a third innings. He struggled giving up three runs on four hits to make things 9-5, which was the final score.
Clay Buchholz started the game and threw six and two thirds innings. He allowed only two runs on eight hits while striking out two and walking two.
The win gave Angels’ starter, Weaver, his first loss of the season.
The offense finally showed life and it was the meat of the order that did it. Boston’s two through five hitters did all the damage. Gonzalez 1-for-2 with runners in scoring position. Pedroia (1-for-1), Ortiz (1-for-2) and Youkilis (2-for-2) all had success in the same situation. Jacoby Ellsbury also went 2-for-4 on the night to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.