|Two Red Sox Players Considered Serious MVP Candidates||Connelly’s Top Ten: Holt Magic, Brady is Awesome, Exorcist Wicked Scary||Sox Take Two From SF Giants||Retirement Looms Large For Big Papi|
Apparently the 19-day layoff between starts didn’t faze Andrew Miller too much.
Squeezed into the rotation for game two against Kansas City, Miller pitched 5.1 strong innings en route to a 7-1 victory. Kept to an 85-pitch count, the young lefty gave up just 1 run on 3 hits for win no. 5 of 2011. Alfredo Aceves picked up the save going 3.2 innings without surrendering a run. Aceves retired the first nine batters he faced before dancing out of trouble in the ninth inning.
The big blast from the Red Sox lineup came from Jarrod Saltalamaccchia, who tagged a 3-run bomb to left in the 5th to put the game out of reach.
If you’re like me, you did a double take the second Adrian Gonzalez walked toward the plate. Looking to shake an 0 for 14 slump, the Boston slugger ditched his trademark goatee. Besides taking about 10 years off of his appearance, he was also able to take off again at the plate. Gonzo cracked 3 hits and a sacrifice fly in the victory, once again proving that he is immune to adversity. Maybe we’ll stop hearing about the neck injury, too.
Special props to Bruins’ transplant announcer Jack Edwards for the “he must be looking to get a Gillette endorsement” quip after the game.
Speaking of slump-busting, Jed Lowrie smacked singles in his first three at-bats to shake a 2 for 15 stretch. On the first two hits, Lowrie was able to make the Royals pay for intentional walks to Dustin Pedroia in front of him.
I guess Jeff Francis didn’t want to pitch to the guy who “knocked him to the Pike” in the 2007 World Series.
When you crack the first base hit of your major league career, does anything else really matter?
I suppose it doesn’t when the team wins the game, but Ryan Lavarnway stranded 8 runners on base in his other at-bats. Two of those at-bats were with the bases loaded, but all is well since the kid eventually walked away with a big souvenir. It was a little ambitious for Terry Francona to bat the rook sixth, but all is well in a victory.
Game 3 of the series will be an hour earlier Saturday night at 7:10 p.m. Tim Wakefield (6-5) takes to the hill in pursuit of that elusive 200th win. This will be his fifth attempt at the milestone. Felipe Paulino (1-9) will try to be the latest opposing pitcher to thwart the knuckleballer’s cause. One thing to watch for will be the back of Jacoby Ellsbury, who was hit by a laser in the back while at the plate on Friday.