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Red Sox Continue Winning Ways in Pitchers’ Duel

Ryan Sweeney #12 of the Boston Red Sox gets congratulated by David Ortiz #34 after scoring against the Chicago White Sox in the fourth inning on April 28, 2012 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

It was very refreshing to see Boston get off to such a great road trip, and that hasn’t let up. Thanks to a 1-0 victory against the White Sox, that streak now stands at six.

However, Chicago could have done better. The most important play of the game came in the first inning, with Chicago at bat. After drawing a two-out walk, Adam Dunn ran into third on a Paul Konerko double. Cody Ross bobbled the ball in left, which would have allowed Dunn to easily score. However, Dunn didn’t bother watching the play, and determined beforehand to stop at third, despite being waved around. Alex Rios then flew out to end the inning.

It wasn’t a total loss in the inning, though. Those last three batters really took a lot out of Lester, who threw 32 pitches in the inning. Still, Lester came back strong in the 2nd and 3rd innings, with 11 and 12 pitches in the frames respectively.

The Red Sox then scored the game’s only run in the 4th. With Ryan Sweeney on second and one out, Adrian Gonzalez hit a difficult pop fly to no man’s land in right, barely fair and quite shallow. Gordon Beckham missed running out from second on a dive, but still could have (relatively) easily come up with the catch. Sweeney, banking on the difficult play not being made, ran hard all the way and scored easily.

In the bottom of the inning, Marlon Byrd seemed to hurt his wrist to a minor degree diving for a ball that ended up being another Konerko double. He did stay in the game, though, and continued to be productive. And in another base running mistake, Konerko could have easily walked to third when a pitch got well past Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but doubting himself, got a bit there and ran back to second.

Mike Aviles also seemed to tweak himself straining to make a throw to second in the 7th, overthrowing the ball. However, there really wasn’t any concern as he quickly got back to his old self without any need for aid.

Franklin Morales and Vicente Padilla combined to complete the 8th inning in relief of Jon Lester, who threw a massive 122 pitches through seven innings. Paul Konerko made things interesting by drawing a walk against Padilla with two outs and a man on, but Rios then grounded out meekly to second. Alfredo Aceves then recorded a perfect 9th for save, despite some lengthy at bats, and never let up on his fastballs in the least.

Sox’ Stud of the Game: Jon Lester

Throwing such a great game and getting out of the early jam, how could you not go with Lester?

Sox’ Dud of the Game: Nobody

Only three Sox had hits, and only Sweeney had two, but that was really due to the effectiveness of Jake Peavy.

Game Notes:

W: Jon Lester (1-2)
L: Jake Peavy (3-1)
S: Alfredo Aceves (5)

  • The 1st inning was the third of the year in which Lester threw 30+ pitches.
  • Lester got his first win in his fifth start of the season, and his first win overall since last September.
  • Boston won their first 1-0 game since last June.

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