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The Red Sox edged out a victory in 10 innings against the Yankees Sunday night, winning by a score of 3-2.
The rubber match of the three-game weekend series in New York was highlighted by the pitching staffs of both teams. There was very little offense to speak of as Felix Doubront and Hiroki Kuroda stymied the opposing offenses.
The Red Sox struck first in the Sunday night game. In the top of the second inning, Adrian Gonzalez singled on a ground ball to left field. Jarrod Saltalamacchia later walked in the inning to put runners on first and second base. Ryan Sweeney doubled on a line drive to center field, scoring both Gonzalez and Saltalamacchia, giving the Sox the early 2-0 lead.
Runs were certainly at a premium in this game as the next runs did not come until the seventh inning. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Yankee catcher Russell Martin hit his 12th home run of the year to lead off the inning and put the Yankees on the board. After an Ichiro single, Doubront struck out Jayson Nix, who was the last batter he faced in the game. Matt Albers came onto pitch in relief. Ichiro stole second base and Derek Jeter singled to put runners on the corners with only one out. Andrew Miller came onto relieve Albers and got Curtis Granderson to softly fly out to left field. Mark Teixeira then grounded out to end the threat and the inning.
In the bottom of the eighth inning with two outs, Andruw Jones doubled off of Miller. Alfredo Aceves came on in the eighth and gave up a single to Russell Martin, which allowed Jones to scored the tying run.
The top of the tenth inning had plenty of drama. Jarrod Saltalamacchia walked to lead off the inning. Will Middlebrooks was the next batter and a center of controversy. Middlebrooks squared to bunt but the pitch ran in and hit him on the right hand as he appeared to be attempting to pull the bat back. Coincidentally, the ball also hit the umpire knocking him down, causing him to miss the play. Bobby Valentine came out to check on Middlebrooks and, after finding out he was not awarded first base, he disputed the call. After a couple minutes of arguing Bobby V was ejected from the game, much to the amusement of the fans in attendance. Josh Beckett was also tossed out of the dugout as he let his opinions be heard.
After all the noise, Middlebrooks then grounded the next pitch he saw into left field for the base hit. Sweeney grounded into a fielder’s choice, which saw Middlebrooks being thrown out at second. Pedro Ciriaco played the role of hero for the second straight game as he lofted a ball into shallow right field, scoring the go-ahead run in Saltalamacchia.
Aceves struck out Raul Ibanez after a lengthy at-bat to end the ball game, and win the series for the Sox.
What has flown under the radar during this roller coaster of a season for the Red Sox has been the pitching performance of Felix Doubront. Doubront has been the most consistent performer in the Boston rotation throughout the entire season. What has been so impressive is that this is the first season he has been a full-time member of the starting rotation. Sunday night saw Doubront allow only two hits through the first six innings. He finished with a line of 6.1 innings pitched, four hits allowed, one earned run, five walks, and eight strikeouts.
For the season, Doubront has a record of 10-5, an ERA of 4.37, and 113 strikeouts. In a season that has been highlighted by the stars of the Red Sox not living up to expectations, Doubront has shown the bright side of a player performing above and beyond expectations.
Tags: Adrian Gonzalez, Alfredo Aceves, Andrew Miller, Andruw Jones, Bobby Valentine, Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter, Felix Doubront, Hiroki Kuroda, Ichiro Suzuki, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jayson Nix, Josh Beckett, Mark Teixeira, Matt Albers, pedro ciriaco, Raul Ibanez, Red Sox, Russell Martin, Ryan Sweeney, Will Middlebrooks, Yankees