Saturday, August 10, 2013

Day 132: Red Sox Finally Beat Royals, Will Middlebrooks Makes Splash in Return

Kansas City has not been kind to the Red Sox the past couple of nights. Thursday night, the Sox could muster just one measly run against undefeated Royals' pitcher, Bruce Chen and Jon Lester got roughed up a bit in the first so they couldn't quite climb out of the hole. Chen scattered seven hits and allowed just one run. Hasn't this Chen guy been around forever? How is he still kicking ass like this?

And then came Friday... Friday was one of those games where things just fell apart completely in the later innings. After taking a 6-3 lead into the 6th inning, they gave up six runs in the bottom of that inning and ended up losing 9-6. They sort of got a taste of their own medicine since they've been doing this same thing to teams all season. One good thing came out of the loss though — Mike Napoli broke out of his slump to go 2-for-3 with three RBI. Trying to be a "glass half full" girl tonight.

Saturday's game marks the return of Will Middlebrooks with the recent trip to the DL for Brandon Snyder. Middlebrooks, who showed so much promise when he came up in 2012, really sucked big time coming out of the gate this season. Like really bad. When he was sent back down to Triple-A Pawtucket in June, he was batting just .192. He continued to struggle a bit in Triple-A but has stepped it up a bit over the past couple of weeks and was rewarded with a call-up.

Middlebrooks, eager to prove he belongs in Boston, erupted for a 2-for-4 night with two runs scored and two RBI in the Red Sox 5-3 win over the Royals. Jacoby Ellsbury gets the gold star for the night though, going 4-for-5 with two RBI. And Brandon Workman got his third win of the season after taking over for Felix Doubront in the fifth.

There was a little bit of controversy in the calling up of Middlebrooks over superstar in the making, Xander Bogaerts, but John Farrell had a valid reason for keeping Bogaerts in Triple-A.
“Based on the recommendations of the people who have gone through (Pawtucket) lately as well as talking to DiSar, it was very clear in his mind that Will was the choice," Farrell said. "And that’s not to take anything away from Xander’s abilities. He’s swinging the bat well but it’s more on the defensive side, the finer points of the game. Right now he continues to need his reps."
The Red Sox have a chance to split the four-game series with the Royals tomorrow afternoon behind John Lackey who, despite his 7-9 record, has pitched very well lately. He has been a victim of low run support several times, including his last time out against the Astros when he gave up just two runs and lost.

Lucky for the Sox, the Rays have fallen on a bit of bad luck and have lost their last four. So Boston currently has a three game lead in the AL East! Yay!

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