Red Sox - 401 200 040 - 11 16 1 Royals - 022 000 100 - 5 10 0Felix Doubront (6.1-7-5-3-2, 111) did his job, pitching into the seventh inning, and Will Middlebrooks cracked two home runs and a double to help the Red Sox snap a five-game losing streak.
Boston jumped out to a 4-0 lead when Dustin Pedroia walked with one out and David Ortiz singled. After Cody Ross struck out, Adrian Gonzalez ((2-for-5) singled home Pedroia and Middlebrooks drove the ball just inside the right field pole for three more runs.
Ortiz went deep in the third (#7) and Pedroia smacked an opposite field two-run shot in the fourth. In the eighth, Ross doubled in two runs and Middlebrooks lined a shot off the left field pole for two more, giving him 5 RBI for the night.
Middlebrooks had at least one extra-base hit in each of his first four major league games. No other player in Red Sox history has done that for more than two games. In the four games since his call-up, Middlebrooks had hit two singles, three doubles, and three home runs.
Ortiz (home run, two singles, two intentional walks) and Pedroia (home run, double, three walks) each reached base five times. They each scored three runs.
In the fourth inning, Kelly Shoppach, in the 1,526th plate appearance of his nine-year career, hit his first triple. It was the longest triple drought of any active player.
The play of the game came in the bottom of the seventh. Doubront loaded the bases with one out and then walked in a run - cutting Boston's lead to 7-5 - before Bobby Valentine finally pulled him. Vicente Padilla came in and got Billy Butler on a high chopper to second. Pedroia started a 4-6-3 double play, ending the threat. And the Red Sox padded their lead with four runs in the next inning.
Kudos to Valentine for sticking with Padilla (2.2-3-0-0-1, 39) for the rest of the game. Padilla gave the rest of the bullpen a night off and picked up his first save of the season.
Aviles, SSBack on the horse.
This is Day 4 of the Red Sox's three-week stretch without a day off (20 games in 20 days). Boston has gotten off to an extremely rocky start, playing games of 13, 9, and 17 innings - and losing all three. (And the press is having a - WARNING: link to a noxious character assassination piece of shit follows - field day.)
The bullpen has thrown 26.2 innings in the past three games, and is spent after yesterday's marathon loss to the Orioles - only Clayton Mortensen had Sunday off - so we need innings from Felix.
The Red Sox are on the road for only these three games in Kansas City. Then it's back to Fenway Park for four games against Cleveland and two games against the Mariners.