April 5, 2017

G2: Red Sox 3, Pirates 0 (12)

Pirates - 000 000 000 000 - 0  5  0
Red Sox - 000 000 000 003 - 3  8  1
Sandy Leon's third hit of the game - a three-run home run into the Monster Seats off Antonio Bastardo - was the big blast, on a night when Chris Sale (7-3-0-1-7, 104) did not allow a Pittsburgh runner past first base. The Red Sox made a little more noise against Jameson Taillon (7-5-0-3-6, 95), but were likewise kept off the scoreboard until Leon went deep.

Bastardo, the sixth Pirates pitcher of the night, retired Chris Young on a fly to left-center, but he walked Jackie Bradley (balls 3 and 4 were very close to being strikes). With Pablo Sandoval at the plate, Bradley took off on a 2-2 pitch. Bastardo had JBJ picked off, but first baseman Phil Gosselin's throw to second was low and skipped past shortstop Jordy Mercer. (At the end of the play, Mercer stepped on Bradley's ankle, but he seemed okay.) Bastardo walked Sandoval, bringing Leon to the plate. After a pitching coach/infielders mound conference, Leon cracked an 0-1 pitch for the dong.

Back in the third inning, Leon had doubled with two outs and run through Brian Butterfield's very obvious stop sign after Dustin Pedroia singled to right. Catcher Francisco Cervelli make a nice pickup of Andrew McCutchen's throw and easily blocked the plate and made the tag. (After the game, Leon said, "I didn't see Butter." I'm not sure how that's possible. Butterfield was 3/4 of the way down the line with both hands way up as Leon touched third base.)

Boston had runners at first and third with no outs in the fifth and could not score as Sandoval and Leon struck out and Pedroia grounded back to the mound. Andrew Benintendi left the bases loaded in the tenth inning.

Sale's curveball and slider were very impressive - most of his seven strikeouts came on one of those two pitches - and he allowed only four baserunners:
2nd inning: David Freese singled with one out. Sale struck out the next two hitters.

3rd inning: Adam Frazier reached on an infield dribbler to third. Sale got the next two Pirates, including a strikeout of Starling Marte.

5th inning: Josh Harrison singled off the Wall with one out. On the next pitch, Josh Bell grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.

7th inning: Freese walked with two outs. Cervelli flied to right.
NESN Note: NESN put up a cool graphic showing some of the picks in the 2010 draft: #1 Bryce Harper, #2 Jameson Taillon, #3 Manny Machado ... #5 Drew Pomeranz ... #13 Chris Sale.

The Red Sox are scheduled to play at 1:30 PM on Thursday afternoon, but rain is expected.
Jameson Taillon / Chris Sale
Pedroia, 2B
Benintendi, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Ramirez, DH
Moreland, 1B
Young, RF
Bradley, CF
Sandoval, 3B
Leon, C
Mookie Betts has the flu. ... David Price threw off a mound today.

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