Boston southpaw Felix Doubront tossed seven innings of shutout ball Sunday afternoon, his bullpen mates chipped in with two innings of scoreless relief and the Red Sox closed out a winning series against the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 4-0 win. The victory improved the Red Sox to a season best 23 games over .500 at 68-45.
Relentless Tampa Bay remained right on the heels of the Red Sox with a 4-3 win over San Francisco Sunday to remain one game back in the A.L. East. Boston’s home record improved to 39-21 as they depart on a 10 game road trip and face 16 of their next 19 games away from Fenway. The Sox are now 9-3 on the year against National League teams and have registered a 10-6 record since the All-Star break.
Notching their 68th win of the season today, Boston is just one game behind its total victory output from the entire 2012 season that has seen them go from worst to first in their division.
Doubront spaced out five hits over seven innings, walked none and struck out five in an efficient start that saw him improve to 8-5 on the year. Arizona’s Brandon McCarthy held Boston scoreless until the bottom of the fifth and eventually took the loss in his first start since being placed on the DL back on May 30th
Stephen Drew and Brock Holt both singled to open the fifth for Boston. Drew scored on a Sac Fly by Jacoby Ellsbury for Boston’s first run and Holt came home on Dustin Pedroia’s RBI double, his 26th double of the season to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead. Boston scored a pair in the bottom of the sixth inning when Jarrod Saltalamachia and Drew reached on back-to-back singles, and scored on a fly ball to right by Ellsbury that was ruled a single when Arizona’s Gerardo Parra lost the ball in the sun and Shane Victorino followed with an RBI base hit to make it 4-0 Boston.
Doubront never allowed a runner into scoring position until the top of the seventh when Paul Goldschmidt reached on a ground ball error charged against red Sox third baseman Brock Holt. One out later former Red Sox Cody Ross got aboard with a single to place runners at first and second for Arizona. Doubront recovered to strike out Wil Nieves for the second out and escaped the jam by enticing Parra to ground out to Drew at shortstop.
Matt Thorton came on in relief of Doubront in the eighth and gave up a single to Tuffy Gosewisch then departed with an undetermined injury after working the count to 1-2 against the next batter he faced, Diamondback shortstop Didi Gregorious. Boston brought in youngster Drake Britton to inherit the count and the lefty polished off Gregorious with a strike out. Britton finished the inning by yielding a single and then getting two outs to preserve the shutout in the making for Boston.
The Red Sox now pack their bags for a 10 game road trip that begins with a three game series against Houston, moves on for three against Kansas City and finished in Toronto for three games against the A.L. division rival Blue Jays. Boston briefly returns home for three games against the Yankees on August 16-17-18 before heading back out on the road for a West Coast trip that will feature Inter-League play with three against the Giants and a trio of games against the Dodgers.
Boston stands 9-3 this year against National League opponents and currently sports a road record of 29-24.
Arizona, trying to chase down a scorching hot Dodger team, fell to 56-55 on the year and 26-31 on the road.
Categories: SCHEDULED GAMES