Ellsbury, Bosox bullpen pave way for Boston’s 5-3 win over KC


Jacoby Ellsbury

On a night when neither team’s starter was effective or efficient, Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury and a quartet of Red Sox relievers led Boston to a 5-3 win over Kansas City. Ellsbury went four-for-five on the night, with a pair of doubles, two RBI and his 42nd stolen base of the year to pave the way. Brandon Workman relieved a shaky Felix Doubront to notch his third win against one loss and got stellar help from Boston’s bullpen which tossed five innings of shutout ball. Koji Uehera got a 1-2-3 ninth inning for Boston to record his 12th save in 15 chances and the Red Sox evened their current 10-game road trip record at 3-3.

Boston moved to 71-48 on the year and with the Inter-League play losses Saturday of both Tampa and Baltimore, stretched their A.L. East lead to 3 games over the Rays and 5-and-one-half games over Baltimore. Red Sox call-up Will Middlebrooks chipped in with two hits in four at bats, including a two RBI single in Boston’s four-run fourth inning. Workman, Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa and Uehara held Kansas City scoreless after the Royals scored three runs off Boston starter Felix Doubront in the bottom of the fifth inning with no outs.

Boston broke on top by sending eight men to the plate in the top of the fourth and making the most of it by scoring four runs. Mike Carp got things started by drawing a walk from Guthrie. Jarrod Saltalamachia followed with a single and Stephen Drew plated Boston’s first run with an RBI double. With runners at second and third, Will Middlebrooks sliced a two RBI double down the right field line to make it 3-0 Boston and Ellsbury followed with an RBI double to the right center gap, scoring Middlebrooks to push Boston’s lead to 4-0.

Doubront and the Red Sox couldn’t stand the prosperity as KC struck right back with three runs in the bottom of the fifth, chasing Doubront and eliminating his chance at Red Sox pitching history. Doubront gave up three runs and was chased without recording an out in the fifth, thanks to RBI doubles by Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler and an RBI single by Muguel Tejada. Brandon Wokman inherited Doubront’s mess with runners at first and third with two runs in and no outs. He wiggled out of the inning, giving up a single with the third run of the inning charged to Doubront, drawing Kansas City within 4-3.

Doubront entered the contest having registered 15 straight starts with three or less runs given up by a Red Sox outfielder, matching a team record that dated back to the 1920s, and was within striking distance of Tim Wakefield’s total team record of 17 starts with three runs or less dating back to the 1995 season. In failing to close out the fifth, he did not qualify for a decision. Doubront finished with a pitching line of: IP 4 R 3 H 6 BB 4 K 3 PC 96.
Guthrie’s line wasn’t much better, although he lasted through the 6th inning with a line of: IP 6 R 5 H 10 BB 1 K 5 PC 123.

Boston managed to get a run back in the top of the sixth when Middlebrooks reached Guthrie for a single and Ellsbury followed with his fourth hit of the night, a gap double to left center. Middlebrooks scored on the play to make it 5-3 Boston and Ellsbury was thrown out at third trying to stretch the double into a triple.

Workman departed with one out in the sixth after giving up a one out single to Alcides Escobar. Craig Breslow relieved Workman and benefitted from a ground ball double play from Pedroia-to-Drew-toNapoli to end the inning.
Prior to Saturday night’s meeting with Kansas City, the Red Sox made a number of roster moves. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks was brought back up from Pawtucket after showing some much needed pop at the hot corner. Middlebrooks was sent back to the minors almost two months ago after starting the season with rib cage injuries and a paltry .192 batting average with the Red Sox. In 45 games with the PawSox the former Boston starter hit .268. He’s been hot of late, stroking for a .316 batting average with 2 home runs and 6 RBI in his last 10 games. He was slotted in the number 9 batting spot in Saturday night’s line up against KC. To make room on the roster the Red Sox sent platooning third baseman Brandon Snyder, who has split time with Brock Holt at third, to the DL.

Relief pitcher Pedro Beato, who gave up two home runs in one-a-one third innings of relief Friday night in Boston’s 9-6 loss to the Royals, was optioned Saturday to Triple-A. Franklin Morales takes his place on the Red Sox roster. Morales has been sidelined since June 22 with a pectoral injury. Following minor league game rehab appearances he will join Boston’s bullpen in what is an increasingly crowded starting rotation picture, especially with the impending return on Clay Buchholz and the acquisition of Jake Peavy from the White Sox.

Boston and KC wrap up the current four-game series with afternoon ball on Sunday. Right-hander John Lackey (7-9, ERA 3.21) will square off against James Shields (6-8, ERA 3.36) in what will be the final 2013 meeting between the two teams, barring post season encounters.

The Red Sox then continue on the final leg of a 10-game road trip. Following an off day Monday, Boston heads north of the border for a three game series against A.L. East rivals the Toronto Blue Jays. The Red Sox then return home to Fenway briefly on August 16-17-18 for some much needed home-cooking, and a visit from the Alex Rodriguez traveling circus known as the New York Yankees.




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