Mike Aviles plays the hero as Red Sox top Rangers, 2-1
The last few games for Red Sox starting pitchers have seemed a bit like Groundhog Day as Boston starters have turned in bad outings after bad outings, combining to give up 37 runs over the last four games.
Therefore, when Clay Buchholz turned in a seven-inning, one-run gem against one of the best lineups in baseball, it made it that much sweeter to see his efforts rewarded with a 2-1 Red Sox win over the Rangers Tuesday night.
The win did not come easily. Mike Aviles played the hero when, in the top of the ninth with the game tied at 1-1, he put the Red Sox on top with a two-out RBI single. Before Aviles’ clutch hit, it seemed the Red Sox were fated for another hard-luck loss.
Boston grabbed the first lead of the game on an RBI double from Kelly Shoppach in the fourth inning, but the Rangers came back to tie the score at 1-1 on a fielders choice in the sixth. The Red Sox lineup could not put together any offense, collecting just one hit until the ninth inning after grabbing a lead in the fourth.
However, all is well that ends well for the Red Sox right now, and they move into a tie for fourth place in the AL East with the win.
– The Red Sox won. At this point of the season, it doesn’t matter how they win, just that they win. It helps too that the win moves them to .500 on the season.
– The Red Sox finally got a quality start from a pitcher as Buchholz lasted seven innings and allowed one run on four hits. Buchholz held the same Texas lineup that touched the Red Sox pitching staff up for nine runs on Monday silent through the first five innings. He now has a 2.53 ERA in the month of July while all other Red Sox starters have combined for a pitiful 6.57 ERA in July.
– Closer Alfredo Aceves looked dominant in the ninth inning. Despite allowing a walk, he finished the Rangers off with an eight-pitch outing to earn the save, his 21st of the year.
– The Red Sox offense cannot figure out how to string together hits. Over the past two nights, the Red Sox have faced two replacement starters but have only been able to score two runs against them. The offensive drought is especially mystifying considering only one of the Red Sox’s big hitters, David Ortiz, is currently out of the lineup.
– Vincente Padilla did not impress anyone with his outing Tuesday night. He entered the game in the eighth inning, struck out the first batter he faced then allowed Elvis Andrus to reach on a single. Padilla struck out Josh Hamilton, but with Adrian Beltre at the plate, Padilla attempted to pick off Andrus at first base. Instead, Padilla threw the ball away and Andrus advanced to third. Four pitches later, Padilla hit Beltre in the head, and Beltre had to leave the game (according to an in-game update from the Rangers, Beltre is expected to be okay). The Red Sox got out of the jam thanks to a Michael Young ground-out.
– The Red Sox have a chance to move back into sole possession of fourth place with a win combined with a Blue Jays loss Wednesday night. Josh Beckett will take the mound looking to rebound from a difficult outing last Friday against the Blue Jays. The Rangers will counter Beckett with Derek Holland, who also had a difficult outing his last time out, as he allowed six runs on nine hits in a 6-1 Rangers loss to the Angels. Wednesday night’s Red Sox/Rangers game begins at 8:05 p.m.