Ross rescues Sox in 3-1 win
Cody Ross certainly had something to be “cheerful” about Thursday night. After racking up two three-run homers in Wednesday’s victory, the pressure was on for Ross as he stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with the Red Sox trailing the Chicago White Sox 1-0. On a 1-1 count, Ross drove a pitch from White Sox reliever Addison Reed into the Monster seats and lifted Boston to a 3-1 victory, allowing the Red Sox to take the four-game series from Chicago, three games to one.
”I’ve always wanted to be up in those situations since I was like my son’s age,” Ross told the media Thursday night. ”It’s a great feeling, especially when you’re the hero.”
The game also marked the return of Dustin Pedroia, who played a part in Ross’s success. After Carl Crawford got the action started in the ninth with a single to right field, Pedroia hit a grounder to third base. Crawford was forced out at second, but Pedroia remained on first. Adrian Gonzalez then followed suit with a single to right, leaving Ross with the task of bringing his teammates home, which he did.
Clay Buchholz made his second start since returning from the disabled list. He struck out six batters over eight innings, held the White Sox to one run on six hits and allowed just one walk. It was the performance the Red Sox needed since Chicago rookie Jose Quintana was keeping the Boston bats quiet.
Chicago’s only run came in the fourth from a sacrifice fly to right from Alex Rios, scoring designated hitter Adam Dunn who drew Buchholz’s only walk of the game.
The Red Sox pitching closed out the game much like its offense, as reliever Alfredo Aceves threw a scoreless ninth to get his first win of the season.
– Cody Ross, Cody Ross, and a little more Cody Ross. He’s been beyond valuable for Boston in his last two games, not to mention a bright spot for the team throughout the entire first half of the season. He currently boasts 16 home runs and 15 RBIs.
– Buchholz and Aceves combined for a night of solid pitching for the Red Sox, and that’s been hard to come by in Boston for most of the first half. Buchholz had to match Quintana if he wanted to give his team a chance to win, and in holding Chicago to just one run through eight innings he did just that.
– Despite the dramatic finish fans love, the Red Sox offense was mostly stumped by Quintana. The 23-year-old White Sox rookie lasted eight innings without allowing a single Red Sox run and escaped a bases loaded jam in the seventh. While Ross’s memorable finish is not unusual Red Sox fashion, an earlier lead would have taken the pressure off in their last at bat.
– The Red Sox stay at Fenway Friday night as they face the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays are at the bottom of the American League East with a .489 average, the only team currently below .500. Wins against Chicago have kept the Red Sox above .500, and they currently tied for third with Tampa Bay behind the Yankees and Baltimore in the AL East with a .516 average. Josh Beckett will be on the mound for the Sox, and he’ll look to pick up a consecutive win following five scoreless innings pitched Sunday against Tampa Bay. Toronto left-hander Aaron Laffey, who picked up his first win of the season in his last start, will be up against Beckett. The Sox will look to keep things rolling in the right direction with a 5-2 record coming off of the All-Star break.