The Red Sox returned to the win column for the first time in six games Monday night, riding the strength of four homers--two from Will Middlebrooks-- past the Kansas City Royals, 11-5.
While Middlebrooks would make the biggest impact in the first, the Sox would get a bloop RBI single from Adrian Gonzalez for their first run. It was a quick bounce-back after his 0-for-8 performance on Sunday.
One pitch later, and Middlebrooks just barely squeaked a line drive around the pole in right. It wouldn't be quite so impressive a homer were it not for how much the third baseman managed to get on the ball despite such uncertain contact.
The Sox would score again in the third on a David Ortiz solo shot, but thanks to defensive mistakes and bad luck in the bottom half of the inning as well as in the second, Felix Doubront and the Sox were tagged for four runs--two coming thanks to a fly ball misplayed into a double by Marlon Byrd in the second, and two more on a bunt and shattered bat ground ball that an off-balance Middlebrooks ended up throwing into the outfield.
The Sox would build their lead back up to three runs in the fourth as Kelly Shoppach picked up his first career triple and Dustin Pedroia homered to make it 7-4. That's when Bobby V struck, leaving Doubront in after loading the bases on three singles in the seventh so that he might walk the run in with his 111th pitch.
Luckily, Vicente Padilla was there to clean up the mess with a double play, and the Sox quickly added a few more runs in the eighth, with Cody Ross doubling two home before Will Middlebrooks added two of his own with his second long ball of the game--this one high off the foul pole in left. Padilla finished up the last couple of innings without incident, and the Sox left 11-5 winners.
Where There's A Will: Will Middlebrooks was expected to be good. He'd already gone on an extended homer streak down in the minors, but finding his stroke in the majors so quickly and convincingly? Through just four games, Will Middlebrooks has gone deep three times, driven in nine runs, and is hitting a torrid .381/.409/.952. If he can keep up even a small fraction of this pace, the Sox are going to have a difficult decision to make when Kevin Youkilis is healthy again.
Adrian's Slump-Buster: It wasn't Adrian's best night at the plate, but sometimes all you need is to get lucky and see the ball fall in to start figuring things out at the plate again. The Sox will hope this is the case for Adrian Gonzalez, who grabbed a bloop and seeing-eye single in five bats.
Bobby, Bobby, Bobby: He says he's learned, but then he just keeps making the same mistakes. Another slow hook tonight nearly cost the Red Sox some big runs, and with Felix Doubront throwing a career-high 111 pitches, it wasn't like it was some sort of mystery that the left-handed pitcher might be tiring. Even with a tired bullpen, Bobby put the cart before the horse here, and ended up needing just as many outs from the pen as if he hadn't had Doubront surrender the RBI base on balls.
|Final - 5.7.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Boston Red Sox||4||0||1||2||0||0||0||4||0||11||16||1|
|Kansas City Royals||0||2||2||0||0||0||1||0||0||5||10||1|
|WP: Felix Doubront (2 - 1)
SV: Vicente Padilla (1)
LP: Jonathan Sanchez (1 - 2)