The Red Sox made good on an excellent start from Felix Doubront, taking a close 2-1 game with a late rally and a tense ninth inning save from Andrew Bailey
The game started as expected for Felix Doubront. While the lefty has struggled to keep runs off the board for the last couple of months, his difficulties have always come with a good few pitches on his arm, usually around 50. Giving up just two walks through his first three innings (and 52 pitches), the challenge for Doubront was to make it through the middle innings.
The fourth, surprisingly, was the exact opposite of a tough inning. 12 pitches would get Doubront through the frame, with three strikeouts to his name besides. The Sox rewarded him by pushing across a run in the bottom of the inning when Robert Andino threw wide of first on a double play ball that could have ended the inning.
The fifth, unfortunately, is where he would run into trouble, putting runners on second and third before recording an out. A bloop single behind second base would be enough to get one run in, but Doubront managed to bounce back with style, striking out two and getting a ground ball to end the inning with the tie intact.
Doubront would finish the game with eleven strikeouts in seven strong innings of work, but it wouldn't be until after Junichi Tazawa worked a clean eighth that the Sox managed to take the lead. It happened quickly against Luis Ayala in the bottom half of the inning. Dustin Pedroia started it by hitting a double past first base, and Cody Ross finished it by hitting a high fly ball to left that didn't quite get out, but ended up scraping the wall, and that was enough. Pedroia came in to score, and the Sox went up 2-1.
Andrew Bailey nearly made a mess of things in the ninth. Allowing a one-out single to Mark Reynolds, Bailey came up against a pinch-hitting Jim Thome and was saved the run only thanks to the fact that Thome's double to right jumped up into the seats, holding Reynolds at third. The Sox elected to give up the intentional walk to Chris Davis, and it paid off when Manny Machado's ground ball ended with a force out at home. With two outs, Bailey got ahead of Ryan Flaherty 1-2, and then spotted the outside corner with a 96 MPH fastball to end the inning and the game.
|Final - 9.23.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Boston Red Sox||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||X||2||9||0|
|WP: Junichi Tazawa (1 - 1)
SV: Andrew Bailey (6)
LP: Luis Ayala (5 - 5)