The Red Sox knocked off Randall Delgado and the Atlanta Braves behind strong performances from Will Middlebrooks and Dustin Pedroia, who picked up three hits a piece in an 8-4 win Saturday night.
After surprising in his first start of the year with five innings of two-run ball against the Cubs, Franklin Morales got off to a very shaky start in the first. Surrendering a line drive single, a walk, and a ground ball that glanced out of a fully-extended Dustin Pedroia's glove, Morales faced a tough situation with two men on and a run in before he recorded a single out in the first.
He would quickly recover, however, striking out the next two batters on seven pitches before getting a line out from Chipper Jones to send the game to the bottom of the first, where the Sox backed him up offensively. With Dustin Pedroia on first via a single, the Sox put together some two-out hits to get to Randall Delgado early. Jarrod Saltalamacchia slapped a single through the right side of the infield, Adrian Gonzalez evened the score at 1-1 with a low line drive to right, and Will Middlebrooks made it 2-1 by bouncing a double off the Monster.
The Sox would not ease up on Delgado, scoring two more runs when Dustin Pedroia doubled to left with one out in the second. With Delgado then loading the bases, Fredi Gonzalez made a quick decision not to let this one get away from him, yanking Delgado for Cristhian Martinez, who managed to escape the inning.
Martinez would not manage to escape the scorching Will Middlebrooks, however, who took him deep on the first pitch of the third to make it 5-1.
Franklin Morales, meanwhile, had kept his momentum from the end of the first inning, rolling through the next three frames with relative ease, striking out four more batters in the process. While a leadoff bunt single would cost him a run in the fifth, the Sox managed to grab it right back in the bottom half with hits from Gonzalez, Middlebrooks, and Ross to make it 6-2. Only in the sixth would he show any real difficulty, allowing Chipper Jones an RBI double before getting Jason Heyward to ground out and end the inning.
The game would get uncomfortably close in the seventh, as Scott Atchison let a fourth run come in and left runners on the corners for Andrew Miller, but a soft line drive found Adrian Gonzalez' glove, turning into a quick double play to wipe out the threat in an instant.
The Sox would really put the game away in the bottom half of the frame. With two out and two on, Daniel Nava went out of the zone to hit a sinker, and managed to get enough of the bat on the ball to squeak a grounder past Dan Uggla to score both runners. With an 8-4 lead, the Sox turned to Vicente Padilla and Alfredo Aceves, who came through with six scoreless outs to end the game.
|Final - 6.23.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Boston Red Sox||2||2||1||0||1||0||2||0||X||8||14||1|
|WP: Franklin Morales (1 - 1)
LP: Randall Delgado (4 - 8)