The Red Sox and Nationals are set to resume interleague play Friday night, as Stephen Strasburg faces off against Felix Doubront.
We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down at Fenway
Nationals 7, Red Sox 4, Final -- The Sox add one in the ninth, and force Tyler Clippard to come in, but do no more. This game could have been different if a few moments had gone Boston's way, but there's no questioning what Washington's dynamic young duo pulled off tonight.
Nationals 7, Red Sox 3, Mid 9th -- Andrew Miller retires the heart of the order with relative ease in the ninth, though Will Middlebrooks has to make a great play charging onto the grass to record the final out on a swinging bunt. Hopefully he'll be doing that for years.
Nationals 7, Red Sox 3, End 8th -- If nothing else, the Sox will leave tonight with some hope for Adrian Gonzalez. After a 3-for-4 night on Thursday that could easily have been 4-for-4 but for a great grab at the wall, Gonzalez was robbed of a homer back in the third inning, and in the eighth decided not to give the Washington outfield a chance. A fastball near the inside corner was not enough to get past Adrian Gonzalez, who took a big swing and sent a fly ball about as far as one can go to center field, nearly hitting the wall behind the bleachers near the batting eye, giving the Sox their third run of the night.
Nationals 7, Red Sox 2, Mid 8th -- The Nationals grab another leadoff baserunner, this time on a single off of the bat of Xavier Nady, but can't get anything else against Scott Atchison.
Nationals 7, Red Sox 2, End 7th -- The Sox manage to put two more men on for Dustin Pedroia, but with a full count the second baseman fouls off what would have been ball four, and then lifts a fly ball to right field for the final out of the inning.
Nationals 7, Red Sox 2, Mid 7th -- A leadoff double from Ryan Zimmerman doesn't help the Nats to extend their lead any, as Rich Hill retires the next two batters before Scott Atchison enters to finish off the inning.
Nationals 7, Red Sox 2, End 6th -- The Sox push Strasburg to the absolute limit, but can't quite nudge him over. With Strasburg, often held to low pitch counts after his Tommy John Surgery, noticeably tiring, the Sox manage to put together a few baserunners. After starting the inning with yet another strikeout, Strasburg surrenders a single and a double to Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez respectively. David Ortiz manages to load the bases by drawing a walk, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia chases a 2-2 curveball for strike three. With Strasburg's pitch count approaching 120, Kevin Youkilis works the count full, and then takes what might be the definition of a low-outside borderline pitch. It's a called strike three--reasonably so, given Strasburg's reputation and performance on the night--and Kevin Youkilis is sent to the locker room as he argues the call.
Nationals 7, Red Sox 2, Mid 6th -- The Nationals build there lead to five runs off of Matt Albers and Rich HIll. Against the likes of Strasburg and the D.C. pen, that's not something you come back from.
Nationals 6, Red Sox 2, End 5th -- The Sox are taking baby steps now thanks to Scott Podsednik. His achievement? Not striking out swinging after Stephen Strasburg ups his streak to five in a row with Ks of Ryan Sweeney and Mike Aviles.
Nationals 6, Red Sox 2, Mid 5th -- Matt Albers manages to keep the Nationals off the board in the fifth with the help of some solid defense from Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Nationals 6, Red Sox 2, End 4th -- Stephen Strasburg is not interested in letting the Sox back in this thing, striking out David Ortiz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Kevin Youkilis swinging in the fourth. The second inning seems to be well in his rear-view mirror at this point.
Nationals 6, Red Sox 2, Mid 4th -- All good things must come to an end, and such is the case for Felix Doubront's run of strong starts, as the Nationals take three more off of him in the third thanks to some hanging curveballs and an absolute monster drive to center field that nearly catches the Jordan's sign.
Nationals 3, Red Sox 2, End 3rd -- Boston seems certain to tie the game up when Adrian Gonzalez gets ahold of an 0-1 fastball, sending it deep to right field. Xavier Nady, however, has other ideas, tracking backward and eventually throwing his arm over the bullpen wall to make the grab and rob the first baseman of a home run.
Nationals 3, Red Sox 2, Mid 3rd -- A lead against a pitcher like Stephen Strasburg is particularly precious, which makes the top of the third an especially difficult inning to take. After Ryan Sweeney goes to his knees to grab an initial fly ball, Danny Espinosa walks and Bryce Harper doubles to straightaway center to put the tying runs in scoring position. Ryan Zimmerman drops a softer line drive to center, scoring one of the two before another walk loads the bases. Ultimately it's Ian Desmond who puts the exclamation mark on the inning, hitting a line drive into the gap in right-center field, bringing two more runs in and giving the Nats the lead.
Red Sox 2, Nationals 0, End 2nd -- The Red Sox pick up some all-important runs off a guy who, after the first, did not seem like he was about to give any up anytime soon.
David Ortiz gets the inning started by working a nice at bat and drawing a five-pitch walk to give the Sox their first baserunner of the game. Jarrod Saltalamacchia almost ends up making it two-in-a-row, taking a pitch low-and-away and putting it on a line to left field, but Bryce Harper shows off his defensive aptitude by running the ball down nearly in left field. After a Kevin Youkilis strikeout, Ryan Sweeney did his best imitation of Saltalamacchia, but managed to put the ball on a lower line, letting it drop in for a hit and bringing Mike Aviles to the plate. Despite being in the midst of an 0-for-7 slump, Aviles gets a pitch he can hit, albeit a 97 MPH fastball, and sends it high off the wall in left to bring both runners in.
Red Sox 0, Nationals 0, Mid 2nd -- Doubront stays true to his first inning form by allowing a baserunner and striking out two in his second scoreless inning. The hit this time is not so impressive--a ground ball up the middle on a pitch low and away that Ian Desmond managed to get the bat on. While Desmond is able to move to third on a curveball that gets well away from Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Doubront manages to strike out Xavier Nady swinging on three pitches, and then pulls the string against Tyler Moore for another K.
Red Sox 0, Nationals 0, End 1st -- Stephen Strasburg is here, and through one inning he's all he's cracked up to be. The first two men go down swinging, with Daniel Nava fooled by a changeup and Dustin Pedroia overpowered by a 99 MPH in the upper half of the zone. Adrian Gonzalez at least manages to get ahead 2-0 and make contact, but it's good for just a pop fly to third, ending the inning.
Red Sox 0, Nationals 0, Mid 1st -- The fourth pitch Felix Doubront throws is a fastball that tails too far over the plate to Danny Espinosa, who skies it into left-center field for a wall ball double. It's a start to the inning that belies what's to come. Bryce Harper manages to foul off a couple 0-2 pitches before chasing a curveball that breaks low and inside for the strikeout, Ryan Zimmerman hits a routine ground ball to third, and Michael Morse is frozen at home as Doubront picks up another strikeout via the curveball, this time dropping it in for a strike.