Adrian Gonzalez may not have a hit yet in Thursday’s game against the Phillies, but he’s made the biggest impact of any player in the game so far.
In his second at bat of the game, Gonzalez put a good swing on a 2-1 cutter, launching the pitch right back at Hamels, who looked like he was going to make the same play he made on Marco Scutaro’s line drive in the previous inning. He got the glove on the ball, but the force of the hit knocked it right off as the ball ricocheted back towards Hamel’s chest and left arm. Hamels shook off the stinger, recorded the out, and then quickly closed out the fourth.
He would not, however, return for the fifth. With the Phillies taking an extra cautious approach with one of their multitude of aces, Hamels was pulled from the game for X-rays that would prove negative.
The Red Sox were all-too-happy to take advantage of Philadelphia’s misfortune, immediately going to work on Hamels’ replacement, David Herndon in the fifth. Josh Reddick laced a one-out triple down the line in right, and then quickly scored the first run of the game on Drew Sutton’s single. Marco Scutaro kept the lineup moving with a base hit of his own, setting up a first-and-third, one out situation for Jon Lester. Unfortunately, the Sox pitcher could not bring the run home, but his failure would not prove costly, as Jacoby Ellsbury picked up his second hit of the game to bring Sutton around to score.
Darnell McDonald grounded out to end the threat in the fifth, but the Sox weren't quite done with Herndon just yet. After retiring Adrian Gonzalez and Dustin Pedroia to start the frame, it was Jason Varitek who ended up doing the damage, knocking a solo shot into the stands in right to give the Sox the 3-0 lead.
Meanwhile, after giving up just one baserunner in the first three innings, Lester has done much the same in the middle three. Only Chase Utley managed to do anything against him, hitting a line drive to left field to give the Phillies their only hit of the day so far.