Boston beat the Kansas City Royals, 11-5 at Kauffman Stadium. Felix Doubront picked up the win to move to 2-1 on the season. The Sox aren’t out of the woods by any means: they’re still in the AL East basemant at 12-16, 6.5 games behind Baltimore and Tampa Bay. But last night’s game was a well-executed, textbook example of what this team’s capable of.
Doubront went 6 1/3 innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits. Vicente Padilla took the ball from there, and held the Royals scoreless as he steamed through the rest of the game and picked up the save. Neat, clean, no drama from the bullpen – I’ll take it.
Meanwhile, the offense finally opened up a little bit. Rising favorite Will Middlebrooks hit two home runs to lead the Red Sox lineup. He hit a three-run shot to right field in the first inning, and then hit a two-run bomb to left field in the eighth inning. He also hit a double in the third inning to round out his day.
Dustin Pedroia went 2 for three with a double, a home run of his own, and three walks. David Ortiz had a 3 for 4 day with a home run and two intentional walks.
And, as if proving a point, Kelly Shoppach notched his first career triple.
The Sox came out early, scoring four runs in the first inning largely off of Middlebrooks’ first home run. The Royals brought the deficit to one before the Sox opened up again in the fourth, logging two more runs. A four-run eighth locked up the game for Boston.
Middlebrooks, of course, adopted an aw-shucks tone when talking to the Boston Globe about his day. I think he’s seen Bull Durham a couple of times:
“Just trying to carry over what I started in Pawtucket earlier this year. I’m happy with it. Individual results, I wasn’t really looking for that initially. I wanted to come here and do whatever I could to help the team win games.’’
As the Globe points out, Middlebrooks has been doing a lot to help the team lately. He’s 8 for 21 with three doubles, three home runs, and nine RBI since being called up to fill
Wally Pipp Kevin Youkilis’s spot while Youk spends time on the DL with a back injury.
Here’s a link to the box score, courtesy of the Red Sox. The Sox take on Kansas City again at 8:10 eastern time tonight. Daniel Bard (2-3, 4.38 ERA) expects to start against Kansas City’s Danny Duffy (2-2, 3.57 ERA).