Was I the only one who got just a little squirmy when the Red Sox took a 10-1 lead in the top of the 5th inning last night? After Saturday’s epic failure to hold the lead against the Yankees, I have to admin, I was a bit gun shy. But luckily they were playing the Minnesota Twins — a team only slightly better than the Red Sox league’s worst ERA, but with a line-up leaving a lot to be desired.
After squeaking out a win on Monday night, the Sox bats came alive Tuesday night as they pounded out 18 hits and 11 runs, beating the (5-13) Twins to extend their winning streak to two! I know, you’re probably wondering why I’m excited about a two-game winning streak. What can I say? It’s been a rough April and any sign of life in this team makes me do a happy dance. And for a starting pitcher to give up just two runs, well that’s a win in my book any day!
Speaking of the starting pitcher, Josh Beckett looked pretty good after his rocky first inning where he threw 37 pitches and walked three — including walking in one of the Twins two runs. He spent a good portion of the latter half of that inning barking at the umpire who appeared to have a strike zone the size of a quarter. Luckily, things settled down and Beckett didn’t walk another batter the rest of the night. He finished his six inning outing with five strikeouts, including striking out the side in the 6th, and scattered five hits for the win to even up his record at 2-2.
The offense was the real story last night. Every starter (with the exception of Monday night’s hero, Cody Ross) had at least one hit. Mike Aviles went 4 for 5 with a home run and two RBI and Ryan Sweeney continued his doubles rampage hitting his league-leading 9th of the season. Adrian Gonzalez went 3 for 3 with two RBI before being lifted for recently called-up pinch hitter Lars Anderson who also had a hit and scored a run. And let’s not forget David Ortiz and his continued abuse on opposing pitching. Big Papi went 2 for 4, increasing his AL leading average to .444 with a home run and three RBI. *cough* contract year *cough*
I’m loving the new slimmed down version of Mr. Ortiz and it’s going to be a fun season to watch this offense if he can keep up this pace. Dare I say .400? As much as I love that Ted Williams was the last guy to bat over .400 in 1941, it’s been 71 freaking years people! Maybe Papi can get his name on that list. (Just for the record, I know this is a total pipe dream and I’m not holding my breath or anything. But hey, a girl can dream, right?) Before last night’s game, he talked to Globe’s Nick Cafardo about his new physique and other stuff.
“I’m having so much fun playing the game again,’’ he said. “I love to be able to do things on the field that I couldn’t do before. I’m running the bases better and harder, hitting lefthanded pitchers and going the other way. Everything I’ve tried to get better with, I’m getting better with.
All in all, it was a satisfying win — one that gives me hope that this season won’t be a complete disaster. Here’s a link to the box, courtesy of the Red Sox. The Sox will play for the *whispers* sweep tonight as Clay Buccholz takes the hill hopefully improving over his last outing against the Yankees.