Lovable Sox Take Two From Rays
The beard grabbing, fun loving, and hardworking 2013 Boston Red Sox team have been anything but boring. They are constantly shocking the sports world with their many come from behind victories and overall will to win every game. Their series against the Tampa Bay Rays this past week was nothing different.
The day Red Sox fans had been anticipating since June 8th, when he fell to a neck injury, was finally here. The long awaited return of right-handed ace, Clay Bucholtz, took place during the first game of the three game set on Tuesday night. Although he had been out for 93 long days and many were skeptical of how he would perform, it was as if he never left. Buchholtz impressed tossing five scoreless innings, giving up just three hits, and striking out six batters.
His team backed him up, scoring two runs in the top of the fifth inning. Left-fielder, Jonny Gomez broke the 0-0 game open with an RBI single up the middle scoring first basemen, Mike Napoli. This would be Gomez first hit off of the Rays best pitcher, David Price, in twenty at-bats. The Red Sox went on to win this game, 2-0, allowing Buchholtz to earn the win and improve his record to 10-0.
As the return of Buchholtz was bound to be the highlight of the series, arguably it wasn’t. How could any game possibly top the return of the Red Sox top pitcher?
Righty Ryan Dempster got the start on the mound for the Red Sox in game two of the series on Wednesday night. He pitched five innings, giving up only one run on four hits. The Red Sox had a 3-2 lead going into the eighth inning until their former player, James Loney stepped up to the plate. He hit the game tying homerun, which eventually forced the game into extra innings.
This was familiar territory for the Red Sox, having won more than 30 come from behind wins this season alone. In the top of the tenth inning, Manager John Farrell made the bold decision to have utility man, Mike Carp, pinch hit for renowned hero, Gomez, with the bases loaded. On the very first pitch Carp saw, he sent the ball skyrocketing to center field and over the fence, for the go ahead grand slam. This was the first pinch-hit, extra innings, grand slam in the team’s history.
As the first two games were great wins for the Red Sox, game three of the series on Thursday night, didn’t fair as well. Veteran pitcher, Jake Peavy started on the mound for the Red Sox and was looking to get his twelfth win of the season. He left the game in a tie at 3-3, after going six innings, giving up three runs on four hits. With the game still tied in the bottom of the 8th, the Rays scored the go-ahead run on right fielder Will Myers RBI double. They went on to win 4-3, after the Red Sox couldn’t pull off another night of late inning heroics.
Although the series ended with a loss, Red Sox fans must not forget what this team accomplished. The beard tugging, lovable team still leads the American League East by a whopping 8.5 games with only 14 games left in the season. Fans need to believe in the beards and more than likely get ready for some great playoff baseball.
The Red Sox will begin their last home stand on September 13th, 2013, when they host the Yankees for their last meeting of the season.