If late inning heroics weren’t enough for the Boston Red Sox earlier in the week against the Seattle Mariners, the team followed up that series with quality series win against the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend.
The key for the Red Sox winning this series was the combination of solid starting pitching and timely hitting.
Game one of the series saw Jon Lester get roughed up for the first time after almost of a month’s long of dominate starts. Lester only went four and one-thirds innings allowing a season high 11 hits and also six earned runs.
Stephen Drew tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning for Boston with a two-run homerun but it was old friend Cody Ross that would put the Diamondbacks up for good in the top of the seventh inning with the go-ahead home run. The Arizona bullpen wouldn’t allow a run over the final three innings of the game to seal 7-6 win.
Things turned around in game two of the series for the Red Sox as newly acquired Jake Peavy dominated in his first start in a Boston uniform. In seven innings pitched, Peavy allowed just two runs and struck out seven Diamondbacks hitters. He became the first Red Sox starter acquired around or after the trade deadline to win his first start since Kent Mercker did it on August 27, 1999 vs. Anaheim Angels at Fenway Park.
Offensively, the Red Sox bats were able to get to Arizona starter Patrick Corbin, who came into the game with the third best ERA in the National League when it mattered most as two key runs in the seventh inning off him where enough to seal the victory. In the bottom of the eighth, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia added a two-run homerun in the Boston bullpen to give the Red Sox a three run lead. Koji Uehara earned his 10th save in the 5-2 victory.
In the series finale, the Red Sox pitching quieted that Diamondbacks bats as Boston left hander Felix Doubront pitched seven scoreless innings in the 4-0 win. Doubront didn’t allow a single walk and struck out five in the win.
It was the top the Boston order that provided the offense on Sunday as Jacoby Ellsbury drove in two runs and both Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia each knocked in a run. Pedroia’s RBI double moved him past Joe Cronin for sole possession of 12th all time in team history in doubles with 271.
Interesting series note: On Sunday, the Red Sox picked up their 68th win of the season. They didn’t win their 68th game of 2012 until September 18. That is a span of 44 days.
Looking ahead:The Red Sox will embark on their longest roadtrip of the season at 10 games in 11 days starting on Monday night. Boston will play three in Houston, four in Kansas City and three in Toronto before returning home for a brief three game homestand August 16-18 against the New York Yankees.