Friday, June 22, 2012

Sox Push Win Streak to Five Games

The Red Sox trailed 3-0 to the Marlins after the first inning in Fenway Park on Thursday night, but led by a strong bullpen and offensive help from the Sox' minor league call-ups, they pulled out a 6-5 victory.

Daisuke Matsuzaka was off to his usual shaky start, allowing three runs in the first inning.  Luckily, he cleaned his act up and held the Marlins scoreless in the next four innings, until letting up one more and getting pulled in the sixth inning.  With a record barely over .500, a starter letting up four runs is welcomed at this point.

Down 3-0, the Sox struck back with Will Middlebrooks and Mike Aviles snagging RBIs in the fourth, then Middlebrooks doubled down with another in the fifth.  Just when you thought he was done, in the eighth, down 5-3 this time, Middlebrooks jacked a two-run bomb to tie the game.  Fellow early-season call-up Ryan Kalish then got aboard, and Daniel Nava stuck his hand into the cookie jar and plated Kalish on a single to center for the go-ahead run.  Alfredo Aceves came in a slammed the door again for his 18th save, now one more than ex-Sox Jonathan Papelbon in Philly.

The Sox have scored 39 runs over the five game win streak, and appear to be banging on all cylinders.  But can it last?  We're still waiting on injury updates from Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, Ryan Sweeney, Josh Beckett, Scott Podsednik, Rich Hill and Andrew Bailey.  And even with Adrian Gonzalez severely under-performing, the Sox are finding offense from both ends of the line-up.  The back end of the bullpen is getting stronger by the day, and with the Sox scoring 15 runs like they did on Wednesday, that takes a tremendous amount of pressure off the arms.

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