50-31: Sox bench gets offensive


Boston’s offense put up seven runs and ten hits last night in a 7-3 win, but most of the heavy lifting was done by the reserves and lighter-hitting regulars. Dustin Pedroia and Manny Ramirez put the Sox up by three in the third with a pair of doubles, and the Sox knocked starter Brandon McCarthy (4-5) out of the game after just 3 2/3 innings. The lineup continued to work the Rangers’ bullpen for 5 walks and three more runs.

Jacoby Ellsbury (2-2 with two walks) showcased his speed in the fourth, stealing second base and then scoring from second base on a wild pitch by Willy Eyre. I really like what I’ve seen from the young speedster, and I hope the Sox will keep him in center for many years to come. Centerfielders who can hit a bit are hard to come by. Then in the fifth, Eric Hinske, playing first after a late scratch of Kevin Youkilis (sore left quad), hit a bases loaded triple to put the game away.

Pitching with a lead, starter Kason Gabbard (2-0) was good, throwing 5 2/3 innings to earn the win. It must have felt good, after that last not-so-good start. He allowed a three run homer by Brad Wilkerson in the fifth, but otherwise threw very well. The control was a bit shaky at times, and he did walk four batters, but Gabbard seemed cool and collected on the mound. I think he could be a good fifth starter for us as early as next year.

The bullpen did another great job. It was nice to see Mike Timlin get three outs, and Hideki Okajima did it again in the ninth, lowering his ERA to an amazing 0.88 on the year. He totally deserves to be an All-Star, but my guess is that Jeremy Bonderman is on the fast track there (he’s also quite good, if you haven’t heard).

Julio Lugo was in the leadoff spot and went 0-2, but he did have two walks. He left five men on base and is now 0 for his last 33 at-bats, and is drawing the ire of a lot of Red Sox fans. Let’s lay off him a little, ok? I don’t think anyone is purposely trying to hit .189. There’s gotta be something wrong with the guy, mentally or physically.

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