If Josh Beckett was on Facebook, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be exchanging or even accepting a friend request with last night’s home plate umpire Adrian Johnson.
After Beckett was given a 3-0 lead in the top half of the 1st against the Minnesota Twins, he loaded up the bases and eventually walked in a run. This was mainly because he was being squeezed around the plate by Johnson and Beckett was sure to let Johnson know about it by yelling at him and saying something like “I got five outs that inning”.
But after that though, Beckett was solid. He would give up another run in the 5th but ended his night by striking out the side in the 6th. Of course it helped that the offense scored 10 runs for him in the eventual 11-2 win.
When the Red Sox traded Marco Scutaro to the Colorado Rockies, they showed they had the utmost confidence in the job that Mike Aviles would do for them. Since Jacoby Ellsbury went on the disabled list, Aviles was also bumped up to the leadoff spot in the batting order.
It’s definitely worked out for the Red Sox and Aviles as he added four hits, including a solo home run. The 1-2 punch of Aviles and the red-hot Ryan Sweeney has also been producing as well. The pair got things going last night as they combined to get the first run of the game before an out was recorded.
Sadly by going 2-for-6 last night, Sweeney’s average dropped below .400 all the way .392. Still not a bad start to the season at all.
And for those of you who wrote off David Ortiz, shame on you. If we all thought Sweeney was on fire at the plate, Big Papi is white-hot right now. He went 2-for-4 last night, getting on base three times. He also had a mammoth two-run homer. And oh by the way, he’s only hitting .444 with a .486 OBP and .714 SLG.
Eight of the nine members of the starting nine had hits last night. Monday night’s hero Cody Ross was the lone exception as he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Adrian Gonzalez has seemed to put his slow start in the past as he had three hits last night and two RBIs. Kevin Youkilis and Marlon Byrd also had two hits. For Byrd, the three hits in two nights matches what he had done for the Chicago Cubs before coming over to the Red Sox.
Scott Atchison was excellent in relief last night as well as he struck out three batters in two innings of work. Not surprisingly, he has been the most consistent pitcher out of the Red Sox bullpen and could find himself in more high leverage situations going forward.
Yes, the Twins aren’t a very good baseball team right now. While they do have a decent offense on paper, their pitching has been killing them just as the Red Sox pitching had been.
Fortunately for the Red Sox, their offense is waking up and doing what they should be doing against poor pitching, dominating it. And if the starters and bullpen can get back to doing what they are supposed to be doing, the Red Sox could put this slow start in the past.
Hopefully Clay Buchholz can put his woes in the past tonight and help the Red Sox to their third straight win before they head to the south side of the Windy City for four games.
We’ll be back later with today’s lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the day. So for now, let’s take at look at the overnight links from the media by clicking on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.
To open the links up in a new tab or window, use Control+click
Red Sox sparked by Aviles [Boston Globe]
Ortiz has lost weight and regained his skills [Boston Globe]
Buchholz needs to bear down [Boston Globe]
Liverpool, Roma make Fenway plans [Boston Globe]
David Ortiz socks it to ’em [Boston Herald]
Clay Buchholz looks for restart [Boston Herald]
Anger management benefit for Beckett [Boston Herald]
Carl Crawford wants a second opinion [Boston Herald]
Red Sox handle Twins with ease, 11-2 [CSN New England]
Ortiz’s torrid start to the season continues vs. Twins [CSN New England]
Red Sox seeing production with Aviles in leadoff spot [CSN New England]
Beckett brushes off early frustration, limits Twins offense [CSN New England]
Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 11, Twins 2 [ESPN Boston]
Crawford to seek 2nd opinion on elbow [ESPN Boston]
Crawford to seek second opinion on left elbow [RedSox.com]
Dice-K to make rehab outing with Sea Dogs [RedSox.com]
Buchholz lacking confidence in changeup [RedSox.com]
photo credit: AP Photo