The Red Sox keep moving in the right direction by beating the Atlanta Braves, 9-4, for the series victory.
Cody Ross took over, by hitting 2 home runs on the afternoon and driving in 5 of the 9 Red Sox' runs. Ross started the scoring in the 4th, hitting his first home run of the game, a 3-run shot to left. Adrian Gonzalez followed with his 6th home run of the season, for one of those fancy back-to-back home runs. Shoppach scored on a Middlebrooks sac-fly in the fifth, with Ross to follow with Nava on base. So, what does Cody Ross do, he hits another home run, a 2-run homer over the Monster to give the Sox a 7-3 lead. The Sox added another run in the 6th, a Nava double that scored Shoppach. The Red Sox' final run of the day came by way of a Kevin Youkilis triple in the 7th, that could very well be his last hit in a Red Sox uniform. He was run for and it became an emotional moment for Youk and Red Sox fans.
I have been looking forward to a trade of Youk, but that moment that Youk came out of the game and acknowledged the fans was a bit sad. The crowd called for a curtain call and, when Youk came out I realized that could very well be the last time he steps foot out of that dugout. I remembered the time when Youk was coming up through the minors, reaching base safely in 70+ consecutive games. Youk was Middlebrooks, the excitement and anticipation of the young player playing 3rd and taking Boston by storm. Now that era is coming to a close and no matter how disliked he has become, we have to tip our hats to Youk for what he has done on the field.
Back to the recap...
We saw the return of Aaron Cook to the mound and it wasn't impressive. Cook went 5 innings, giving up 6 htis, 3 runs (2 ER), and didn't strikeout or walk a batter. The no walk stat was surprising because of the amount of balls he threw. Aaron Cook threw 79 pitches, 48 for strikes (31 balls), so we do the math and get 39.2% of his pitches were balls. That's not a good percentage, but the offense backed him up enough to award him his first win of the season. The Sox used 4 pitchers in relief and all but 1 pitched well again. This time it was Matt Albers, giving up 2 hits and a run in 1 inning of work.
The Sox have to keep the ball rolling as they transition back to AL play, as the Jays come into town tomorrow.