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Morales allowed two runs on four hits in five innings, while fanning nine and walking no one. Of the two runs allowed by Morales, the second could have been prevented had Dustin Pedroia and Darnell McDonald not almost collided while converging on a pop fly to shallow right.
Though Morales has often struggled with his command in Boston, he threw 80 pitches, and a staggering 65 of them were strikes.
"We had a hunch that he could perform well in that situation," said Valentine, "and he proved our hunch correct. Those were five pretty good innings. And he had more, according to him. I'd like to give him a chance to do more next time."
Valentine liked what he saw of Morales in relief, but given the nature of the role, "he'd made a bad pitch and have to come out of the game. When he had some length, he always did a good job. When he had a full inning, he always completed it. He was throwing 95 mph at the beginning and at the end.''
Oh hey Franklin Morales, welcome to the club of pleasant surprises! Take a seat next to Scott Podsednik right over there. Now its players like you that are continuing to keep the team hovering around .500 while we all impatiently wait for most of the big names to snap out of the season long slump.
Morales continues to impress in whatever role this team throws his way, whether or not it's a four inning relief appearence to let the bullpen rest or a spot start to give the team a much needed win. He's becoming this year's Aceves, something that this team needs as the starting rotation continues to struggle.
The question that lingers: can he do this again? He's never pitched more than 46 1/3 innings in his career (last season in between Colorado & Boston) and he's already at 28 2/3 in the middle of June. He's going to be a key piece for the pitching staff from here on out and he's approaching uncharted waters. Hopefully he can stay afloat, this team can't afford to lose anyone pitching well.
Rest of the Links: Globe: Morales spot on for Red Sox | Kalish diving back into action| Herald: Poison among ivy | Childhood development | For Morales, outing a complete success | Welcome back Kalish | CSNNE: A win is a win| Kalish comes through for Sox | Morales proves fit for spot starter | WEEI: The making of Morales | How it all began for Ortiz | Morales helps pace Sox past Cubs | Podsednik lifted mild groin strain