Brian Snyder- Reuters
RED SOX- Jake Peavy made his much-anticipated Red Sox debut on Saturday night at Fenway in an interleague game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Arizona got on the board first with a solo home run off of 1B Paul Goldschmidt in the top of the 4th before Shane Victorino belted a solo homer to left field to get Boston on the board in the bottom of the 5th. In the bottom of the 7th, the Red Sox broke the 1-1 deadlock thanks to an RBI single by Ellsbury and a sac fly by Victorino to make it 3-2 Boston.
Peavy would go seven complete innings and come out for the top of the 8th- allowing a leadoff single to Will Nieves before Farrell had Craig Breslow come out of the bullpen. However, Breslow would his Cliff Pennington with a pitch and allow a single to Gerardo Parra to load the bases with nobody out. Junichi Tazawa came on in relief of Breslow and gave up a single to Aaron Hill- the Diamondbacks sent Pennington home to try and tie the game, but he was out at the plate on a throw by Johnny Gomes from center field. Tazawa then got Goldschmidt to strike out and Eric Chavez to fly out to left field to end the Arizona threat in the 8th. The Red Sox still led 3-2 in the bottom of the 8th when Mike Napoli drew a leadoff walk and Saltalamacchia hit a 1-out homer into the Red Sox bullpen to give the Sox some insurance heading into the 9th with a 5-2 lead.
Fresh from catching Salty's home run ball in the pen, Koji Uehara would come on in the 9th and give up a leadoff walk to Martin Prado before getting former Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross to hit into a fielder's choice and former Twin Jason Kubel to ground into a double play.
After the Diamondbacks threatened to spoil Peavy's Boston debut with bases loaded and nobody out in the 8th, the Red Sox go on to win Saturday's game by a 5-2 final. Peavy notches his first W with the Olde Towne Team after going 7 innings, allowing 4 hits, two earned runs and striking out seven batters.
With Friday night's 7-6 loss to Arizona, Sunday was the rubber game in the weekend series. The day game pitted Brandon McCarthy against Felix Doubront and was pretty much a scoreless pitcher's duel until the bottom of the 5th when Stephen Drew and Brock Holt led off the inning with back to back singles. The Red Sox got on the board when Drew came home from 3rd to put the Red Sox on the board and Holt came home on a Pedroia double to make it a 2-0 lead for Boston.
The Red Sox led off the bottom of the 6th with another pair of back-to-back singles- this time from Saltalamacchia and Drew- before Holt laid down a sac bunt to put runners at second and third with one out. Ellsbury and Victorino then managed to hi back-to-back RBI singles to give the Red Sox a 4-0 lead. Meanwhile, Doubront was cruising through seven innings. Matt Thornton came on to relieve Doubront in the 7th, but gave up a leadoff single to Tuffy Goesewich before leaving the game with an apparent injury [it was announced he'd travel with the team to houston and be examined by medical staff there- NANESB!]. Drake Britton came on to close out the inning.
Koji Uehara came on in the 9th and gave up a leadoff single to Gerardo Parra before getting the next three batters out to preserve the shutout and clinch the win for Boston.
Doubront pitched seven complete innings, allowing five hits and striking out five in Sunday's start. The win means the Red Sox are still in first place in the AL East by 1 game.
On Monday, the Red Sox will head to Houston's Minute Maid Park to take on the struggling Astros. This upcoming 10-game road trip will take the Sox to Houston, Kansas City and Toronto. John Lackey [7-8; 3.23 ERA] will get the start against Brett Oberholtzer [1-0; 3.77 ERA]. The game gets underway at 8:10 ET (7:10 CT) and will be televised on NESN.
ELSEWHERE IN MLB- Major League Baseball announced the suspension of 13 more players as a result of their ongoing probe into the south Florida Biogenesis anti-aging clinic that allegedly provided MLB players with Human Growth Hormone.
The most prominent name on the list includes Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who still has five years and $114 million remaining on his contract with the Yankees. A-Rod received a 211-game suspension, which would be the remainder of the 2013 season and the entire 2014 season. There was talk of a lifetime ban for A-Rod from MLB, which would've freed the Yankees from their considerable monetary and contractual obligations to Rodriguez.
Other suspensions include Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli and Phillies pitcher Antionio Bastardo as well as five minor-leaguers. MLB reported that many of the players agreed to waive their right to appeal in exchange for a lighter suspension. However, A-Rod never agreed to any such deal and is technically eligible to play against the White Sox this week should he appeal his suspension.
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun accepted a 65 game suspension from MLB last month- the sanctions came a year and a half after he successfully appealed a suspension from another positive test, claiming the sample was mishandled.
NFL- Are you ready for some football?
Me neither, but the NFL preseason kicked off last night with the annual Hall of Fame game in Canton, OH with the Dallas Cowboys beating the Miami Dolphins by a 24-20 final. New England's first game will be this Friday against the Philadelphia Eagles at 7:30 ET.