ONE LAST RUN FOR A
RED SOX LEGEND -
FROM SEASON CHAMPS TO PLAYOFF CHUMPS
The Sox and David
wear down the Indians
22, 2016 ... From the two previous times they
had faced Danny Salazar, the Sox knew they would have their hands
full. His arm was big. His fastball was blistering. His changeup was
filthy. There weren't many pitchers as stingy with giving up hits.
Coming in, he had allowed only 27 in 50 innings.
pitch counts has been the Sox' M.O. all season, and on their way to a 5-2 win at
Fenway Park, the Sox didn't rough Salazar up, they wore him down. It took 40
pitches for Salazar to get out of the first frame, the most pitches he'd thrown
in an inning in his career.
saw eight batters and none of them made it easy. Dustin Pedroia worked him for a
nine-pitch walk. Xander Bogaerts squeezed six pitches out of him to get a
single, and David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez followed up with RBI singles. Both of
their at-bats lasted just three pitches, but Ramirez's ended with a sharp ground
ball up the middle that hit Salazar on the foot, shaking him up momentarily. The
longer the inning went, the more the Sox knew they were doing their job.
Once Salazar left the mound, he was pitching on borrowed
time. He hung around to work 4 1/3 innings. The Sox tagged him for four runs on
eight hits and three walks. Ortiz was in the middle of it all, going 4 for 4 and
coming a bad bounce shy of going for the cycle for the first time in his career.
the RBI single in the first, Ortiz ripped a liner to right for a ground-rule
double that scored a run in the second, and blasted a solo homer over the
visitors' bullpen in the fifth. In his last at-bat, Ortiz lifted a 3-and-1
fastball from Indians reliever Austin Adams high toward the triangle in center
field. But the ball took an unfortunate hop into the bleachers, giving Ortiz his
second ground-rule double of the day.
Ortiz tied a career high with four hits, ran his career home run total to 514,
and produced his 14th multi-hit performance in his last 28 games.
offense provided some breathing room for Sox starter Rick Porcello, who labored
himself. He matched his season high with 115 pitches over 52/3innings, but held
the Indians to just two runs on five hits to pick up his seventh win of the
season, tied for the second most in the American League.
Jackie Bradley Jr. extending his hitting streak to 27 games with a single in the
fifth, Bogaerts stretching his hitting streak to 16 games with a 3-for-5 day,
and the Sox going deep for the 22d straight game, the offense continues to hum.