Boston at San Francisco

Scoreboard
Boston (75-54) «02310051012120
San Francisco (56-70)010000000152

Red Sox decimate Giants, reclaim AL East lead

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Will Middlebrooks made his major league debut at second base on a day he continued to produce with his bat. That might be a message.

Middlebrooks and Stephen Drew each hit a home run, Jonny Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in two runs apiece and the Boston Red Sox beat the San Francisco Giants 12-1 on Wednesday.

"It was a good offensive day," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We had good production up and down. Will has been swinging the bat well since he's come back to us."

Middlebrooks has reached base in all 11 games since his recall from Triple-A Pawtucket, hitting safely in 10 of them. Farrell said he could be used at second in case anything ever happened to Dustin Pedroia.

In his first appearance at second at any level, Middlebrooks even turned a nifty double play on his first chance, taking the throw from Drew and making the pivot at second.

"That came out of nowhere," Middlebrooks said. "We haven't talked about it. I haven't worked out there. It was a lot of fun, though."

Felix Doubront (9-6) rebounded from a tough outing to pitch eight strong innings for the Red Sox, who have won three of five and entered play in a virtual first-place tie with Tampa Bay in the AL East. Doubront gave up one run on five hits. He walked one and struck out three.

"I spent the last four days working on throwing the ball down in the zone," Doubront said. "I was able to do that and go with my stuff. I was working fast to get the hitters to swing at my pitch."

Joaquin Arias homered among his two hits for the Giants, who have lost three of four.

Barry Zito (4-9) lasted 3 2/3 innings in his first start since July 30. He allowed six runs on seven hits, walked two and struck out three.

"We didn't play well at all," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We're having a hard time with the bats here. It's got to get better with the pitching side and the hitting side."

Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino each had three hits for Boston, with Victorino driving in a run. Ellsbury scored twice and got his league-leading 46th stolen base. Pedroia added two hits and drove in a run.

"Any time you get hits out of the top of the lineup good things can happen," Victorino said. "We just have to keep it going."

Doubront, who allowed seven runs in four innings in his last start, has allowed three runs or fewer in 17 of his last 18 outings. After giving up Arias' homer in the second, Doubront retired 14 of the next 15 hitters.

"Felix was awesome," Middlebrooks said. "I don't think he missed his spot all day. Even the home run was a good pitch."

Middlebrooks hit a two-run home run with two outs in the second and Doubront on deck.

"I was surprised," Middlebrooks said. "He went fastball away and I thought he would stay away. He left a slider up in the zone and I put a good swing on it."

Since his recall, Middlebrooks is hitting .441 (15 for 34) with a pair of home runs, seven RBI and seven walks. He's improved his average to .228 from a season-low .192 when he was sent down.

"I feel comfortable," said Middlebrooks, who also hit safely in his final eight games with the PawSox. "I haven't really changed my approach, I'm just more consistent with it."

The Giants have allowed 10 runs or more in four interleague games, their most in any season.

"I was excited to get the ball," Zito said. "Some strange stuff happened out there today. Baseball is a strange game sometimes. The nature of the game is so unpredictable. That's why we all love it and why we all hate it."

Zito, the 2002 Cy Young winner, is 0-25 in 29 games in which he has allowed six or more runs in a San Francisco uniform. He never allowed more than six runs in a game with the Oakland Athletics.

Notes

Doubront has given up one run in 15 innings against the NL West. ... Red Sox INF David Ortiz left the game with lower back tightness after striking out in the fifth. ... RHP John Lackey (8-10, 3.22 ERA) will start for Boston when it opens a series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Friday night. ... Zito owns a career mark of 5-7, with a 5.52 ERA, in 15 games against the Red Sox. ... RHP Matt Cain (8-8, 4.35) will start for the Giants on Thursday night against Pittsburgh. ... Ellsbury has hit safely in all 18 of Boston's interleague games and is batting .442 (34 for 77) against NL clubs.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Stephen Drew (right) connects on a three-run home run to pad Boston's lead in the seventh inning. (USATSI)
Stephen Drew (right) connects on a three-run home run to pad Boston's lead in the seventh inning. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Boston

W. Middlebrooks
AB 3
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
San Francisco

J. Arias
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Boston Red Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF4230001 .299
   a-Daniel Nava, PH-RF1100000 .294
Shane Victorino, RF-CF5131012 .290
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4221002 .294
   Xander Bogaerts, 3B1000000 .000
David Ortiz, 1B3000023 .320
   Mike Napoli, 1B2000013 .244
Jonny Gomes, LF4112130 .236
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C4212101 .272
Stephen Drew, SS5113002 .246
Will Middlebrooks, 3B-2B3212100 .228
Felix Doubront, P3000010 .000
Totals3912121138  
a-grounded out for Ellsbury in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jacoby Ellsbury (28, Zito), Shane Victorino (21, Zito), Dustin Pedroia 2 (30, Zito)
HR - Stephen Drew (10, Kickham), Will Middlebrooks (11, Zito)
SH - Felix Doubront (1)
RBI - Shane Victorino (40), Dustin Pedroia (70), Jonny Gomes 2 (37), Jarrod Saltalamacchia 2 (50), Stephen Drew 3 (52), Will Middlebrooks 2 (32)
2-OUT RBI - Shane Victorino (12), Jarrod Saltalamacchia 2 (21), Stephen Drew 3 (32), Will Middlebrooks 2 (9)
SB - Jacoby Ellsbury (46, 2nd base off Zito/Posey)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Drew-Middlebrooks-Napoli
Boston Red Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Felix Doubront (W,9-6) 8511131 3.79
Koji Uehara 1000010 1.27
Pitches-Strikes - Felix Doubront 114-68, Koji Uehara 6-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Felix Doubront 5-14, Koji Uehara 2-0
Batters Faced - Felix Doubront 28, Koji Uehara 3
San Francisco Giants
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Andres Torres, CF4010001 .250
Marco Scutaro, 2B3000100 .297
Brandon Belt, 1B4000011 .273
Buster Posey, C3010001 .303
   Hector Sanchez, C1000000 .237
Hunter Pence, RF3000021 .278
Joaquin Arias, 3B3121000 .288
Roger Kieschnick, LF3000001 .268
Brandon Crawford, SS3010001 .270
Barry Zito, P1000010 .161
   a-Brett Pill, PH1000001 .212
   Michael Kickham, P1000001 .167
Totals3015114  
a-flied out for Machi in the 5th
Batting
HR - Joaquin Arias (1, Doubront)
RBI - Joaquin Arias (15)
CS - Andres Torres (3, 2nd base by Doubront/Saltalamacchia)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Arias-Scutaro-Belt
E - Michael Kickham (1, Throwing), Marco Scutaro (12, Misplayed grounder)
San Francisco Giants
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Barry Zito (L,4-9) 3.2766231 5.63
Jean Machi 1.1000020 3.22
Michael Kickham 4565131 10.72
Pitches-Strikes - Barry Zito 85-50, Jean Machi 15-11, Michael Kickham 68-43
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Barry Zito 5-3, Jean Machi 1-1, Michael Kickham 8-2
Batters Faced - Barry Zito 20, Jean Machi 4, Michael Kickham 19
Game Information
Attendance - 41532
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Dan Bellino, First Base - Bruce Dreckman, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Mike Everitt