Red Sox 13, Rays 5: Quick Reaction

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 14: Adrian Gonzalez #28 of the Boston Red Sox congratulates Mike Aviles #3 after Aviles hit a home run in the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park April 14, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

It was a near-perfect game for the Red Sox Saturday as they rallied from an early 4-0 deficit to knock off Jeremy Hellickson and the Ray 13-5, establishing their first winning streak of the season.

After the first inning, it looked like the Sox were back to their old depressing ways. Clay Buchholz came out unable to locate any of his secondary offerings, and only able to throw strikes when he placed his fastball middle-high. Not a pretty sight, to say the least. The result was four runs, with Luke Scott regrettably the one to bring home the last three. Not fun.

From there, however, Buchholz tightened up. Gaining better control of his fastball, and finally able to mix in some effective changeups and curves, Clay would allow just one more run in completing seven innings of work (hardly expected given the number of pitches needed to get through the early rounds). Especially effective was his cutter, which seemed was particularly nasty towards the end, when he used it to strike out Evan Longoria.

The Boston offense, meanwhile, had everyone going at top speed. Homers from Jarrod Saltalamacchia (a huge shot to dead center on a very low pitch), Dustin Pedroia (incredibly long, nearly out of the parking lot), David Ortiz, Mike Aviles (!) and Cody Ross (ditto) highlighted a massive 13-run attack which saw encouraging signs for all the players who needed it most. After showing signs early in the game, Ross finally connected twice in a row with the swing we've been expecting to pay big dividends in Fenway, resulting in a wall ball double and the aforementioned Monster shot. Kevin Youkilis hit one off the wall as well, and drew a pair of walks to perhaps quell fears of his demise. And Mike Aviles connected three times, despite getting himself picked off of first after a leadoff single.

It's hard to think of a much better day for the Sox, except perhaps without the first. Add in a couple strong outings from Franklin Morales and Alfredo Aceves, and that's a wrap.

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