The Red Sox offense was held almost completely in check Tuesday night by Jose Quintana, leaving Felix Doubront the hard-luck loser in Chicago.
While Sox fans were certainly not able to assume a win heading into tonight's game, it was not because of the Jose Quinatana part of the matchup, put the Felix Doubront part. To his credit, though, Felix had his most solid game in weeks. Whether because of the White Sox' general struggles against lefties (excepting, apparently, Jon Lester) or because Doubront is actually learning what he needs to do to be useful with his diminished fastball velocity, Boston's southpaw was able to record outs.
In fact, for a while this was a bonafide pitching duel. Through the first four innings, the only hit either one had allowed was a dribbler down the third base by Alexei Ramirez that Will Middlebrooks didn't even leave Will Middlebrooks with a throw to make. Other than that, each pitcher had offered up one walk, with Doubront erasing his on a double play ball from the next batter.
The fifth inning, unfortunately for the Red Sox, brought change for Doubront. With two outs, a simple ground ball got through the left side for the first legitimate hit against Doubront, Then, perhaps because it was his first pitch out of the stretch,, Doubront grooved a fastball to Jeff Keppinger. Gone. The White Sox took a 2-0 lead on the homer, and never really looked back.
The Red Sox would at least mount a couple of rallies. A broken bat single from David Ortiz ended Quintana's run at a no-hitter, and even opened the flood gates ever so slightly, with Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava both adding singles of their own. From there Robing Ventura turned to Jesse Crain, which proved to be the perfect move, as the ever-reliable reliever struck out Will Middlebrooks and Stephen Drew to end the inning.
In the very next inning, the Sox went right back to work, putting runners on second and third with just one out and Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz. Pedroia's ground ball to short didn't seem like it was going to continue the rally, but the ball got past Alexei Ramirez, bringing in only one run because Jacoby Ellsbury had to hold up before advancing to third. Unfortunately, David Ortiz was not up to producing one of his patented bits of magic, swinging at the first pitch and grounding into a double play. The White Sox would pick up an insurance run in the bottom of the inning, and then call on Addison Reed, who kept the Boston offense quiet for one inning more to secure the 3-1 win for Chicago.
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