Felix Doubront recovered from early struggles and the Red Sox managed to cobble together enough offense in support as Boston rebounded from a disappointing Friday night loss to top the Orioles 4-2.
It took Doubront 29 pitches to get out of the first. That's generally not a good sign for any pitcher's outing. He couldn't put batters away, and gave up a run on a trio of baserunners--two hits and a walk--putting the Red Sox in an early hole. Heading to the bottom of the inning wasn't too bad, but all things considered it was another Felix Doubront start waiting to happen, and fans were just going to have to endure it.
Curiously, what followed from those inauspicious beginnings was Doubront's best start of the year.
The Red Sox would get him back into a tie in the bottom of the first, with Jonathan Schoop managing to botch a Mike Napoli ground ball to third so badly that he got zero outs where he may well have gotten two, preventing Dustin Pedroia scoring from third. With a nearly clean slate, Doubront retired the next three batters on 11 pitches. Then it was six on 20, nine on 32, and finally twelve on 38! By the time the Orioles produced another baserunner, Doubront was into the sixth inning with his pitch count completely under control.
In the meantime, a David Ortiz homer had moved the Red Sox into a 2-1 lead. That would not survive the sixth, unfortunately, though it very nearly did. Only a bang-bang play at first and successful challenge from Buck Showalter kept Doubront from escaping that inning unharmed. As it was, though, Nelson Cruz managed to beat a throw to first from Brock Holt, allowing Adam Jones to come in from third, evening the score at 2-2.
From there, however, it was all Red Sox. A seventh-inning rally saw Brock Holt triple Mike Carp in from first, then score himself on a safety squeeze, with Jonathan Herrera laying down his second big bunt in three nights. Now up 4-2, the Red Sox turned to Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara, who handled the rest of the game with relative ease.
Aside from the reappearance of the double plays (Mike Carp hit into a pair, and Jackie Bradley Jr. added a third) it was another well-played game for the Red Sox. It's not ideal that this is coming after Friday's mess, but combined with Thursday's game against the White Sox it's a better three-game stretch than we've seen out of the Red Sox since the first three contests of the year.