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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Red Sox Bullpen Operating at Full Steam in 6-4 Win

A week ago the Red Sox bullpen was in the midst of coping with injury to their presumed closer Andrew Bailey and several were calling for Daniel Bard to be returned to the pen immediately. How things have changed in a short period time as roles become defined and the Sox' bullpen continues to become formidable.

The Red Sox sent first year starter Felix Doubront to the mound on Sunday expecting to need a few innings from their bullpen and they got them--four to be exact--and they were well pitched and for the third straight game were able to stave off the Rays and preserve the clubs third win in a row.

Doubront pitched well through the first four innings but the Rays were able to get to him in the fifth inning. Doubles from Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria plated three runs and Fenway-hater Luke Scott led off the sixth with a solo homer to erase the 4-0 lead held by the Sox, makeing it a tie game and taking the ball out of Doubront's hand.

Scott Atchison got an out in the inning and then made way for Vicente Padilla, who has emerged as this years version of Alfredo Aceves. Padilla finished off the sixth and took care of the seventh, keeping the game tied and giving David Ortiz the opportunity to pull ahead with an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth.

Mike Aviles added his second homer of the season in the seventh to give the Red Sox an insurance run but it was the back end of the bullpen that provided the story in today's game.

Franklin Morales--who's emerged as the eighth inning guy--pitched a scoreless eighth, with a bit of traffic but he got the job done nonetheless to hand the ball over to closer Alfredo Aceves.

Aceves put together another perfect ninth inning and pick up his second save of the young season. With the scoreless outing Aceves has brought his uncomputable ERA down to single digits at 9.00.

Notes-- Cody Ross hit his second homer in as many days, a moon shot over everything in left field for a 3-run blast that gave the Red Sox an early lead. 

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