Rookie Propels Sox Over Pirates
Andrew Miller picked up his first win with Boston, scattering five hits over six innings as the Red Sox snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the sloppy Pittsburgh Pirates.
Miller (1-0) struck out four and allowed just one earned run. Recently promoted from the minors, he earned his first AL victory since 2007 with Detroit.
The Pirates tied a season high with four errors, preventing them from moving three games above .500 this late in the season for the first time in 12 years.
Adrian Gonzalez had two hits for Boston and raised his batting average to .361, tops in the majors. Yet the Red Sox won by doing the little things, scoring their four runs on a Pittsburgh error, a pair of sacrifice flies and an RBI groundout.
Both teams had starting outfielders leave in the early innings. Pittsburgh left fielder Jose Tabata was taken off the field on a stretcher after injuring his left quadriceps beating out an infield single in the first. Boston right fielder J.D. Drew exited in the second because of a bruise to his left eye sustained during batting practice.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 14th save in 15 chances.
Tim Wood (0-2) took the loss in relief as Pittsburgh’s normally reliable bullpen showed signs of stress following a busy week.
The Pirates came in looking for an unlikely sweep over one of baseball’s top teams. They posted a pair of electric victories on Friday and Saturday, but couldn’t make it three straight at packed PNC Park, which set an attendance record for the second game in a row.
After a day off, the red Sox head into a much-anticipated three-game showdown at NL East-leading Philadelphia starting on Tuesday night.
The game was 2-all when Boston scored twice in the seventh.
Boston broke it open in the seventh. Marco Scutaro drew a leadoff walk and pinch-hitter David Ortiz also walked after narrowly missing a two-run homer when his just-foul drive to deep right field sailed over the bleachers and onto a sidewalk that borders the Allegheny River.
Jacoby Ellsbury put down a sacrifice bunt and was safe when reliever Daniel Moskos didn’t field the ball cleanly for an error, allowing the Red Sox to load the bases with no outs.
Dustin Pedroia put Boston ahead with an RBI grounder. Ortiz added an insurance run when he brushed past Pittsburgh catcher Eric Fryer _ making his first major league start _ on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Youkilis.