Four starts ago, the talk around the Boston Red Sox was that Felix Doubront could be shut down for the rest of the season. After all, he'd never thrown this many innings or pitches in a season.
Doubront fought for himself and told them he'd be fine. They should be glad he did.
Yesterday afternoon in his final Fenway Park of the season, Doubront put together a gem as the Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 2-1.
Even with the loss, the Orioles remain one game behind the New York Yankees for first place in the AL East. The Orioles also remain one game ahead of the Oakland A's for the top AL Wild Card spot.
It took until the 5th inning for Doubront to give up his first hit. It would also be the only inning he allowed a run.
Lew Ford started it with a single, Chris Davis followed with a double and then Ford came in to score on a Manny Machado single. After that though, Doubront struck out the next two batters while recording the final out on a groundout.
Including those last three outs of the 5th, Doubront set down nine of the final 10 batters he faced.
A strong finish for Doubront is what he needs and the Red Sox need. If he can show them and himself that he can finish a long season, he could prove to be a part of the plans for 2013 in the rotation. Right now it looks as though three spots are guaranteed in Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and John Lackey. And with out a high class free agent market out there, Doubront could fit in there as well.
The Red Sox got the winning run in the 8th on back-to-back doubles by Dustin Pedroia and Cody Ross.
There was some drama in the 9th as Mark Reynolds hit a one out single followed by a Jim Thome ground rule double off of Andrew Bailey. After an intentional walk to Davis, Machado grounded into a fielder's choice that saw Reynolds out at the plate. Bailey then ended the game by striking out pinch-hitter Ryan Flaherty.
Yes, we are playing out the string here. But the Red Sox can still affect the playoff races as they have two games against the Rays and then three on the road in Baltimore and New York. And with those final two teams battling for the top spot along with the Rays for a wild card spot, I wouldn't expect the local nine to lay down.
The Red Sox are off today so we'll be back shortly with the pitching matchups for the final homestand of the season. But for now, enjoy the overnight links from the media.
To open the links up in a new tab or window, use Control+click
Final Cody Ross diary: Wants to come back [cody ross - espn boston]
Sox avoid sweep, beat Orioles, 2-1 [boston herald]
Doubront delivers for Red Sox [boston herald]
Loving tribute to No. 6 [boston herald]
Outfielders likely to play the field [boston herald]
Injuries hamper Ryan Kalish again [boston herald]
Pedro: '[Sox] have to change some things' [rob bradford - weei.com]
Doubront gives Sox strong outing in win over O's, 2-1 [csn new england]
Ross gets it done with the bat and glove on Sunday [csn new england]
Red Sox honor Johnny Pesky after Sunday's game [csn new england]
Pedro: Red Sox can turn it around in 2013 [csn new england]
Bailey, Tazawa hold it down for Red Sox [csn new england]
Doubront proves himself in season's final start [csn new england]
Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 2, Orioles 1 [espn boston]
Red Sox, fans pay tribute to Pesky [espn boston]
Ross: Contract talks in 'beginning stages' [espn boston]
Felix Doubront impresses in shutting down Baltimore Orioles [espn boston]
Danny Valencia Coming Along at the Plate After Rollercoaster Season [nesn.com]
Cody Ross' Defense, Felix Doubront's Pitching Heroics Stave Off Sweep From Orioles [nesn.com]
Pedro on this year's Red Sox: 'All they have to do is fix their character' [projo sox blog]
With a week and a half to go, Red Sox in line for No. 8 draft pick [projo sox blog]
Kalish unlikely to bat again this season [redsox.com]
Valencia working to regain past form [redsox.com]
Healthy Doubront established himself as starter [redsox.com]
Red Sox pay tribute to Pesky [redsox.com]
Pedro: Better 'character' would benefit Sox [redsox.com]
Bargain Man: The strange past (and future?) of Cody Ross [alex speier - weei.com]
MINOR LEAGUE LINKS:
Drake Britton Takes Big Strides Toward Becoming Boston's Next Left-Handed Starting Pitcher (Video) [nesn.com]
Xander Bogaerts 'Humbled' By Comparisons to Hanley Ramirez, Hopes to Stay at Shortstop [nesn.com]
Sea Dogs to Have New Playing Surface in 2013 [oursports central]
Unheralded pitcher Brandon Workman refining repertoire as he piles up the innings [projo sox blog]
PawSox pitching coach Sauveur has big-league aspirations [projo sox blog]
For more slices of Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, CSN New England, ESPN Boston, NESN, Providence Journal, RedSox.com and WEEI websites.
And if you must check out the enemy news, be sure to head over to the Baltimore Sun and MASN websites. Also be sure to check out our Bloguin brother the Oriole Post for all of your Orioles needs.
Follow Ian on Twitter @soxanddawgs. And be sure to like us on Facebook as well.
photo credit: ap photo
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