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Home » April 2012 Game CommentsApril 2012 » A Salt and Battery

A Salt and Battery

Kelly Shoppach isn’t the only catcher whose surname can be contorted into puns. Shoppach, perpetrator of the most comical slide into second in history, selected “The Stop, Shop, and Roll” as the name of his historic tumble towards the keystone sack.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia avoided any potential indignity the basepaths by depositing Jeremy Hellickson’s 3-1 change-up into the batter’s eye. The second inning two-run shot, Saltalamacchia’s first home run of the season, brought the Red Sox within two runs of the Rays.

Clay Buchholz was roughed up in the first inning for four runs but settled down for most of the rest of his seven innings. Luke Scott, who was lustily booed whenever he appeared, doubled off the wall to plate Matt Joyce in the third, but Buchholz along with relievers Franklin Morales and Alfredo Aceves stifled the Tampa Bay lineup. Morales and Aceves had breathing room from late inning scoring barrages.

Mike Aviles has all but erased Jed Lowrie from the memory of fans with his timely hitting and versatility but can he replace Jacoby Ellsbury in the one spot? Bobby Valentine was in need of a leadoff hitter with Ellsbury on the disabled list due to a subluxation of the right shoulder and in his first game leading off Aviles returned with mixed results.

While across town the Bruins struggled into overtime to break their 1-1 tie with Capitals, Aviles led off the seventh with a go-ahead home run off the Green Monster’s ledge. Aviles’s first circuit clout of the season atoned for him getting picked off in the first and for lining out to right with the bases loaded in the fourth.

Right around the time Niklas Backstrom scored in the second overtime period to tie the Capitals with the Bruins in their series 1-1, Cody Ross added two runs with double off the top of the scoreboard.

In the eighth David Ortiz cleared the bases with a double off the wall. The designated hitter scored on Ross’s no-doubter over the left field wall. Ross’s home run ball ended up in the parking lot on Lansdowne Street. It was retrieved by an African-American man in a grey hoodie. Fortunately for that fan, this isn’t Sanford, Florida. April 15 is Jackie Robinson Day, and even though progress has been made in 65 years since integration in the major leagues, there are still tragedies like Trayvon Martin. Unsurprisingly, Robinson was run out of Sanford in 1946 by a racist mob. In response the Dodger organization moved their spring training out of Sanford to Daytona Beach.

Robinson was key to making baseball a truly international and for the most part tolerant sport. As an example, Che-Hsuan Lin made his major league debut in the ninth as a defensive replacement.

Game 8: April 14, 2012
Tampa Bay Rays
L: Burke Badenhop (0-1)
2B: Carlos Pena (3), Luke Scott (2)
HR: Scott (1)
WinBoston Red Sox
W: Clay Buchholz (1-0)
H: Franklin Morales (1)
2B: Ryan Sweeney (3), Adrian Gonzalez (2), Cody Ross (2), Mike Aviles (2), David Ortiz (4)
HR: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (1), Dustin Pedroia (2), Ortiz (1), Aviles (1), Ross (1)

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