Red Sox looking like champs again?

Red Sox looking like champs again?
April 18, 2014, 8:15 am
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As the Orioles head into Boston, the Red Sox, who have been limping through the early part of their schedule, nicked up like much of the American League East — outfielder Shane Victorino has yet to play — return to Fenway Park off a game that was reminiscent of 2013’s world championship run.

In Chicago on Thursday night, they beat the White Sox 3-1, overcoming what was looking like a dominating performance by left-hander Chris Sale.

The Boston Herald’s John Tomase, who had called the Red Sox’s sloppy extra-inning win the night before a “crap-stravaganza,” was effusive in his praise:

“There was a lot to like about last night’s 3-1 victory over Chris Sale and the White Sox, but the biggest positive by far was a return to the style that made the Red Sox the best of the best last year. … It’s the kind of performance the Red Sox have lacked all season, but last night things — dare we say it — felt like 2013 again.”

The pitching was close to airtight. Starter Jon Lester matched Sale’s seven-inning, one-hit, 10-strikeout effort with eight innings himself, giving up seven hits but just one run and striking out nine. Closer Koji Uehara picked up his third save with a scoreless ninth.

Boston cut down the potential go-ahead run at the plate in the seventh inning with Daniel Nava’s peg from right field to cutoff man Dustin Pedroia to catcher David Ross.

After Ross gave the Red Sox the lead in the ninth with a double, they added an insurance run on a safety squeeze by Jonathan Herrera.

“We played a complete game,” Pedroia said, via the Herald.

“It was a huge team win,” Ross said. “Think about it, the whole game was pitching, hitting, defense, timely hitting, tough at-bats, key walks, big homer. It was just an all-around team win. We just had to scrap and claw.”

Boston is still a couple of games under .500, but the Orioles will see first-hand if the Red Sox really are back to 2013 form.