“This is the weakest roster we’ve ever had in September in the history of baseball,” Bobby Valentine told reporters earlier this week when asked if the team could use some reinforcements from Triple-A Pawtucket.
Though his quote reflects the exaggeration he is prone to showcasing, Valentine is correct, to a degree. The current Red Sox lineup is one of the least potent in several years. It is without David Ortiz and Will Middlebrooks, who are both sidelined for the rest of the season, and it is missing Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, who were traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for a “get of of salary jail free” card.
Interestingly, two players who spent much of the 2012 season at Pawtucket have contributed to Boston’s back-to-back victories at Toronto this season. On Friday, Mauro Gomez ripped a two-run triple in the top of the ninth, fueling an 8-5 Red Sox win. On Saturday, Pedro Ciriaco belted an RBI double with two outs in the top of the ninth off Steve Delabar, scoring Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who led off the frame with a double. Ciriaco’s hit gave Boston a 3-2 lead and Andrew Bailey tossed a scoreless bottom of the ninth to preserve the win.
This marks the first time the Red Sox have won consecutive games in September since 2010. Now 67-80, the Red Sox will attempt to complete a three-game sweep at Toronto on Sunday.
Clay Buchholz did not get a decision but once again delivered a solid start, allowing two runs (one earned) and four hits over seven innings. He did walk five batters to go along with five strikeouts. Boston’s most consistent starter this season is 11-6 with a 4.33 ERA in 26 starts, including a 3-4 record and a 3.16 ERA in 12 starts since the All-Star break.
Craig Breslow, who tossed a scoreless eighth inning, was credited with the win and improved to 3-0 with a 2.91 ERA between the Diamondbacks and Red Sox this season.
Cody Ross clubbed his 21st home run of the season.