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Updates: Red Sox vs. Twins

Posted by Adam Kilgore, Globe Staff  March 28, 2009 03:19 PM

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CHAVEZ HIT, HURT (3:19, BOT 7, 8-4 SOX)
Angel Chavez was hit by a (EDIT:) Kyle Asleton (not Reed Santos) pitch in the right knee cap. He crumpled in the batter's box and was attended to by trainer Paul Lessard and manager Terry Francona. Ryan Khoury came into pinch run for him. The changes are fast and furious; the Red Sox have pretty much all minor leaguers in the game now.

CATCHING UP (3:13, MID 7, 8-4 SOX)
Back up from the clubhouse, where Penny explained he was pleased with his outing. His increased pitch count was just what he wanted, and he had a chance to focus more on his off-speed pitches, whereas last time he threw mostly fastballs. That his velocity was down a bit was by design.

"I felt alright," Penny said. "I went in with a different mind frame. The first time, I went out to let it go, test myself. Today I went out to pitch a little bit, mix up my pitches."

The Twins scored their two additional runs on a two-run home run by Matt Tolbert off of Lopez. The Red Sox scored their eighth run on an RBI double by George Kottaras.

PENNY DONE (2:33, END 4, 7-2 SOX)
Penny's out, replaced by Javier Lopez. He went four innings, allowed four hits, walked none, struck out none, and gave up two runs. Penny advanced quite a bit in his second start, throwing 68 pitches (46 for strikes) and lasting four innings. In his first start, he threw 33 pitches and went three innings. He said then he wanted to throw more pitches; he got his wish today.

Penny has not been as dominant as he was in his last start, but, since the first, he's been nearly as effective. Penny set down the Twins 1-2-3, getting a pair of groundball outs. His stuff doesn't seem as sharp as last time, but it's been sharp enough -- he's retired 12 of the last 13 batters he's faced.

Joe Nathan has replaced Liriano, by the way.

BOMBS A-BAY (2:08, END 3, 7-2 SOX)
With Lowell on first after an infield single, Bay became the third Red Sox batter to smash a home run to left off Liriano. His needed no help from the wind -- it cleared the fence behind the actual fence and landed in a back field. Liriano struck out Lowrie to end the carnage.

ORTIZ GOES YARD (2:03, BOT 3, 5-2 SOX)
After Pedroia walked, Ortiz blasted an opposite-field home run, which was helped by a stiff breeze out to left. After an easy first two innings, Liriano has totally lost command. And the Red Sox are taking advantage.

ROCCO RIPS ONE (1:58, BOT 3, 3-2 SOX)
Jed Lowrie walked and George Kottaras was hit by a pitch to start the inning. After Green struck out, Baldelli worked the count full against Liriano, then unloaded on a high fastball, blasting a home run high and deep to left center. That's Baldelli's first home run this spring.

PENNY WISE (1:45, MID 3, 2-0 TWINS)
Span led off by grounding to short. Lowell made a fantastic, backhand play at third, in one motion falling away and firing to first. The throw would have got the fleet Carlos Gomez, but Youkilis couldn't scoop the one-hop throw. Gomez showed off that speed when he stole second. Crede grounded out to Lowell. Morneau flied lazily to center.

FAST ONE (1:37, END 2, 2-0 TWINS)
Liriano continues to look impressive. Kevin Youkilis walked to lead off, but was quickly erased when Mike Lowell grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Jason Bay struck out swinging.

With some help from Pedroia, Penny went 1-2-3 in the second. Brendan Harris grounded to second, Mike Redmond lined to second, and Tolbert grounded to second.

Penny's velocity, according to the NESN radar, has been in the 89-91 mile-an-hour range, down from his first start, when it was at more like 93-95.

Francisco Liriano has the potential to be one of the league's elite pitchers, and the big lefty tore through the Red Sox in the first. Rocco Baldelli struck out looking, Pedroia hit a sharp one-hopper right at second baseman Matt Tolbert, and David Ortiz struck out swinging at a pitch low and inside.

Brad Penny was nearly untouchable in his first start, allowing only a walk in three innings. Today's start, so far, has brought much less confidence. Denard Span led off with a weak chopper to third, and Carlos Gomez blooped a single to right. After Gomez stole second, Joe Crede crushed a double off the centerfield wall. Justin Morneau followed with a multi-hopper just out of the reach of a diving Dustin Pedroia, allowing Crede to score and the Twins to take a 2-0 lead. Delmon Young skied to Nick Green in right, and Brian Buscher bounced to first to end the inning.

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