Doubront feels 'pretty good' after return to mound

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Doubront feels 'pretty good' after return to mound

BOSTON Left-hander Felix Doubront returned from the disabled list to make his 23rd start of the season on Sunday. Although he was not involved in the decision, the Red Sox improved to 15-8 in his starts.

Doubront went five innings against the Royals, giving up four runs on six hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. It was his ninth game with at least seven strikeouts this season. He is the only Sox left-hander other than Jon Lester to record seven or more strikeouts in at least nine games in a season since Bruce Hurst had nine such games in 1988.

But, Doubront also gave up a three-run home run to Lorenzo Cain with two outs in the fourth inning, briefly giving the Royals a lead.

After retiring the first two batters in the inning, Doubront allowed the next five to reach before ending the inning.

Felix started and he had the one tough inning, two outs nobody on, and made some pitches over the middle and threw an inside fastball for a three-run homer, said manager Bobby Valentine. Other than that he was pretty good.

Doubront had been on the DL since Aug. 10 (retroactive) with a right knee contusion. He acknowledged he might have been a little rusty.

A little bit, he said. Because I was trying to throw fastball, four-seamer down in the zone and sometimes I was opening my shoulder a little bit.

I feel pretty good. My arm, my knee feel great. Just missed a couple pitches that allowed those runs . . . Good day, though

Manager Bobby Valentine earned his fifth ejection of the season and 42nd of his major league career arguing with first base umpire Dan Bellino when Pedroia was called out. Replays appeared to show Pedroia was safe. It is not the first time Bellino has ejected a member of the Sox. In May, he ejected Mike Aviles for arguing a call third strike. And, in one of the stranger ejections in recent history, on Aug. 25, 2010, Bellino ejected Adrian Beltre for talking to Seattles Felix Hernandez between innings.

Valentine, when asked if he thought he would be managing the Sox in 2013:

Yeah.

Why?

I have a contract for next year, obviously.

With James Loney and Pedro Beato making the Red Sox debuts, the Sox have now used 52 players this season. Last year, they used 49 over the entire season.

Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save of the season, and first save in the American League. He had 20 with the Astros in 2011.

The Sox lead the AL, going 25-16 against left-handed starters.

Scott Podsednik extended his hitting streak to six games, matching a season high. He has hit safely in 24 of 28 starts with the Sox, going 40-for-103 (.388).

Mike Aviles went 2-for-4 with a double, and has now hit in all nine career games against his former team, batting .310 (13-for-42) with three doubles and a home run.

Craig Breslow has allowed six of 13 inherited runners to score with the Sox.

Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Notes, quotes and stars from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Rays:

QUOTES:

* "There's not much I can do about it now. It's kind of a waiting game and hopefully, the tests come back clean.'' -Andrew Benintendi, on the uncertainty surrounding his knee injury.

* "Sometimes, I like that, sometimes I don't because I'd kind of take a couple of quick outs in place of those to get a couple of more innings out there.'' -Drew Pomeranz on his career high 11 strikeouts.

* "That's probably the spot that looms the largest. Jackie's become more aggressive early in the count, but at the same time, that aggressiveness can work against you.'' -Farrell on Jackie Bradley Jr. swinging at the first pitch following a walk with the bases loaded.

NOTES:

* Drew Pomeranz recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts

 * Since moving to the leadoff spot, Dustin Pedroia has a slash line of .397/.418/.460 in 16 games.

* Pomeranz has yielded two runs or fewer in five consecutive starts.

* On the just-completed road trip, the Red Sox led in all but one game.

* Thursday's loss was the fourth this season in which the Sox allowed two runs or fewer.

 * The past 18 Red Sox losses have come by a combined 37 runs.

* Until Thursday, the Red Sox had won 20 of their past 31 day games.

* The bottom third of the makeshift Red Sox lineup combined to go 2-for-12.

* The Sox missed out on a chance to have an eight-win road trip, which would have been their first since 2011.

STARS:

1) Jake Odorizzi

The Rays started, facing a depleted Red Sox lineup, limited the Sox to a single run over seven innings, allowing just five hits and getting out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam by allowing just one run.

2) Mikie Mahtook

Mahtook was 0-for-34 when facing Drew Pomeranz in the seventh inning, but that didn't stop him from doubling home Steven Souza Jr with what proved to be the winning run.

3) Dustin Pedroia

The Sox couldn't generate much of anything at all offensively, but don't blame Pedroia. The leadoff hitter had three hits and a walk and was on base four times for the Sox.