Harper torments Doubront

Harper torments Doubront
June 9, 2012, 4:39 am
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BOSTON -- It wasn't Felix Doubront's night, that's for sure. What was unfortunate for him, was that he had to deal with Washington Nationals phenom Bryce Harper.

The 19-year-old center-fielder finished the game 3-for-5 with three RBI, two runs scored, and a triple shy of the cycle.

"Harper was amazing," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine afterwards. "Everything he did out there, including catching that ball that Salty hit in the gap. It was the first ball hit hard there, and he came out of nowhere to catch that.

"He hit some pretty good breaking balls off of left-handers, one for a hit to left, and one for a ground-out to short that he almost beat out. He was very impressive."

Doubront struck Harper out in the first inning, but by not having his best stuff, the Nationals' top of the order figured him out after the first time around. Harper smashed a two-run homer to deep right-center in the fourth inning that gave the Nationals a commanding 6-2 lead, and he added the seventh in the sixth inning, putting a ball the other way off Rich Hill.

But by the time Doubront was taken out, even before that seventh run was scored, the damage had already been done.

"Felix was off, obviously," said Valentine. "He wasn't ahead of hitters. He pitched a little more tentatively than he's pitched most of the year. He was working his curve ball early in counts, rather than his two-seamer. He was just a little off tonight, for sure.

"He was working with what he had tonight. Espinosa and Harper gave him some problems."