Outfield defense earns praise in Sox win

Outfield defense earns praise in Sox win
August 26, 2013, 1:15 am
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LOS ANGELES -- In a game in which the Red Sox never trailed and won by a margin of seven runs, it would seem that defense wasn't much of a factor.
But it was.
A number of Red Sox players and manager John Farrell went out of their way to salute the glove work behind Jake Peavy's complete game three-hitter in an 8-1 victory for the Red Sox.
Tops on the list was a play made by right fielder Shane Victorino. In the bottom of the fourth, the Dodgers' Skip Schumaker hit a line drive to the gap in right-center.
It seemed like a sure double, which would have given the Dodgers a leadoff runner at second. But Victorino raced over to cut off the ball and hold Schumaker to a single.
Peavy then retired the next three hitters in a row and Schumaker never advanced.
"That's the benefit of having a center fielder with that kind of speed and reaction time in right field," said Farrell. "Whether it's a ball to either side of him or anything going over his head, we've seen it time and time again. He's saved our pitchers a lot of pitches thrown."
"Shane's been outstanding," said Peavy. "The plays he made, and the play (Jacoby Ellsbury) made coming in on Schumaker's ball (in the seventh), they keep you in rhythm. When you get guys on (base), especially in front of their big guys, you're asking for trouble.
"(If Victorino doesn't) cut that ball off there, you're going to have to work a little bit harder."
"I don't know if you can ever overlook outfield defense," said Farrell. "We've been blessed to see a guy in right field who's been outstanding. His routes, his reads, he's made some acrobatic catches. He cuts balls off, he's got an excellent release and throwing arm. He and (Ellsbury) cover a lot of ground, they can save a lot of pitches thrown and record some key outs."