Padilla's, Morales' strong Sox outings lost in the fray

Padilla's, Morales' strong Sox outings lost in the fray
April 9, 2012, 12:57 am
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DETROIT -- Not everyone in the Red Sox bullpen struggled Sunday.

In fact, two relievers were superb.

First, Vicente Padilla took over for starter Clay Buchholz in the fifth and contributed four scoreless innings, allowing just two singles while striking out four.

Padilla's outing seemed to calm the Sox down and allow them time to take the lead. When the ball was handed to teammate Alfredo Aceves for the bottom of the ninth, Padilla was just three outs away from becoming the winning pitcher in the first Red Sox' win of the 2012 season.

"He knows what he's doing out there," said catcher Kelly Shoppach of Padilla's effort. "It was big for us. For him to go out there and really settle us into the game . . . early on, it wasn't looking like much baseball. He came in and got quick outs and got us off the field and that really helped us a bunch."

The four-inning outing in relief for Padilla was his longest since September 5, 2001.

Even after Aceves spit up a three-run lead on seven pitches in the ninth, the Sox got stellar relief from Franklin Morales.

The lefty entered with Comerica Park rocking after Miguel Cabrera's game-tying heroics, but Morales restored order by retiring the Tigers in order for the final three outs in the ninth.

He then returned for the 10th and, other than a one-out single to pinch-hitter Danny Worth, tossed another scoreless inning.

Together, Padilla and Morales faced 21 hitters and retired 18 of them. The only three hits off the duo were singles and they combined for seven strikeouts without any walks.

Unfortonately for the Red Sox, they weren't on the mound to close out the game in the ninth inning or the 11th.