Adrian Gonzalez looked at his watch as he walked out of the clubhouse tonight, ready to head home.
"It's 10:15," he said. "That's beautiful."
Baseball is a much easier game when the starting pitcher takes care of business. Felix Doubront went six innings against the Indians, allowing one run on three hits in a game the Red Sox won, 4-1.
Doubront continued to be the most consistently effective starter in the rotation. He walked two and struck out five.
The Sox would have preferred another inning out of the 24-year-old lefthander, but three relievers each handled one inning without any difficulties. It was the seventh save in nine chances for Alfredo Aceves.
Sox pitchers retired the final 11 Cleveland batters in a row in a game that lasted a tidy two hours and 30 minutes.
“It’s definitely great to see Felix come out and just dominate,” said Cody Ross, whose long home run in the sixth inning helped secure the win. “He was pounding the zone in and out with his fastball. Great command [and] his slider and curveball were great.”
Doubront (3-1) has a 4.45 earned run average and the Red Sox have won five of the seven games he has started. With each start, his confidence grows.
“Every start, they challenge me and I’m trying to do my best and learn from each start,” he said. “I’m learning and I’m getting better. I just need to throw more and that’s it. I’m just waiting for that moment to go more deep in the game.”
A few notes:
• Doubront has 37 strikeouts in 38.1 innings. A lefty with good heat and solid secondary pitches can be very lethal.
• Daisuke Matsuzaka had a poor start for Triple A Pawtucket: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2 HR, 2 HBP, 90 pitches, 54 strikes. It appears he needs at least one more rehab start.
• Andrew Miller retired all three batters he faced in the seventh inning. He has been near perfect in five innings since being activated from the disabled list on May 6, putting two runners on base and not allowing a run.
Miller has simplified his mechanics, working only from the stretch and staying consistent with the angle of his arm. He has thrown 57 pitches since returning, 41 of them strikes.
“You still wonder when you go to the bullpen, but Andrew Miller has been fabulous,” Bobby Valentine said. “He continued his streak of throwing strikes with quality pitches.”
• Dustin Pedroia (2 for 3) has hit safely in 13 straight games and it up to .321. His streak is the longest active in the majors. He has four extra-base hits and 11 RBIs in the 13 games.
• Daniel Nava has reach in eight of 12 plate appearances since being called up. He looks a lot more athletic than he did in 2010 when last he was in the majors.
• A public memorial service for Fenway Park public address announcer Carl Beane will be held on Wednesday at the Sturbridge Host Hotel and Convention Center on 366 Main Street in Sturbridge at 7 p.m.
That's it for tonight. Thanks to everybody for reading today.