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Boston is beginning to inch their way back to .500 baseball and thanks to a timely series against Baltimore, they should get a little closer. They started the weekend strong with a 4-3 win over the O’s.
It all came down to the eighth inning when Adrian Beltre came to the plate with the bases loaded. He got some help from Baltimore pitcher Matt Albers, who surrendered his only walk. It just so happened to force in the game-winning run.
The glimpse of a bright future was David Ortiz, who hit his first home run of the season in the second inning. Ortiz previously sat out the last two games, before batting sixth in the lineup on Friday. David picked up the slack for Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis, who combined to go 0-8.
Starter Jon Lester went 5.2 innings and didn’t allow a run while striking out seven. Daniel Bard gave up two runs and Hideki Okajima blew the lead after facing one batter, before the Beltre walk gave Boston the go-ahead run. Manny Delcarmen’s flawless inning of work allowed him to collect the W, and Jonathan Papelbon earned his fourth save of the season.
The Red Sox have now won three of their last four games, but are still fourth in the AL East, 4.5 games behind the Rays and Yankees. On the other side, Baltimore is in the midst of a four-game skid and are a dismal 2-15 on the season, the worst record in baseball.
The Sox will look to continue their recent success on Saturday night at 7:10. John Lackey takes the mound against Brian Matusz.