|Tom Brady Appeal Won’t Be Heard Before Wednesday||Kobe Bryant Retirement Happens After Next Season||VIDEO: Red Sox Finally Call Up Rusney Castillo, Who Drops Fly Ball||Connelly’s Top Ten: Interesting SI Article From 1999 About Doctoring Footballs…|
So I guess it’s not just the Red Sox versus the Orioles anymore. The Sox are trying a new game: how many ways can you try to lose, yet beat the Orioles again? The Red Sox figured out yet another way on Saturday night against the boys from Baltimore, hibernating for the first six innings before exploding for six runs in a 7-6 win.
John Lackey got the nod, looking to recover from his horrible start the previous outing against the Rays (3.1 innings, 9 hits, 8 ER) in that very forgetful series. He pitched pretty well on Saturday, scattering 10 hits over seven innings with just three earned runs allowed to get the win.
The win didn’t come easy though, as for a while, it seemed the Red Sox wouldn’t be able to muster anything off of O’s hurler Brian Matusz. Through six innings, the Sox had just one run (on a Jason Varitek HR, of course) and five hits.
Then, the seventh inning came around, and O’s manager Dave Trembley left Matusz in just a little too long. Matusz walked Bill Hall and allowed a single to Jeremy Hermida. Trembley pulled Matusz in favor of Matt Albers, who did little to help the Baltimore cause. After retiring pinch-hitter David Ortiz (who hit for Darnell McDonald, A.K.A. Superman), Albers surrendered a go-ahead, three-run HR to Marco Scutaro.
The Sox weren’t done there. Dustin Pedroia doubled and Victor Martinez walked, ending Albers’ evening. Trembley called for Kam Mickolio, who then proceded to allow another three-run HR, this time to Kevin Youkilis as the Sox grabbed a 7-3 lead.
The bullpen has had better days though, as they collectively allowed seven hits over the final two innings and nearly blew the game. Spotted a four-run lead in the ninth inning, Ramon Ramirez (who shut the door to one batter in the eighth) allowed a solo HR to Adam Jones and a Nick Markakis double before being pulled. Terry Francona called in Jonathan Papelbon to save the day…or so it seemed. He allowed three straight hits without recording an out, which resulted and two more Baltimore runs.
Then, Papelbon actually entered the game. He struck out Ty Wigginton (who entered the ninth with a 4-4 night) and some guy named Rhyne Hughes.
So there you have it. The Sox allowed 17 hits in nine innings, but fortunately for the good guys, Baltimore managed to strand 11 runners on base and lose yet again to fall to a major-league worst 2-16 on the season.
I know Kevin Youkilis hit the big three-run HR, but I think it’s time we give credit where it’s due. Varitek, the 38-year-old backup catcher, has only played seven games this season, but is currently out-homering Youk, and every other Red Sox player not named Dustin Pedroia.
With four HRs, he’s also out-homering A-Rod, Justin Morneau, Mark Teixeira, and countless others.
Scott Schoeneweis allowed two hits in .2 innings. Ramon Ramirez allowed two hits and two runs in .2 innings. Jonathan Papelon allowed three hits and one run (and two other inherited runners to score) in .2 innings. Yuck.
“We had a couple of home runs,” Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said. “But they had theirs with men on.”
W: John Lackey (2-1)
L: Matt Albers (0-3)
SV: Jonathan Papelbon (5)