“DIARY OF A WINNER”


 

WILY MO PENA

A POWERFUL CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM
Wily Mo Pena slugs the Sox to a victory

April 26, 2007 ... Wily Mo Pena knocked a 430-foot grand slam that made Josh Beckett the majors' first five-game winner this season after a 5-2 victory over the Orioles.

The watchword for Beckett was patience. Three times last night, he gave up a leadoff double. Brian Roberts doubled, stole third, and scored on an infield out in the first, Baltimore's first lead in 27 innings. Ramon Hernandez doubled to open the third and scored on Melvin Mora's two-out double. In each of those innings, the Orioles scored just once. The third time, when Mora doubled to open the sixth, he did not advance.

Pitching coach John Farrell said he and Terry Francona discussed sending Beckett out for the ninth and a chance for a complete game. Instead, they summoned Jonathan Papelbon, who like Beckett has a perfect record for the month except his streak includes last April, too (17 saves in 17 chances, seven this season).

Beckett came into the game with the best run support in the majors. The Sox had scored 32 runs while he was in the game in his first four starts, an average of 11.68 runs per nine innings. In his last start against the Yankees, he was tagged for two runs in each of his first two innings, but by the end of the fourth, the Sox had seven runs on the board.

Tonight, he had to wait until the sixth before the Sox offense kicked in against lefty Adam Loewen, who held them to one hit in the first five innings and induced Ortiz to tap back to the mound after he'd walked the bases loaded with two outs in the third.

The Orioles had runners in scoring position in six of Beckett's eight innings, but he did not break. The O's were just 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position, which is one way they've managed to lose 17 of 20 to the Sox since the start of the 2006 season.

The Sox had just one hit in eight chances with RISP, but that was Pena's slam deep into the left-center-field seats.

For Sox fans, it should become less surprising that Beckett is reeling off wins. Hanley Ramirez may be hitting .366 in Florida, but with Beckett sitting at 5-0, the lamentations over that trade have quieted so far.

Though Francona had mentioned the disabled list as a possibility for injured center fielder Coco Crisp Wednesday, it appears Crisp won't need the recovery time to come back from the tightness in his oblique that has cost him the starting lineup the last five games.  Francona had said before the game the team would evaluate Crisp after he worked out harder yesterday, making sure no stiffness occurred as he sat in the dugout during the game. Crisp said there were no ill effects after the prolonged workout.

Jon Lester was scheduled to have tests in Boston to check on his progress from ana plastic large cell lymphoma. Results are not expected for a few days. Barring another rainout, which bumped his scheduled start Wednesday, Lester is on tap to pitch his first game for Pawtucket tonight against Buffalo.

With the series sweep, the Red Sox are now 9-2 at Camden Yards since the start of 2006. They are 17-3 against the Orioles overall over that same stretch. 

Mike Lowell's eighth-inning double extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Lowell came home on Wily Mo Pena's grand slam.  Josh Beckett tied the Red Sox record for wins in April with his fifth. Babe Ruth (1917) and Pedro Martinez (2000) share the mark. Jonathan Papelbon remained perfect for his career in April, running his saves record to 17 for 17 in the month. It was his seventh save of 2007. He has never allowed a run against the Orioles.

 

at Camden Yards (Baltimore) ...

R

H

E

BOSTON RED SOX

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

4

0

 

5

6

0

BALTIMORE ORIOLES

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

2

8

1

W-Josh Beckett (5-0)
S-Jonathan Papelbon (7)
L-Chris Ray (2-2)
Attendance – 33,522

2B-Pena (Bost), Lowell (Bost), Roberts (Balt),
Hernandez (Balt), Mora (2)(Balt), Markakis (Balt)
HR-Pena (Bost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Julio Lugo ss 4 0 0 .234  

 

Kevin Youkilis 1b 3 1 1 .274  

 

David Ortiz dh 4 0 1 .288  

 

Manny Ramirez lf 3 1 0 .192  

 

J.D. Drew rf 4 0 1 .314  

 

Mike Lowell 3b 4 1 1 .316  

 

Jason Varitek c 3 1 0 .237  

 

Wily Mo Pena cf 4 1 2 .172  

 

Dustin Pedroia 2b 2 0 0 .184  

 

Alex Cora ph/2b 1 0 0 .350  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  

 

Josh Beckett 8 8 2 0 3  
  Jon Papelbon 1 0 0 1 1  

 

 

         

 

 

 

2007 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX 14 7 -

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays 11 10 3

 

 

Baltimore Orioles 11 11 3 1/2

 

 

Tampa Bay Rays 9 13 5 1/2

 

 

New York Yankees 8 12 5 1/2