TOO MANY INJURIES TO STAY COMPETITIVE ...
homers lift up the Red Sox
April 24, 2010 ...
Three home runs were needed as the Sox survived another bout of shaky
pitching and defense to beat the woebegone Orioles, 7-6, before
38,017 at Fenway Park. A six-run seventh, their biggest inning of the
season, gave the Sox a 7-3 lead and a seeming respite from what has
been a series of tumultuous and tight games. Marco Scutaro hit a
three-run homer before Kevin Youkilis did the same three batters
later. Both home runs were to left field and gave the Red Sox 24 on
the season. Only the Blue Jays (26) and White Sox (25) have more.
Francona hoped to give Jonathan Papelbon a night off. But after Adam Jones
homered and Nick Markakis doubled to center off Ramon Ramirez, the closer was
called in. Singles by Miguel Tejada, Matt Wieters, and Luke Scott cut the lead
to one run. But Papelbon struck out Ty Wigginton and Rhyne Hughes to finally end
the game. The Orioles lost despite 17 hits, four by Wigginton and two by Hughes
in his major league debut.
The Red Sox
have won four of their last five games and can sweep the Orioles this afternoon.
At 8-10, their poor start isn't forgotten. But the Sox are starting to peer
around the corner. The 2-16 Orioles have lost five straight and 14 of their last
15 games. The Orioles have lost 10 straight against the Sox and are 1-15 at
Fenway Park since midway through the 2008 season.
lefthander Brian Matusz took a 3-1 lead into the seventh inning, having allowed
only five hits, including Jason Varitek's fourth home run. The Sox loaded their
lineup with right-handed hitters against Matusz. Varitek was the catcher with
fellow switch-hitter Victor Martinez the designated hitter. Bill Hall started in
right for the first time and Mike Lowell was at third.
Such was the
respect the Red Sox had for Matusz, despite last night being only his 12th start
in the majors. After Hall worked a walk and Hermida singled, Matt Albers (0-3)
came on and he immediately gave up the home run to Scutaro. Three batters later
Kam Mickolio left a fastball over the plate that Youkilis hammered for his third
John Lackey (2-1) was seeking atonement after allowing eight runs on nine hits
over only 3 1/3 innings against Tampa Bay in his last start. The right-hander
was better last night, giving up three runs over seven innings. Lackey allowed
10 hits, walked two, and struck out three in seven innings. He threw 72 of his
111 pitches for strikes.
handed the Orioles their first run. Wieters led off the second with a single to
left, the ball skipping right past Lowell at third. Scott followed with a ball
off the wall. Hermida, who has had problems in left field, was too close to the
scoreboard and the ball ricocheted over his head. Hermida stumbled to the grass
trying to make the play and Wieters scored. Singles by Wigginton and Hughes
pushed the Orioles' lead to 2-0. Hughes was called up from Triple A Norfolk
earlier in the day. His parents and brother made it to Fenway Park in time to
see the game. Wigginton homered off Lackey in the sixth inning, giving the
Orioles a 3-1 lead, one their bullpen could not hold.