Red Sox Opener in Seattle

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Crooked Number. Finally.

The Red Sox returned to Fenway Park last night to start a three-game series with the Orioles, who are 1-14 on the road against the AL East.

It was just the tonic the struggling Sox needed, as they won a hard-fought 3-1 game and it ended the Red Sox' losing streak at five games.

Baltimore jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second, on a sacrifice fly that occurred because jason varitek overthrew second base on a stolen base attempt. Tek has simply been absymal on SB attempts this season. He has thrown out just 7 runners in 80 attempts. Ouch.

Brad Penny was really solid last night. He allowed just that unearned run. The Red Sox had cahnces early, but couldn't cash in. They left 5 on in the first 3 innings.The Sox finally got on the board in the fourth, as J.D. Drew finally ended a miserable losing streak at 0-for-25 with a single. Mike Lowell doubled behind him. Varitek singled Drew in, and Jed Lowrie hit a sacrifice fly to make it 2-1. It was the first time the Sox scored multiple runs in an inning since last Friday, a span of 52 innings.

The Sox added another run in the fifth, and it looked like they'd add another in the seventh, as with two out Jacoby Ellsbury hit a ground-rule double into the Triangle. It was a bad break, as it surely would have been a triple. Dustin Pedroia singled to right and I assumed, "4-1." But Nick Markakis fired a strike to the plate and gunned down Ellsbury. Markakis continues to be one of those players I would love to see in a Red Sox uniform one day. He now leads the AL in outfield assists with 11.

Jonathan Papelbon came in for the save and it was once again another episode of "Heart Attack Theater." He gave up back-to-back singles and a walk with one out. So, Papelbon reeled back and struck out Luke Scott and Melvin Mora to finish off the game and got his 25th save. This season has been a bizarre one for Pap. His walk total continues to climb, as does the number of men he's put on base this season. He has faced the opposition 8 times with the bases loaded, and struck them out 7 times. (Or as my dad loves to call it, "A John Franco Special." Pap has to add some melodrama to the ninth inning, the way Franco always seemed to in his Mets days.)

New York won again against the A's last night, so the Red Sox remain 2 1/2 back in the East. Jon Lester takes the mound tonight at Fenway.

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