There's a good way to make a good impression on a new group of fans when you've just been traded there, and the folks aren't sure if it was a good deal or not.
Go deep in your first game.
That's just what Adam LaRoche did last night in the eighth inning. The Sox had a 5-2 lead, and LaRoche took Orioles pitcher Mark Hendrickson into the Monster seats in left to ice the game at 7-2, and kept Jonathan Papelbon in the bullpen in the ninth. It was LaRoche's 13th home run overall of 2009.
Jon Lester was simply brilliant again, and kept his perfect record lifetime against Baltimore intact at 9-0. Lester went 7 1/3 innings, struck out nine. He had only one shaky inning, the fourth, when the Orioles scored two runs.
David Ortiz cracked his 13th home run, a three-run shot to dead center in the first, and that was all Lester needed. they added another run in the second to make it 4-0.
Lester got a standing ovation when his night completed in the eighth. Daniel bard and Ramon Ramirez finished up, and the Red Sox are now 1 1/2 games back, as New York's winning streak came to an end at 8 earlier in the afternoon. Tampa Bay kept pace with the Red Sox, coming from eight runs down in Toronto to beat the Blue Jays in Toronto. It was the biggest comeback in their team history.
This afternoon, Jim Rice will join Rickey Henderson in being inducted with all of MLB's immortals at Cooperstown. MLB Network will be carrying the proceedings live and I'll be watching. The remote will be getting a workout, going back and forth between Cooperstown and Fenway all afternoon.
Congrats, Jim Ed.