Jon Lester was once again the Red Sox stopper, as he went seven strong innings last night in Baltimore as the Red Sox opened the nine-game road trip with a much-needed win, 6-3.
Lester is now 3-0 with an incredible 0.29 ERA in four games following series in which the Red Sox were swept. (Granted this was just a two-game one the Red Sox just came off of after the Friday night rainout.) He allowed just a home run to Aubrey Huff and was never in any real trouble the entire night. He got his 12th win of 2008.
Jason Bay and Jason Varitek both went deep in the second inning, and the reaction from the crowd was even louder than I would have thought. It sure sounded like about 75% of the crowd of just over 40,000 were Red Sox fans at Camden Yards.
The game stayed 2-1 until the eighth when Bay went deep for the second time in the night with David Ortiz on first to make it 4-1. But Manny Delcarmen struggled after getting the first two outs of the eighth. He walked two, and Jonathan Papelbon came on and gave up a double to Huff to make it 4-3. But he got the last out to keep the lead.
The Sox tacked on two in the ninth, as Ortiz doubled in Dustin Pedroia and Bay's infield single drove in Papi to make it 6-3. papelbon got Baltimore 1-2-3 in the ninth for his 33rd save of the season. Tampa Bay won last night, so the Red Sox remain 4 1/2 games back.
In today's Boston Globe, speculation is that the Red Sox are looking at bringing back 2006 All-Star Mark Loretta as infield insurance, and they also have interest in catcher David Ross, who was released by the Cincinnati Reds yesterday. And also, Curt Schilling said on WEEI radio and on his blog yesterday that he maybe leaning toward retiring, but hasn't made the final decision yet.