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News » Game was odd, but worked out in end

Game was odd, but worked out in end

Game was odd, but worked out in end
We've all seen enough Baseball here to know why games can become so strange in this ballpark.

The configurations, the angles, the wind, the air, the opponent being psyched out by the atmosphere and electricity. You can add last night's 10-8 Red Sox win over the Orioles to the collection of classics that don't make much sense.

The Orioles put up seven runs in the second inning against Brad Penny . . . and they lost?

``If you had a recipe for the way you come back and win a game, this would be it,'' said Jason Bay.

The left fielder was referring to the manner in which Sox hitters stayed with their game plan of looking at a lot of pitches even though they easily could have been frustrated. It's almost like a football team trailing, 14-0, in the first quarter but sticking with its running game until things suddenly open up.

Meanwhile, the bullpen worked six scoreless innings after Penny's horrendous outing, enabling the offense to ``chip away,'' in Bay's words.

Still, the Sox' Nos. 3 and 4 hitters - David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis - were a combined 0 for 8. Ortiz's early struggles have been monumental. He drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, but he struck out with the bases loaded in the seventh with a chance to break the game wide open. Youkilis hit into a bases-loaded double play in the seventh.

Ortiz, who is hitting just .158, missed a couple of pitches by a smidgen that he could have deposited into outer space when he was on his game.

``I think things are coming,'' Ortiz said. ``I really do.''

Youkilis was hit in the head with a Danys Baez pitch but got right back up and went to first base.

``It scared me,'' said Dustin Pedroia. ``He's hitting .500 [actually .425], so we need him in the lineup.''

J.D. Drew reached base five times - a home run, a triple, and three walks.

``There were so many things that happened in that game,'' said Drew. ``It was exhausting. There were so many guys on the bases. But five times on base - I'll take that. But it's just one of those games where you get down by seven runs and our bullpen did such a great job that it kept us alive. These are the types of games we need after the road trip we had. [Tim Wakefield] got us going in that last game and we come home and this is where we expect to do our damage. To have a game like this where we just don't start out that well and then pour it on like we did and pull this out, that's pretty nice. It gives this team a good feeling.''

Little by little, the comeback unfolded. Four in the second, one in the third, three in the fifth, two in the sixth. Manny Delcarmen, Ramon Ram?rez, Hideki Okajima, and Jonathan Papelbon kept mowing down an Orioles lineup that plastered Penny. Nick Markakis hit a grand slam and has become one of the hitters the Sox must neutralize to beat the Orioles. Markakis came up with runners at first and second with one out in the eighth and Okajima got him to fly out deep to center. It was a key out.

Even the attendance had an odd twist. The Red Sox announced the crowd at 38,266 as the largest in the post-World War II era. Yet at various points, many of the expensive seats between first base and home plate were empty. In the seventh inning of a two-run game in which the home team had mounted a comeback from a seven-run deficit, half the place was empty. Where did everyone go? It wasn't cold. It wasn't uncomfortable. The game-time temperature was 65 degrees.

It wasn't as if the Red Sox were down by seven very long. If they had been, you could understand the crowd becoming disinterested. But the Sox put up four runs in the bottom of the second. Bay got things going with a two-run homer against Orioles ace Jeremy Guthrie.

``Usually with a seven-run lead and Guthrie on the mound, that's pretty safe,'' said Pedroia. ``But I think Jason really got things going for us. I think when he hit that, we began to think, `OK, it's early, we can get this back.' ''

They did, ending another chapter in this classic Fenway story.

Nick Cafardo can be reached at

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 18, 2009

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