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News » Sox take offense 2009-04-18


Sox take offense 2009-04-18


Sox take offense 2009-04-18
RED SOX 10, Orioles 8

The recipe for ending the Red Sox' offensive slump turned out to be simple, albeit unorthodox:

Spot the Orioles seven runs.

Unable to score for most of the young season, the Red Sox awoke with a start in the second inning last night trailing by a touchdown and said, ``Enough.''

Over the next five innings, they unleashed the kind of attack that formed the basis of their ``we won't miss Manny'' spring training mantra, pounding Orioles ace Jeremy Guthrie, capitalizing on defensive miscues and letting 'er rip.

By the time the carnage was complete, the Sox had earned their second straight rousing victory, following Tim Wakefield's near no-hitter of the Athletics on Wednesday in Oakland with a 10-8 win against the O's last night at Fenway Park.

Offensive stars were everywhere, starting with J.D. Drew (homer, triple) and including Jason Bay (two-run homer), Dustin Pedroia (three hits) and even defensive whiz Nick Green, whose two-run double with two outs in the fifth completed the comeback from 7-0 down to all square at 8-8.

The Red Sox took the lead when Bay's sacrifice fly scored Pedroia in the sixth. Mike Lowell added an insurance run with a single that plated Kevin Youkilis, who showed off his toughness by getting drilled in the head by a 93 mph Danys Baez fastball, only to pop up and take first like he had been grazed on the shoelace.

The offensive explosion helped overcome a brutal outing from Brad Penny, who was lifted after allowing a leadoff walk in the fourth. He was touched for six hits and eight runs in three-plus innings, walking five in a start disturbingly reminiscent of his lost 2008 with the Dodgers.

Fortunately for the Red Sox , Guthrie wasn't much better. After Nick Markakis' grand slam staked Guthrie to the 7-0 lead, he gave four runs right back in the second, two coming on Bay's blast to right field.

The inning also was aided by some luck. Jason Varitek's single bounced off the second base bag. Jacoby Ellsbury's blooper ticked off the glove of charging center fielder Adam Jones. And Pedroia beat out an infield single by diving into the bag just fractions of a second ahead of Guthrie covering.

The Sox kept chipping away thereafter. Drew homered leading off the third to make it 7-5, and after Baltimore added an apparent insurance run, the Sox tied things in the fifth.

The inning began with outs by David Ortiz and Youkilis before Drew tripled to center. Bay and Lowell then walked before Varitek reached on an error by first baseman Aubrey Huff, which scored Drew. Though it was Baltimore's only charged miscue, the Orioles had trouble fielding all night.

Up stepped Green, who is playing only because of a wrist injury to starter Jed Lowrie that may require season-ending surgery. Green already had made a beautiful play to end the fourth, pirouetting to gun down Luke Scott on a ball up the middle.

He then ended Guthrie's night with a booming double to center, tying the score and setting the stage for the go-ahead runs in the sixth.

From there it was up to the bullpen to protect the lead. The Orioles threatened in the eighth, but Hideki Okajima struck out Huff with runners on second and third to escape the jam.

All that remained was closing out the game, which Jonathan Papelbon did after a Lowell error brought the tying run to the plate, the win sending the record crowd of 38,266 home happy.

For one night, anyway, the offense was back.

- jtomase@bostonherald.com


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 18, 2009

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