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Sox take offense


Sox take offense
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 trailing by a touchdown in the second inning last night and said, ``Enough.''

They then unleashed the kind of attack that formed the basis of their ``we won't miss Manny'' 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 Wednesday with a 10-8 comeback win against the O's last night.

``That could potentially be a season-changing game in a lot of aspects,'' said outfielder Jason Bay, ``whether it's the offense getting going or getting one more win instead of one more loss.''

Offensive stars were everywhere, starting with J.D. Drew (homer, triple) and including 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.

``It wasn't very easy, but we gave ourselves a chance to win and ended up winning,'' manager Terry Francona said.

The Red Sox took the lead on Bay's sacrifice fly in the sixth and the bullpen made it stand, tossing six shutout innings in relief of Brad Penny, who felt he had good stuff but was tagged for eight runs in three innings.

Nick Markakis struck the big blow, sitting on a curveball and blasting a grand slam to complete the seven-run second. Penny also walked five.

``I felt great,'' Penny said. ``I haven't had that kind of stuff in a while. The walks killed me tonight.''

Fortunately for the Red Sox , Guthrie wasn't much better. After being staked to the 7-0 lead, he gave four runs right back in the second, two coming on Bay's blast to right field. The others were aided by some luck in the form of a Jason Varitek single that hit the second base bag, a Jacoby Ellsbury blooper that ticked off the glove of charging center fielder Adam Jones, and a Pedroia infield single on which he beat Guthrie to the bag by milliseconds.

Drew's homer leading off the third cut the deficit to 7-5, and after another Baltimore run, the Sox tied things in the fifth. After an Aubrey Huff error on Varitek's grounder kept the inning alive, Green chased Guthrie by launching an 0-2 slider to deep center.

``I was looking for a fastball,'' Green said. ``He got me on fastballs my first two at-bats and I thought, `Why would he change?' But he did.''

Following 2 2/3 scoreless innings from Manny Delcarmen, the Orioles threatened in the eighth, but Hideki Okajima struck out Huff with runners on second and third to escape the jam.

The Red Sox' second straight victory - before a postwar Fenway record crowd of 38,266 - improved their record to 4-6 and helped ease the sting of a 2-6 start.

For that, they had their offense to thank.

``Today was a big day for us,'' Bay said. ``Down 7-0, we chip away here and there. I don't think it's fair to think that every guy in the lineup is going to be firing at all times. Early on, obviously, we had more guys not doing well than doing well, but we have the ability to have two or three guys not on their game and still put up runs.''

- jtomase@bostonherald.com


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

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