After taking two of three from the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend, the Boston Red Sox continued their road trip as they rolled into Baltimore Monday night to begin a three-game series with the Orioles. They would do so without David Ortiz, as he and Kevin Gregg will sit out the entire series for their brawl just before the All-Star break.
As it turns out, the Red Sox would not need Ortiz in this one, as they put up 15 runs despite his absence.including, eight that came in a long eighth inning as they defeated the Baltimore Orioles 15-10. Here's how we got there:
This game featured a not particularly great pitching matchup, as Tim Wakefield took the ball for Boston looking for win #199 against Brad Bergesen. Not only would he fall short, but he actually almost cost the Red Sox the game.
After giving up two runs on an RBI-triple by Derrek Lee in the first inning, Wakefield was handed a 6-2 lead to begin the fifth. With only one out in the inning (should have been two, thanks to a dropped third strike on Felix Pie) J.J. Hardy took Wake out of the yard for a two-run home run to put the O's within two. After a Nick Markakis gound out, Wake served up another homer, this one to Adam Jones. The lead was now just 6-5, Red Sox.
Wake continued to struggle as he allowed two straight singles and a walk to load the bases. Nolan Reimold brought two runners in on an RBI double to claim the lead, 7-6. This would be all for Wakefield, who only lasted four and two thirds and gave up seven runs, three of them earned. Not a pretty outing from a guy who is our third starter right now.
The Red Sox did get six runs early off Bergeson including a pair of RBI singles by Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez and home runs by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Josh Reddick. However thanks to Wakefield's outburst in the fifth, they found themselves trailing late in the game.
In the seventh inning, the Red Sox scored the game tying run thanks to a Kevin Youkilis RBI single, the score was now 7-7 heading into the eighth inning. And oh, what an inning it was.
With a seven-all deadlock, the Red Sox managed to load the bases, setting up another golden opportunity for Dustin Pedroia to give the Red Sox the lead. He did just that as he ripped an RBI double to right field to score two runs. The Sox reclaimed the lead, 9-7. But they were only getting started.
With two on and one out, O's skipper Buck Showalter made the decision to intentionally walk Adrian Gonzalez to load up the bases for Kevin Youkilis. As he's done so many times this year, Youk took advantage of the opportunity by driving in two more runs on an RBI single. Carl Crawford contributed nicely in his return to the Red Sox, as he singled home Gonzalez with his second hit of the night to increase the lead to 12-7, bases still loaded.
To cap the big inning, Darnell McDonald emptied the bases via an RBI double that scored Youkilis, Josh Reddick, and Carl Crawford to make the Red Sox lead grow to 15-7. McDonald is slowly starting to show life, as he knows that he may not be on the team after the July 31 trade deadline.
The Orioles did scratch across three more runs off reliever Randy Williams in the bottom of the eighth, but it was too little too late for Baltimore. Franklin Morales continued his solid play of late, as he closed out the ninth by striking out the side, giving the Red Sox the win, 15-10.
The Red Sox will look to win their eighth consecutive game against the Orioles and claim the series, as they will send Kyle Weiland to the hill up against Jeremy Guthrie. First pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Camden Yards.