August 24, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (31) pitches during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE
It was a game overshadowed more than any other in recent memory by off-the-field happenings, which is a bit unfair since it was such a solid performance. Jon Lester was strong for all but those two early innings, turning in another good start. He came out of the game with a hamstring injury in the eighth, but it didn't seem terribly serious at the time. Hopefully this doesn't interrupt his run of positive outings.
The offense, meanwhile, was greatly boosted by the return of David Ortiz, who took the first two pitches he saw and knocked them into the outfield for a single and a double, the former being worth two runs.
The rest of the top three were also fixtures on the basepaths, with Pedro Ciriaco providing yet another clutch hit in the seventh to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead. It's one of the crazier pitches you'll see anyone hit, boring in on Ciriaco's shoetops as he pulled his knees back and golfed at it. Not a recipe for success for most guys, but Pedro...he just keeps getting it done with these weird swings of his.
Anyways, Ciriaco came through, and the bullpen got the job done, giving the Sox their first win in five games, and getting Andrew Bailey his first save in a Red Sox uniform. It was a solid, quiet game of baseball on a night that was anything but quiet.