The Red Sox learned last year that Cody Ross was built to play in Fenway Park, and were given a rude reminder of that fact Friday night as the former Boston outfielder powered the Diamondbacks to a 7-6 win.
For every positive story, however--say, a big night for an outfielder with a chip on his shoulder--there is a negative. And tonight's belongs to the worst possible person: Jon Lester.
An incredibly encouraging July had brought Red Sox to the verge of trusting their left-handed starter once again, if not past it. But just three batters into the night, the fuzzy feelings were wearing thin, courtesy of a two-run rocket shot into the Monster seats by Paul Goldschmidt.
While Lester was not as terrible has he had been in much of his June swoon--that much was apparent in the outs he did record, particularly the strikeouts--when he was off, he was quite off, and Cody Ross made him pay for it, starting in the third. The Red Sox had stormed back on top of the Diamondbacks thanks to a two-run shot from David Ortiz in the first against Arizona starter Randall Delgado, and a pair of second-inning RBI sacrifice flies which made it 4-2, but Ross' RBI ground ball cut the lead down to just one headed into the bottom of the third.
Lester would get through the fourth without any trouble, while the Red Sox loaded the bases against Randall Delgado before letting him off the hook. In the fifth, though, Lester's night would come to an abrupt end. Aaron Hill led off the inning with a double, and while Paul Goldschmidt gave Lester his first out of the inning, three straight RBI hits ensued, including a double from who else but Cody Ross. John Farrell had seen enough, and went to the bullpen with his team now trailing 6-4.
The Red Sox were not completely done however. In the bottom of the sixth, with one man on, Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a deep fly ball to center field. A few feet to the right, and it would've been a game tying homer, but the ball held up just to the left of the bullpens in Fenway's odd little triangle, leaving the Red Sox with just another out. Two pitches later, however, it was Stephen Drew finding the angle, placing his fly ball just to the right of where Salty's ended up, and getting that two-run shot to tie the game.
The tie was short-lived indeed. On came Pedro Beato and, after taking just one pitch for a ball, Cody Ross struck again, providing a perfect reminder of what had made him so good in Fenway Park: a fly ball to left field, very high, and just deep enough to find its way into the seats. The Diamondbacks went up 7-6, and for once, there was no miracle finish awaiting the Red Sox in the ninth. A pair of early singles ultimately amounted to nothing, as Shane Victorino's line drive found a glove, and Dustin Pedroia hit a ground ball back to Brad Ziegler to wrap up the loss.
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