For only the second time in 17 games, the Boston Red Sox lost at Fenway Park in Tuesday night’s game to the Baltimore Orioles 10-6. In a rematch of last weeks pitchers duel between Josh Beckett and Daniel Cabrera that last 13 innings, fans at Fenway saw the exact opposite in what some would even call a slugfest. The two lineups combined for 23 hits and 16 runs in a game that lasted 3 hours and 27 minutes.
Aubrey Huff led the O’s lineup crushing 4 hits on the night including a go-ahead 2 RBI single in the 7th inning off of Hideki Okajima. Coming into the game, Okajima had retired Huff 6 out of the 7 times they’d faced each other, with three strike outs.
“He threw a couple of heaters that I couldn’t get to that were pretty well placed today,” said Huff. “He left me a changeup up a little bit. Other than that, we’ve been patient against him.”
The Sox jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning but did strand two runners on base and ground into a double-play in the inning, limiting their chances to do any further damage.
Beckett was unable to hold the 1-0 lead for long, surrendering 4 runs in the top of the 2nd inning. He allowed three doubles in the inning while walking and hitting a batter as well. After that frame, he was able to settle down a bit, pitching through the 6th inning not allowing any more runs while retiring 9 of the final 10 batters he faced.
The Sox chipped away at the 4-1 deficit by plating two runs in the 3rd inning. They loaded the bases with no outs but were unable to come up with a big hit. Mike Lowell and Kevin Youkilis both grounded into fielder’s choices, which allowed for the Boston runs to come home.
In the 5th inning, Dustin Pedroia led off with a walk and J.D. Drew followed him up be blasting his 9th home run of the year over the visitor’s bullpen into the right field bleachers. Manny Ramirez then belted his 15th home run of the year over the Monster for back-to-back shots to put the Sox ahead 6-4. Ramirez has now homered in 4 consecutive games against Baltimore.
Okajima was again unable to shut down the Orioles in the 7th inning. He allowed three runs on two hits and two walks to put the Orioles ahead 7-6. They would add three more runs in the 9th inning off of Craig Hansen to put the game out of reach. One of the runs was unearned at the hands of a Dustin Pedroia error. During an attempted double play, Alex Cora threw a rocket to Pedroia at 2nd and he was unable to come up with the ball securely allowing everyone to be safe.
Cora, playing in place of the struggling Julio Lugo at short stop, had a particularly rough game at the plate. He went 0-3 and grounded into two double plays. The double plays both followed failed attempts to lay down sacrifice bunts.
Tonight, the Red Sox send Bartolo Colon to the hill to pitch against Baltimore’s Garrett Olson. Both starters have above average numbers thus far. Colon’s record stands at 3-1 with a 3.91 ERA and Olson is 5-1 with a 3.86 ERA. Olson faced Boston on May 31st pitching 5 innings while allowing only 2 runs. He did not factor into the decision in a game the Sox would eventually win 6-3. Colon faced the Orioles on June 1st and earned the win going 6 innings with 5 strike outs in Boston’s 9-4 win.
The final game of the homestand and series on Thursday has been moved from a 7:05pm start to a 6:05pm first pitch because of the NBA Finals.