John Lackey came alive last night at Fenway Park, letting up six hits through eight innings with ten K’s to lift his Boston Red Sox to a 6-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners. Marco Scuturo led the offensive campaign with two hits and four RBI’s. Adrian Beltre and JD Drew were also able to pitch in with two hits apiece. Jonathon Papelbon struck out two during his time on the hill in the ninth inning to notch the save. The Sox remain 5 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays in the competitive AL East.
With the home stretch of the regular season just around the corner, the front office took action and claimed Detroit Tigers outfielder Johnny Damon off waivers. Damon played a key role in the Red Sox World Series run in 2004. He then re-located to the Bronx where he won another title with the New York Yankees in 2009. There are certainly mixed opinions as to whether he will be welcomed back to Fenway with open arms.
Catcher Jason Varitek spoke out on possibly reuniting with Damon, saying “Johnny’s a special player. He’s pushing on Hall of Fame-type numbers. You add that Johnny’s great in the clubhouse, he’s great on the field and he’s one hell of a teammate.” The Sox are scheduled to face the Mariners two more times before they travel to Tropicana Field to matchup with the Rays. Boston Red Sox tickets are now available!
UPDATE: Damon has rejected the Red Sox offer and will remain in Detroit for the rest of the regular season.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona had Victor Martinez on the bench until bottom of the seventh inning last night against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway. Called in to pinch hit in a 4-4 tie-game situation; Martinez hit a drive to left center for a double with the bases loaded to provide Boston with the lift they needed to notch the win. Seemed like a good decision after all.
“I think he enjoys that situation, for sure,” said Francona. ”He’d rather have been starting, but it’s nice that on nights he hasn’t started, he’s sitting there ready to hit.” The bats were on all night for the Red Sox, as Pedroia, Youkilis, Ortiz, Bay and Varitek all showcased multi-hit games.
Paul Byrd threw for five innings to start for Boston and gave up two runs on six hits, leaving the win for Billy Wagner to snag in the seventh. In his first career AL win Wagner struck out two in his one inning of work. Papelbon came to help finish the bottom of the eighth and took control again in the ninth. “They were turning it up a little bit, so we had to go out there and battle,” said Wagner. We had some big hits when we needed them to give us a lead, and the bullpen held on and did what they were supposed to do.”
The Sox will now look to start their three-game weekend match up with the Tampa Bay Rays, a team that was just swept by the AL East leading New York Yankees. John Lester (12-7) will get the nod to start on the hill tomorrow against Tampa Bay’s James Shields (9-10).
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