Over the past month, the Boston Red Sox have watched Jon Lester hurl a no hitter, Manny Ramirez blast career home run number 500 and to add to the list of milestones, Wednesday Bartolo Colon hurled career victory number 150 in the Red Sox 6-3 victory at Fenway Park over the Baltimore Orioles. The win improves Colon’s season record to 4-1 and puts the Red Sox at a 41-27 overall mark, good enough for first place in the AL East.
“I don’t really think about the wins,” Colon, who signed a minor league contract in spring training, said through a translator. “Every start I do, I’m starting to feel a little better.”
In only five starts this season, Colon has more than half as many wins as he tallied over the previous two years with the Los Angeles Angels where he went a combined 7-13 over 29 starts with a 5.72 ERA. So far this season, the pitcher fans have seen in Colon resembles that of the Cy Young winner in 2005 that won 21 games.
“He’s been tremendous for us,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “To get a guy you didn’t have when spring training started and all of a sudden he’s right in the middle of the rotation helping us win games, it’s been big.”
It also didn’t hurt that the Red Sox put up five run on the scoreboard in the 1st inning to provide Colon with a nice cushion to work with throughout the early innings.
Hitting out of the 7-spot in the lineup, Jason Varitek blasted his 7th homerun of the season, a 3-run shot that capped the scoring in the 1st inning. The homer was his first in 16 games and helped the Red Sox jump out early and stay on top.
The Orioles made a little noise in the 9th inning, scoring twice off of relief pitcher Mike Timlin to pull within 3 runs with the tying runner at the plate. The Sox called upon Jonathan Papelbon to record the final out and with runners on 1st and 2nd base, Papelbon was able to get Brian Roberts to ground out to end the game earning his 19th save of the season.
In the rubber game of the three game match up, Jon Lester will take the mound for the Red Sox who look to win their 10th series of the year at Fenway. The only series match up that they have lost was a three game set back in April that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim took 2 of 3 from the Sox.
Lester will be up against Jeremy Guthrie who’s record stands at 3-6. He’s faced the Sox twice already this season, both games resulting in Orioles wins.
Tonight’s first pitch has been changed to 6:05pm EST because of the NBA Finals.
Following the game, the Sox will head out on a six game road trip that begins a four consecutive series span of interleague play match ups. Over the weekend Boston will visit the Cincinnati Reds for three games and then travel to Philadelphia to take on the Phillies in another three game series before returning home for a three game set against the Cardinals and then Diamondbacks. Last season, the Sox went 16-6 against the NL, including their World Series sweep over the Colorado Rockies. Dating back to 2006, Boston has enjoy much success against the NL going 35-10 overall in interleague play.
When Ken Griffey Jr. entered the majors 19 years ago, he was just happy to be getting the chance to play baseball with his father and never dreamed of one day joining one of baseball most elite clubs, the 600 club. Monday night, Griffey made history and became only the 6th player in Major League Baseball history to hit 600 career home runs.
“My father hit 152 home runs, and that’s who I wanted to be like,” said Griffey. He now joins Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714), Willie Mays (660) and Sammy Sosa (609) as the only players to do so.
Griffey belted a hanging curveball from Florida Marlins pitcher Mark Hendrickson in the first inning of the Cincinnati Reds 9-4 victory yesterday at Dolphins Stadium in Miami, FL.
“I was just trying to get a pitch I could hit and be as patient as possible,” Griffey said. “And I was fortunate enough to get a curveball I could drive.”
It took Griffey 19 season, a total 2,439 games and 9042 at bats to reach the milestone. Over his career that averages out to 1 home run every 15 at bats. At the end of the 2008 season, Griffey will become a free agent and has no intentions of retirement.
“I enjoy baseball and as long as I can go out there and help a team win I’ll do it,” he said.
Looking at Griffey’s career stats, one can only wonder where he would be at if he had managed to stay healthy during his first few years with the Reds. From 2001 through the 2004 season, Jr. was constantly on the DL and only played in a total of 317 games out of a possible 728. During that span he still managed to hit 63 home runs at a rate of 1 per every 16 at bats, but missed well over half the games his team played in those 4 years.
It is very likely that later this summer, if he can stay healthy, Griffey will pass Sosa moving him into the 5th spot all-time for career home runs.
Having already lost one series to the Seattle Mariners this season, the Boston Red Sox made sure to even the score with yesterdays 2-1 win at Fenway Park. The victory also helped the Sox win the three game set 2 games to 1, avenging their 2 games to 1 series defeat in Seattle in late May. The Sox have won 8 of their last 10 games and currently sit atop the AL East ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays by 1 1/2 games.
Justin Masterson pitched another gem for Boston tossing 6 strong innings allowing only 1 run on 3 hits. The victory improves his record to 3-0 on the season with an ERA of only 2.59. These numbers are certainly good enough for the Sox to consider keeping him on their active roster even after Clay Buchholtz and Dice-K Matsuzaka return from the DL.
“Anytime you get called up, you want to do your best,” Masterson said. “I am just trying to give us a chance to win.”
So far, mission accomplished for the rookie right hander.
“Every time he takes the ball, the organization’s got their chest out a little, as they should,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “This isn’t a fluke. He’s been prepared very well how to pitch, how to act and how to compete. It’s exciting.”
J.D. Drew blasted the go-ahead home run in the 6th inning, giving the Sox the 2-1 lead for good. The homer was Drew’s 8th of the year. Since DH David Ortiz was placed on the DL, Drew has continued to produce day in and out since being moved into the 3rd spot in the line up. Over the past 8 games, Drew is hitting .519 (14-27) and has hit safely in all 8 of the games.
Once Masterson exited the game, Boston’s bullpen continued its recent dominance. Craig Hansen issued a walk to the first battered he face but then retired the next three batters recording 2 strike outs. Hideki Okajima worked a perfect 8th and Jonathan Papelbon came in to pitch a perfect 9th recording his 18th save of the season.
Some good news was announced to Red Sox nation before the game when Francona publicized in a press conference that Jacoby Ellsbury would return to the lineup on Tuesday evening. Ellsbury suffered a wrist sprain against Tampa Bay making a diving catch in center-field and had not played since but will be available for the Baltimore series.
Tuesday’s starting pitching match up features Josh Beckett going against the O’s Daniel Cabrera. Beckett is coming off a 5-1 win over Tampa Bay while Cabrera suffered a 7-5 loss to Minnesota in his previous outing. The two met in Boston’s 5-2 win a week ago that went 13 innings. Both pitched well but neither factored into the decision.
For seats to the Red Sox vs. Orioles series, contact Ace Ticket today!
Right now, the Boston Red Sox have the mentality that before every game they must prepare themselves for battle, and occasionally they even end up fighting. Thursday night benches cleared and tempers flared, yet again, in Boston’s 7-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. The win was the Red Sox 13th consecutive victory at home, the longest streak in baseball since 2006.
Following up Wednesday night’s fiasco where words were exchanged between Rays manager Joe Madden and Sox outfield Coco Crisp, Rays starting pitcher Jamie Shields tried sending Crisp and the Sox a message that the Rays weren’t about to take anything from anybody any longer. Shields plunked Crisp in the thigh with a fastball to open up the 2nd inning.
“I protected my own players and that’s what we need to do around here,” Shields said. “We’ve been getting stomped around the last 10 years and it isn’t going to happen anymore. I had to let them know early and let them know right away.”
After the beaming, Crisp threw aside his bat, tossed his helmet away and then rampantly charged the mound, running directly towards Shields.
“I charged the mound. (Shields) tried to hit me with a punch,” Crisp said. “I’m not upset at all. We fought. That’s all it is. There were some cheap shots there. (Carl) Crawford came sliding in. I don’t know why he was pulling hair, scratching. After that it was three, four guys on one.”
After dodging a Mike Tyson-esk roundhouse from Shields, Crisp was able to land a few shots before being tackled by catcher Dioner Navarro from behind. Both benches cleared and Rays DH Jonny Gomes was quick to reach the mound and land multiple punches on Crisp who lay restrained, on the ground, unable to fight back.
Once everything settled down, Crisp was ejected for charging the mound, Gomes was tossed for his role in the fight and Shields was told to hit the showers as well for having instigated the whole thing with the errant pitch.
This is the 5th benches clearing brawl between the two clubs dating back to the year 2000. It’s the first one, however, when the two teams have been in 1st and 2nd place in the division with a little more at steak in the outcome of the game.
The game itself wasn’t much of a contest. Boston took a 3-0 lead in the first inning on Manny Ramirez’s 13 homerun of the season. The blast cleared the green monster seats in left and landed somewhere in between Lansdowne Street and the Mass Turnpike. Manny would add a 2 RBI single in the 4th inning that made the score 7-1, which would prove to be the final.
Jon Lester earned his 4th victory of the season tossing 6 1/3 innings of ball for the Sox, allowing only 1 earned run on 8 hits. He struck out 5 batters and walked none on the outing lowering his ERA to 3.50 on the season.
The Sox now welcome the Seattle Mariners into town for a three game weekend series. Less than two weeks ago the M’s took two of three games against Boston out in Seattle so the Sox look to stay hot at home against their Western Conference foes.
Tonight, Bartolo Colon looks to stay perfect on the season in an attempt to improve his record to 4-0. He will be up against Felix Hernandez in a rematch of the May 26th game that Boston was victorious in 5-3.
During the last ten games, Boston boasts a 7-3 record while Seattle has posted a 3-7 mark. First pitch tonight is at 7:05pm EST.
Justin Masterson pitched six solid innings and picked up his 2nd victory on the season as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 7-4 in a match up featuring the top two teams in the American League. The win was Boston’s 11th consecutive victory at Fenway Park, an impressive streak that started on May 2nd. During the run fans have witnessed seven different pitchers earn victories, 15 home town homers, 82 runs scored compared to only 42 allowed and of course a no hitter by Jon Lester on May 19th.
The win did not come easy for the Sox but an all around team effort proved to be enough to surge ahead of the Rays who came into the game atop the AL East. Coco Crisp knocked in the go-ahead run on an RBI double in a 4 run 6th inning and the Sox never looked back. With the double, Crisp snapped a 1-25 skid at the plate in a game where he was originally not even scheduled to start.
“Crisp is the guy that’s been struggling, but he looked good tonight,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s a good homecourt advantage and then you combine that with the quality of hitters, you’ve got to pitch well and we didn’t.”
In picking up the win, Masterson allowed 4 runs on 6 hits while striking out 5 Rays along the way. After allowing a leadoff homerun to Akinori Iwamura, he settled down retiring 10 of the next 11 batters he faced. Manny Delcarmen entered the game in relief and pitched a scoreless 7th. Craig Hanson hurled a scoreless 8th and Jonathan Papelbon came on to record his 17th save of the season, pitching a perfect 9th recording 2 strike outs in the outing.
The team effort was very promising after the club placed DH David Ortiz on the 15-day DL with a partial tear in his sheath around the tendon in his left wrist.
“Even in the very beginning parts of the season, it wasn’t just Manny (Ramirez) and David,” said Papelbon. “Now that David’s out, it’s even more noticeable that we do have a team where everybody contributes.”
Every member of the Sox lineup reached base in the win. Hitters 3 through 7 in the batting order produced 7 hits, 6 RBI’s and all 7 runs on the night.
“They’ve definitely got a great lineup,” said Rays starter Matt Garza (4-2). “They’ve got a lot of pop in there and some guys that can sneak stuff through. That middle of the lineup still has a lot of pop even without Ortiz.”
Carlos Pena, a former member of the Red Sox organization and Northeastern University baseball team, played well for the Rays in his return to Boston. Pena went 2-3 on the night belting his 11th homerun of the season while knocking in 2 RBI’s.
The Sox will send Josh Beckett to the hill tonight attempting to win their 12th consecutive win at home. If successful that would be the longest home winning streak of the season in all of MLB. Their 11-game win streak is currently tied with Tampa Bay who won 11 straight at Tropicana Field during the month of May.
Beckett is currently 5-4 on the season with a 4.30 ERA. After finishing 2nd in the 2007 Cy-Young balloting, he’s been very inconsistent to start the 2008 campaign. After missing his first few starts with lower back issues, he has yet to regain his dominant stuff from last season. In his most recent outing, he pitched well allowing only 2 runs over 6 innings in Baltimore for his first no-decision on the year.
The Rays will send Edwin Jackson to the hill to face the Sox for the third time this season. Jackson had ace like stuff in his first performance against Boston back on April 26th when he went 7 innings and allowed only 1 earned run on 5 hits. His very next start out on May 2nd, the Sox saw a completely different pitcher when Jackson allowed 6 earned runs on 9 hits over 4 innings of work.
If the Sox can capture tonight’s match up they will regain the lead in the AL East by ½ a game for the first time since May 25th. Tonight’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 EST.
It had been the New York Yankees plan all along to ease Joba Chamberlin into their starting rotation, with high hopes that he would eventually become the future ace of a overpaid, aging staff. His youth, flair and blazing fastball would carry a team from the cellar of the AL East back into the promise land. He’d save Hank Steinbrenner from humiliation and lead the Bronx Bombers, one start at a time, back into playoff contention.
After New York’s 9-3 loss Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays, it looks like Joba never got that memo.
On a very strict pitch count, Chamberlain lasted only 2 1/3 innings throwing 62 pitches, only 32 of them for strikes. He allowed 2 runs, on 1 hit but surrendered 4 walks in the outing. His 38 pitches in the 1st inning were the most he’s ever thrown in one frame, 14 more then his previous 1 inning high.
“I wanted to get my team a lot deeper into the game and it wasn’t very good,” Chamberlain said. “That’s what it comes down to. I’ve got to be better, that’s for sure.”
After Joba escaped the 1st inning only allowing 1 run, his teammates picked him up and immediately put 2 runs up on the board in the bottom half of the inning. Hideki Matsui and Jason Giambi knocked in RBI singles to put the Yanks ahead 2-1.
Joba then worked a perfect 2nd inning retiring the Blue Jays in order but was yanked by manager Joe Girardi after a four pitch walk to Alex Rios with 1 out in the 3rd inning.
“It’s his first start,” Girardi said. “He wasn’t quite as sharp as he probably wanted to be but in saying that, he kept us in the game.”
With that said, yes, he may have kept the Yankees in the game for the first 7 outs but in hindsight was starting Joba a good idea? The Yankees bullpen allowed 6 runs in the 7th inning, a frame that Chamberlain would often work out of the pen.
By patching up the rotation with Chamberlain, the Yankees now find themselves with a new hole between their starting pitchers exit and Marino Rivera’s entrance to games in the closer spot. The likes of Dan Giese, Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, LaTroy Hawkins and Chris Britton doesn’t exactly leave anyone in Yankee Stadium feeling comfortable during the late middle innings of any game, no matter what the score is.
Ever since the Yankees called Chamberlin up to the big leagues late last season, the organization has been adamant that the plan was and always has been to turn him into a starting pitcher. His success as a set up man was supposed to be just a tease as to what he would be able to do for 7+ innings every start.
For the time being, forget about 7 innings. Yesterday, Chamberlin had trouble getting 7 outs.
“It was the first step, that’s all,” said team co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner, who watched the game in his office at the Yankees’ facility in Tampa, Fla. “Again, he’s 22. This was the first step. We’re looking at a 10 year or more career. Tonight was a creation of the media. If this had been a first start for any other pitcher on any other team, it wouldn’t have been such a big deal.”
Sorry to tell ya, Hank, but the media didn’t create this but you did. Remember last year when you came out with the ‘Joba Rules’ and limited your prodigy to so many innings of work. Remember when you insisted during the 2008 preseason that your young star was still on track to be in the starting rotation for opening day but didn’t want to rush his progress. Or do you remember when your team was in last place in the division and in a struggling attempt to create any type of positive hype about your franchise you prematurely decided it was time to throw your franchises untouchable prospect into the rotation in a last ditch effort to turn things around.
Oh, wait. That was last night.
For the Yankees to turn this season around its going to take more then one young arm. They need veterans like Andy Pettitte and Mike Mussina to start to pitching deeper into games, which could be asking a lot considers Pettitte is going on 36 years old and has logged over 2,600 career innings. At 39 years old, Mussina is even more seasoned and has hurled over 3,420 innings. The two are averaging 5 2/3 innings per start, leaving the bullpen responsible for roughly 10 outs a game.
Joba had been reliable for 3 – 6 of those outs but will no longer be available out of the pen. Asking Rivera to record more then a 3 out saves is asking a lot, maybe too much from the 38 year old.
The hardest thing for Hank and the rest of the Yankees organization to admit is that they are currently transitioning from one era to the next. Some even call this transition a rebuilding year but no, no, no not Hank Steinbrenner. How that happens to a team that has the leagues highest payroll, 2007 AL MVP and countless former All-Stars is almost unfathomable.
It’s gut check time in New York; Hank and the rest of his front office staff better be careful with their decisions regarding the franchises future because if they’re not, players will begin to jump off the already sinking ship, demanding trades left and right. A-Rod already bought some floaties.
For the Boston Red Sox, the 2008 campaign thus far has been a tale of two cities. At 21-5, the BoSox own the best home record in MLB but after last nights 1-0 loss to the Seattle Mariners, Boston’s road record drops to 11-19 which is 2nd worst in the American League.
Eric Bedard pitched 7 shutout innings allowing only 2 hits while striking out 8 Sox to earn his fourth win of the season. His stuff was downright filthy and had Boston hitters guessing all night. During the off season, Seattle traded away 5 prospects to acquire the staff ace and last night everyone got to see the pitcher the Mariners had hoped to be getting all year long.
Bedard was relieved by Brandon Morrow in the 8th and after recording all three outs for his 3rd hold of the year, closer J.J. Putz entered the game for the 9th and notched his 6th save on the season.
For Boston, Tim Wakefield pitched an almost equally as impressive game going the distance in hurling 8 innings of 5 hit ball, walking none while recording 8 strike outs as well. The one pitch he wishes he could have back was a hanging knuckleball to Yuniesky Betancourt that he drove over the left field wall into the Sox bullpen in the 3rd inning for his 3rd homerun of the season.
“Unfortunately Bedard pitched great,” Wakefield said. “And once they got to the bullpen—Morrow and Putz—it’s pretty tough.”
In a game that only took 2 hours and 11 minutes, the Sox never really got things going offensively against the M’s pitching staff. They were only able to get two runners past first base against Bedard and their only real scoring threat in the 4th inning was killed by an inning ending double-play ball hit by Mike Lowell.
“It keeps me in rhythm. Without that defense tonight, I probably wouldn’t have made it out of the fifth inning,” Bedard said.
This outing follows up Bedard’s worst performance of the year when he allowed 9 earned runs in 4 1/3 innings against the New York Yankees last Friday in the Bronx. When asked about what adjustments he made from then to yesterday he was very frank with his response.
“Location,” was all he could muster up to interested reporters.
But he certainly had a point. He painted the outside corners of the plate with his pitches, creating problems for Red Sox hitters all night. By establishing the outside of the plate he was then able to set up his inside fastball, which jammed Sox batters and took away a lot of their powerful cuts.
“This was the game plan we talked about in spring training,” Mariners manager John McLaren said.
The Sox continue their 10 game road trip with a four game series in Baltimore. They have now lost 10 of their last 12 games away from Fenway Park and have already dropped two games to the Orioles at Camden Yards less then 2 weeks ago. The team has today off to travel and will resume play tomorrow at 7:05 EST.
Josh Beckett will take the hill against the O’s Daniel Cabrera and try to stop the hurt as much as he can. Beckett is 5-4 on the season and coming off a solid effort that resulted in a loss. He hurled 7 innings and allowed 2 runs against Oakland earlier in the road trip. Cabrera boasts a 5-1 mark and has won his last three decisions.
- The Red Sox are going to send RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka back to Boston for an MRI on his right shoulder, which the team said is “fatigued”.
- Manny Ramirez is one homerun shy of reaching the career milestone of 500. He will be the 24th player in MLB history to accomplish the feat.
- Kevin Youkilis is expected to start on Friday after sitting out the three game series in Seattle nursing a sore right hand.
They call it Friendly Fenway for a reason. The Boston Red Sox haven’t had any problem winning at home this season; their troubles have just been everywhere else. Victories on the road have been hard to come by for this years’ club but they managed to find a way to win last night, beating the Seattle Mariners 5-3 at Safeco Field.
Bartolo Colon pitched 7 strong innings allowing only 1 run on 5 hits while striking out 5 Mariners batters. His fastball topped 97mph on the radar gun and the former Cy Young Award winner looked to be back in old form. Now all the veteran needs to do is lose 30 lbs and it will be the Colon of old.
Manager Terry Francona was impressed by Colon’s second outing since being called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Clay Buchholtz’s roster spot. Buchholtz continues to nurse a broken fingernail on his pitching hand while rehabbing in the Sox farm system.
“I thought his movement, his life on his fastball was good and he got strong,” Francona said. “He made a lot of good quality pitches with life.”
Colon out pitched Felix Hernandez, who in the past, had owned Red Sox hitters. The 22nd year old one-hit the Sox last season at Fenway and while Sox hitters had not forgotten the stellar performance, they still knew that the young fireballer was beatable.
“We hit the ball really hard early in the game and they made some great plays. When he pitched against us last year, we didn’t hit any balls hard,” Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia said.
David Ortiz got things going for the Sox in the 4th inning by blasting his 12th homerun of the season over the centerfield fence. After Seattle tied the game in the 6th on an RBI groundout by Raul Ibanez that plated Ichiro Suzuki, Colon pitched his way out of the inning to keep the game knotted at 1-1.
The Sox would do all the damage they would need in the top of the 7th, plating 4 runs on 5 hits all with 2 outs. Pedroia, Manny Ramirez and Mike Lowell would all connect on RBI hits while Jason Varitek walked with the bases loaded to drive in Boston’s final run on the night.
“With him [Hernandez] you’re just trying to get a pitch out over the plate to hit,” Pedroia said. “You don’t get many so you’ve got to make sure you hit them.”
Hideki Okajima relieved Colon and pitched a scoreless 8th inning, lowering his season ERA to 0.86. Jonathan Papelbon came on in the 9th to close the door and recorded the final 3 outs. He allowed two unearned runs but was able to record 2 strike outs in his inning of work.
Before the win, the Sox had lost their previous 7 road games but look to build off the effort for the rest of the road trip. They are now 11-17 on the road for the year.
Tonight, Dice-K Matsuzaka puts his perfect 8-0 record on the line against Seattle’s Miguel Batista. Batista sports a 3-6 record on the year with a 6.47 ERA while Matsuzaka remains unbeaten with a 2.25 ERA. With tonight’s outing, Matsuzaka will attempt to match Josh Becket’s 9-0 start of the 2007 season.
“I’m very grateful that I’ve been given the chance to get these wins under these circumstances,” Matsuzaka said through a translator.
Against Seattle in 2007, Matsuzaka was 1-1 with a 4.33 ERA. He dominated fellow Japanese star Ichiro Suzuki. The Seattle right fielder was only 1-for-12 with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts versus Matsuzaka.
First pitch of tonight’s game will be at 10:10 EST.
Last night Bartolo Colon felt like a rookie all over again in front of the crowds at Fenway Park. Having to follow up two pitching gems by youngsters is never an easy feat, especially by a veteran who’s making his first start in the big leagues of the year, on a new ball club, in front of a sold out house, for a first place team. Luckily, Colon pushed all of those obstacles aside and hurled 5 strong innings in picking up the win for the Boston Red Sox who downed the Kansas City Royals for the 3rd straight night by a score of 6-3. The Sox have now won 6 games in a row and 9 at Fenway Park.
The former Cy-Young award winner acknowledged that he was very nervous before the game began, a reminiscent feeling of when he made his major league debut for the Cleveland Indians in June of 1997. That start just happened to come at Fenway Park against the Red Sox, and Colon just happened to pick up the win.
“I thought about that tonight after the game and reminisced about that great moment and kind of compared this to that moment… I was very nervous in the first inning,” Colon said after showing that his elbow problems from last year were gone. “I felt like my first professional outing, actually. But after the first inning I was able to settle down and really enjoy the moment.”
Over the 5 innings, Colon scattered 6 hits, walked 2 and struck out 4 in a very promising outing for his future with the Red Sox. He threw 74 pitches, 46 for strikes in his first start in the bigs since Sept. 22nd 2007.
Jacoby Ellsbury jumpstarted the Sox offense with a leadoff homerun to right in first inning. The blast was his 4th on the season and he would finish the night with 3 hits. Jason Varitek would also add a solo homerun in the 5th inning which at the time knotted the game at 2-2.
After V-Tek’s shot to right, the Sox bats came to life and they would go on to score 4 times in total in the inning making the score 5-2. David Ortiz crushed a ball to center with the bases load, but the fly ball was hit to the deepest part of the outfield and was only good enough for a sacrifice fly driving in Julio Lugo. The RBI was Ortiz’s 38th on the year.
The bullpen combination of Craig Hansen, Javier Lopez and Manny Delcarmen pitched a scoreless 6th, 7th and 8th inning in relief of Colon. Mike Timlin pitched the 9th recording the final three outs, allowing a meaningless run on 1 hit and 1 walk to preserve Colon’s victory. His battery mate couldn’t have been happier for the 34-year old.
“The big man had a huge smile on his face when we all got in” the clubhouse, catcher Varitek said. “I mean, this is pretty big for him to be able to make his way back.”
Joey Gathwright plated all 3 runs for the Royals and managed to reach base all four of his plate appearances with 2 hits and 2 walks. The game was his first back after missing 3 contests due to a sore left shoulder. He also swiped a base during his outing.
When asked about Colon’s performance on the night Gathwright said, “He’s Colon. He’s always been good. He spots his ball, and his ball moves. He threw harder back (in 2005), but he still has good stuff.”
The question now for the Red Sox is how good is his stuff, and is it good enough to earn the burly fireballer another start before Clay Buchholtz returns from the DL.
This will be something manager Terry Francona will have all week to think about but it’s also an answer that Red Sox Nation will be very interested in finding out as well. Buchholtz may be the future of the organization but there’s nothing like having a proven veteran and former Cy Young award winner at the backstop of your rotation.
Today the Sox look to sweep the Royals and their 7-game homestand by sending Dice-K Matsuzaka to the hill. Matsuzaka is a perfect 7-0 on the season and the Sox have not lost a game in one of his starts this year.
Following this series the Sox will ship out for another 10-game road trip featuring stops in Oakland, Seattle and Baltimore. Their 20-5 home record is the best in baseball while their 10-14 road record is the worst in the AL East. The Sox will look to improve on that by first visiting the Oakland Athletics for a 3-game weekend series beginning tomorrow evening at 10:07 EST.
The fairytale story-like year for Jon Lester continues to roll on as the 24-year old left hander added another feat to his list of remarkable accomplishment by hurling a no-hitter in Boston’s 7-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals yesterday evening. What’s most amazing about this achievement is it probably ranks 3rd on his all-time list. (more)