Another former Red Sox comes back to haunt his old team with a two-out, 8th inning Grand Slam


Another former Red Sox comes back to haunt his old team with a two-out, 8th inning Grand Slam

(May 14, 2008) – The Orioles entered today’s game looking to sweep the Red Sox in a two game series for the first time in Camden Yards. Baltimore was able to accomplish the feat with a come-from-behind victory off the bat of former Sox and Yellow Jacket outfielder, Jay Payton’s seventh inning Grand Slam.

After Javier Lopez came on to relieve Sox starter Jon Lester, Lopez got the first two outs of the inning quickly and easily but allowed shortstop Freddie Bynum to reach on a base hit to second that Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia could not handle. That would be it for Lopez as interim manager Brad Mills came out to pull Lopez in favor of the right handed Craig Hansen. But Hansen did not do all that much better either, giving up a single to the first batter he faced in Guillermo Quiroz then walked Brian Roberts to load the bases before giving the ball up to Hideki Okajima.

This year Okajima has not done particularly well with inherited runners on base this year and his numbers would not get any better after this inning. With the bases loaded and the Orioles down 3-2, the journeyman outfielder would hit his fourth career Grand Slam to the Orioles the 6-3 lead and the win. The Orioles tall, lanky and unpredictable starter, Daniel Cabrera, pitched seven complete innings allowing three runs on 10 hits while striking out three to earn his fourth win.

For Lester, the loss became his sixth no decision of the year. Very disappointing because he pitched an outstanding six innings allowing just two runs on five hits while walking two and striking out four Orioles. It is definitely a tough loss to take for the team as well as the youngster.

Before Lester threw a pitch he had a 1-0 lead to work with. The Sox got to Cabrera early in the first inning when Jacoby Ellsbury reached base on a ball hit to shortstop, Freddy Bynum. The rookie center fielder would keep his stolen base streak alive with his 15th steal of the season. So far Ellsbury is 23-for-23 in steals just four off the pace of Tim Raines who began his career 27-for-27 before being caught. He would score on the big swinging, little guy, Dustin Pedroia’s 21st RBI and just like that Lester had a lead.

For the first five innings, it appeared as if that would be all the team would need because the Sox left hander was on his game. But in the bottom of the sixth inning, Lester was grateful for two homeruns off the bat of catcher Jason Varitek and Mike Lowell in the of the fifth and sixth innings, respectively, to put the Sox up 3-0. The Orioles mounted a rally in the sixth when Quiroz led off the inning with a base hit into center and went to third on a double to right off the bat of Roberts. Payton would drive in the Orioles first run of the game with a ground ball to Alex Cora at short, driving in Quiroz. Baltimore’s third hitter, right fielder Nick Markakis would drive in Roberts for the second run of the game.

When the Red Sox return to action at Fenway on Friday, they will briefly begin interleague play with a three game series against the Milwaukee Brewers. The last time the Sox faced the Brewers in interleague action was June 6-8, 2003 at Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI where the Sox took the season two games to one.

Making his first career start against the Brewers, Daisuke Matsuzaka will face former Red Sox starter Jeff Suppan. Suppan can be remembered for his base running blunder at third base in Game Four of the 2004 World Series against Boston when he was with the St. Louis Cardinals. He is also the pitcher that many equate current Sox prospect Michael Bowden to become. But this year, Suppan holds a 2-2 record with a 4.63 ERA, 21 strike outs with 19 walks and a 1.56 WHIP.

The Milwaukee right hander is coming off a 5-3 win against his old team, the Cardinals, where he completed seven innings allowing just one run on six hits while striking out four and walking five. He will try to make it a clean sweep of his former teams on Friday but in the past the ex-Sox pitcher has had trouble against the Boston line up. Against Boston, he is 3-3 with a 4.86 ERA, 28 strike outs, 19 walks and a 1.42 WHIP while allowing Sox batters to hit at a .271 clip against him.

Tied for the American League lead in wins with six, Matsuzaka will be making his ninth start of the season against the Brewers. With Josh Beckett in a funk right now, Matsuzaka has been the Sox ace for the first month and a half of the season. He leads the Sox in ERA with an average of 2.45 and is third on the team with 40 strike outs, behind Beckett (47) and the rookie Clay Buchholz (43). Matsuzaka is coming off his sixth win of the season with a 5-2 victory against the Minnesota Twins last Saturday, where he pitched seven innings allowing two runs on six hits while striking out seven and walking just three.

WIN: Daniel Cabrera (4-1)

LOSS: Craig Hansen (0-2)

SAVE: George Sherrill (15)


Game Notes:

Last time the Orioles swept the Red Sox in a two game series was April 25-26, 2005 at Fenway Park but in Baltimore, the Orioles swept the Sox in two games on August 4-5 of 1970.


Manny Ramirez made a leaping grab on a Kevin Millar deep fly ball and then doubled up Orioles third baseman Aubrey Huff who was trying to scamper back to first. In the midst of the play, Ramirez high-fived a fan in the stands, as his momentum forced him to climb the wall before throwing the ball back to the infield to double up Huff.


Nick Markakis – diving line drive into right field off the bat of David Ortiz in the top of the sixth inning.

The 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. Jay Payton, BALTIMORE --- 1-5 Grand Slam, 5 RBIs
  1. Daniel Cabrera, BALTIMORE --- 7IP, 10H, 3ER, 0BB, 3K
  1. Jason Varitek, BOSTON --- 2-4 Homerun, RBI, Run-Scored

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