David Ortiz’s two homeruns power Sox to their first sweep of Milwaukee in 11 years


David Ortiz’s two homeruns power Sox to their first sweep of Milwaukee in 11 years

(May 18, 2008) – In today’s series finale against the Brewers, under overcast skies at Fenway, the Red Sox had the opportunity to do something they have not done in 17 years. Luckily they had their ace Josh Beckett on the hill to change the Sox history books.

The Beckett, fans saw in 2006 returned against the Brewers this afternoon giving up four long balls in his fifth win of the season. Although Beckett allowed six runs on six hits, he did return to his 2007 Cy Young contending season by striking out nine Milwaukee batters placing him in two off the AL lead for strike outs with 56. But the Sox offense and the Brewers impatience saved him from his fourth loss of the season and gave the Sox their first sweep of the Brewers at the old ballpark since May 20-22, 1991.

David Ortiz was the hero in today’s game. He took it upon himself to make sure the Red Sox would sweep the Brewers into the Steel City. After the Brewers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a Ryan Braun two-run shot over the wall in left, Ortiz lined a one out double to left to drive in Dustin Pedroia in the bottom half; cutting Milwaukee’s lead to one run.

Two innings later, after Pedroia hit a solo-homerun that just barely cleared the wall in left center, the big, bulky Ortiz was not going to be shown-up by the runt of the Sox litter. He wanted to get in on the homerun action as well and lined his ninth dinger of the season around Pesky’s pole and into the seats in right to give the Sox the 3-2 advantage.

But the Brewers would not go quietly. In the top of the fourth shortstop J.J. Hardy took a two-out Beckett curveball and lined it for a two-run homerun over the Monster after right fielder Corey Hart extended the inning with a base hit up the middle. It would be the last lead Milwaukee would hold for the remainder of the game. The Sox would send six batters to the plate in the bottom of the inning to place Boston back on top for good.

Mike Lowell would reach on Brewers third baseman, Bill Hall’s fielding error to lead off the fourth inning rally. In reminiscence towards last night’s game, Hall’s error would come back to haunt Milwaukee. Kevin Youkilis would move Lowell to second with a base hit of Brewers starter Carlos Villanueva. Villanueva would walk Jason Varitek to load the bases before striking out Coco Crisp for the first out of inning but he was not out of the woods just yet. After Crisp struck out, Julio Lugo walked to drive in Lowell with the fourth and tying run before Jacoby Ellsbury singled towards right to drive in Youkilis and Varitek to take the lead 6-4. From there the Sox started to pull away like Big Brown yesterday at the Preakness in the last turn.

Ortiz would add to his offensive power surge in the bottom of the fifth with his tenth homerun on the season, driving in Pedroia who led of the inning with a double off the wall. Although, the Brewers never quite reached the Sox lead, they kept clawing their way back with back-to-back homeruns by Braun and Prince Fielder. It was Braun’s second homerun of the game and 13th on the season.

Youkilis would put the icing on the cake in the bottom of the seventh with his ninth homerun of the season and his 32nd and 33rd RBIs of the year – driving in Lowell, who singled to right to lead off the inning. The Brewers would get an additional run in the top of the eighth on a ground ball to second base by Braun to drive in second baseman Rickie Weeks. It was Braun’s fourth RBI of the game but Milwaukee would not get any closer and were swept out of the Hub by their former American League rivals.

The Sox will return to action tomorrow night when they face the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park in a four game series. The left handed Jon Lester will take the hill in search of his long awaited third win of the season and will be opposed by Royals right hander Luke Hochevar. Hochevar is 3-2 on the season with a 3.94 ERA, 24 strike outs and a 1.30 WHIP. Lester is coming off a no-decision against the Baltimore Orioles where he pitched remarkable – pitching six innings allowing two runs on five hits while striking out four – before the bullpen blew the win in the bottom of the seventh inning.

WIN: Josh Beckett (5-3)

LOSS: Carlos Villanueva (2-5)


Game Notes:

Justin Masterson will be called up to make the start on Tuesday against Kansas City Royals right hander Gil Meche.

Bartolo Colon will also make his first start of the 2008 season on Wednesday against Brett Tomko.

The 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. David Ortiz, BOSTON --- 3-5; 2 Homeruns, 4 RBIs
  1. Josh Beckett, BOSTON --- 7IP, 6H, 6R, 1BB, 9K
  1. Ryan Braun, MILWAUKEE --- 2-4; 2 Homeruns, 4 RBIs

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