Orioles’ Luke Scott’s three-run homerun in the bottom of the third push Baltimore to 5-4 win


Orioles’ Luke Scott’s three-run homerun in the bottom of the third push Baltimore to 5-4 win

(May 13, 2008) – The theme of tonight’s game: deceiving. Although, Josh Beckett gave up five runs on 11 hits in 5.2 innings the Red Sox’s 5-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, his stuff was there. He did not miss it was just Oriole batters hit him hard. It was just like Marylanders. They gave us one of the worst vice presidents ever in Spiro Agnew and now their baseball team hands the Red Sox their third consecutive loss.

From the start of the game it looked as if it was going to be a Red Sox romp. The Sox got to Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie in the first inning and hit him hard. Getting the start in center field for the fourth straight game, Coco Crisp led of the game with a base hit into right field. Following a Dustin Pedroia pop out to shortstop, David Ortiz lined a doubled to left field, sending Crisp to third and giving Manny Ramirez a chance to drive in two runs.

Besides Fenway Park and Progressive Field, Camden Yards has seen the third most Ramirez homeruns after Yankee Stadium and the Rogers Centre in Toronto. In Baltimore, Ramirez has 15 career homeruns and could have made it 16 with one in the first inning of tonight’s game. But the RBI Machine settled with an RBI single into center to plate Crisp and send Ortiz to third.

With runners on the corners, in the first inning, and one out, third baseman Mike Lowell reached base on his Baltimore counterpart, Aubrey Huff’s fielding error, allowing Ortiz to saunter in from third. After Kevin Youkilis flew out to center, Orioles first baseman Kevin Millar, did his best Bill Buckner impersonation, letting J.D. Drew’s ground ball go through his legs and into right field, plating Ramirez.

Before Beckett even stepped on the Camden Yards mound, he already had a three run lead to work with but in the bottom of the first he did not need it. Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts became his first strike out victim of the night. Beckett then got shortstop Freddie Bynum and right fielder Nick Markakis to fly out to right and ground out to second, respectively, to quickly end the inning. After one inning everything favored the Red Sox but there is a saying that “things are not always as they appear to be.”

Baltimore got on the board in the bottom of the second when Luke Scott lined a two-out base hit into center field. Adam “I’m not Pacman” Jones would keep the inning alive with single to the right of Alex Cora, who had no play when recovered the ball to bring left fielder Jay Payton to the dish. Jason Varitek’s former college teammate, put the Orioles on the scoreboard with a single up the middle to plate Scott.

In the bottom of the third, the Oriole batters would tee off on Beckett like the Sox did against Guthrie in the first. Roberts led off the inning with a base hit to right and advanced to third on another single by Bynum that would drop just in front of the sliding Drew. Drew would leave the game in the middle of the inning with a sprained wrist and be replaced by the rookie Jacoby Ellsbury. With two men on and no outs, Beckett almost got out of the inning with no damage done, catching Markakis and Huff looking a change up and fastball, respectively.

But again, what was the theme of the night? Ah yes deception. Another former Sox player, Millar would do more damage to his old team with an RBI single to left to plate Roberts. Millar’s single kept the inning alive for Scott to be the hero of the game. On a 1-0 count, Scott lifted the Beckett offering over the score board in right and into the hands of waiting Orioles. Ellsbury knew off the bat the towering fly ball was goner and just watched, in amazement, as the ball floated over the right field fence.

The Sox would try to mount a come back in top of the seventh then again the next inning but they fell one run shy. After Crisp left the game with a stomach bug in the bottom of the sixth, Sean Casey led off the seventh inning with a single into right. Pedroia followed Casey’s lead with a single of his own to right off of Guthrie. Orioles manager Dave Trembley had seen enough of his pitcher and quickly got him out of the game in favor of the left hander Jamie Walker to pitch to the left handed Ortiz. Walker failed to do his job by walking Ortiz to load the bases. Could it be the Sox finally taking back the lead and the game?

Everything was working in their favor: bases loaded, no outs and Ramirez at the plate facing the 0-1 Jim Johnson. But again this is baseball not death and taxes. Nothing’s certain. Ramirez grounded back to Johnson for the very rare 1-2-3 double play and Lowell flew out to Payton in left to end the inning. So the Sox had the bases loaded with no outs and could not push across a run across the plate. Very disappointing for all Sox fans especially those who had to sit next to the loud-mouth Marylanders from Harford and Carroll Counties.

But the Sox would push across a run in the top of the eighth inning when Ellsbury and Varitek walked with one out. Shorstop Alex Cora who was 0-for-3 going into the inning, came through with a base hit to right field. Although Markakis has one of the best arms in the game but it was no match for Ellsbury’s speed from second base and the Sox outfielder scored easily. There are only three other players in baseball who would be able to score on a plain single to the right fielder and all are in the AL East: Crisp, Roberts and B.J. Upton. But the Orioles would call upon closer George Sherrill to get the final five outs of the game and got Casey and Pedroia to fly out to left and ground out to first, respectively, to end the threat.

The Sox will play an afternoon matinee in the state that gave us Whitaker Chambers and CNN anchor Thomas Roberts before hopping on their charter at BWI for the 90 minute flight back to Boston. The Sox young left hander, Jon Lester will make his 10th start of the season against the Orioles temperamental right hander Daniel Cabrera. Lester is 2-2 on the season with a 4.06 ERA, 29 strike outs with a 1.51 WHIP while Cabrera is 3-1 with a 3.54 ERA, 34 strike outs and a 1.20 WHIP.

But the Sox patient offense has always been Cabrera’s downfall. In 11 games against Boston, the Orioles right hander is 1-9 with a 7.84 ERA, 43 walks, and an opponent’s batting average of .296. Cabrera is coming off a 4-1 victory against the Royals in Kansas City where he pitched a three-hit complete game allowing jut one run while striking out seven Royals.

Lester is coming off another no-decision against the Minnesota Twins last Friday night; where he went 5.1 innings allowing five runs – three earned – on eight hits while striking out two. In his career against Baltimore, the Sox lefty is 3-0 in 18 innings with a 3.00 ERA, eight strike outs and a .275 opponent’s batting average.

WIN: Jeremy Guthrie (2-3)

LOSS: Josh Beckett (4-3)

SAVE: George Sherrill (13)


Game Notes:

Tonight is the first game of 19 games these two teams will face. The Red Sox own the overall record against the Orioles with 1,104 wins and 911 losses. The Sox are 231 and 205 when they play in the birth city of Babe Ruth and 75 and 44 in Camden Yards.

Terry Francona will not be with the team for their final two road games in Maryland and will turn the reigns over to bench coach Brad Mills for the two games against the Orioles. His mother-in-law sadly passed away during last night’s game in her home in Arizona. Francona and his wife, Jackie, along with most of their children will join him in Arizona.

Although shortstop Julio Lugo tells the medical and coaching staff he is getting better every day, coming back from a Grade I concussion; the Sox opt to remain cautious and will keep him out of the line up for another day.

J.D. Drew left the game in the middle of the bottom of the third inning after injuring his left arm diving to make a play on Freddie Bynum’s bloop base hit. He was replaced in right by rookie Jacoby Ellsbury. It was confirmed by the Red Sox medical staff that Drew suffered a sprained left wrist. He is day-to-day.

Coco Crisp left the game after batting in the top of the sixth inning with an upset stomach. Ellsbury moved to center from right, Kevin Youkilis moved into right from first and Sean Casey entered the game at first.

Home plate umpire, Laz Diaz ejected David Ortiz in the top of the ninth inning for arguing a strike out.

Web Gems:

Top Third – Nick Markakis makes a leaping grab of a J.D. Drew fly ball to the warning track in right field that was sure to go for extra bases.

The 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. Luke Scott, BALTIMORE --- 3-4 Homerun, 3 RBIs, 2 Runs-scored
  1. Brian Roberts, BALTIMORE --- 2-3 2 Singles, BB, Run-scored
  1. Manny Ramirez, BOSTON --- 2-4 Double, RBI

1 comment:

MFF said...

Good Job!!!

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