With the aid of a four run 7th inning and a pieced together pitching performance the Boston Red Sox held off the Baltimore Orioles, 5-4 tonight at Fenway Park.
Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the 7th the Sox would bring ten men to the plate as they scored four runs against a shaky Baltimore bullpen to grab a 5-3 lead. Julio Lugo would lead of with a walk; Dustin Pedroia would single to center and chase reliever Paul Shuey from the game. New pitcher John Parrish was greeted by a David Ortiz double high off the wall in left centerfield to score Lugo and put runners at second and third with no one out. Manny Ramirez would be intentionally walked to load the bases for Kevin Youkilis. Chad Bradford came in to pitch to Youkilis who would double in two runs to give the Sox a 4-3 lead. Mike Lowell grounded out for the first out as runners were held at second and third. Jason Varitek singled to score Ramirez and move Youk to third and it was 5-3. Coco Crisp was intentionally walked to load the bases. Wily Mo Pena would fly out and Lugo grounded out to end the inning.
The Orioles drew first blood in this game when for the second night in a row they would get a first inning solo HR this one from Nick Markakis with two out off of Julian Tavares who was making a spot start in place of the recently departed Kason Gabbard.
The O’s would up their lead in the second when they would get a pair of two out runs off of Tavares. Jay Gibbons would single, Chris Gomez doubled him home and then a Brian Roberts double scored Gomez for a 3-0 lead.
The Sox got a run off of Oriole starter Steve Trachsel in the third. Crisp would lead off with a walk, Pena fouled out, Lugo
got yet another infield hit and Crisp would go to third on a throwing error by Miguel Tejada. Pedroia then hit a sacrifice fly to
score Crisp and cut the lead to 3-1.
The O’s after not being able to score off of relievers Kyle Snyder and Javier Lopez got a solo homerun by Tejada in the 8th off of Hideki Okajima to cut the lead to 5-4.
Closer Jonathan Papelbon came on in the 9th and was able to protect the one run lead, with new acquisition Eric Gagne warming, as he set the O’s down in order the last two on strikeouts and sealed the 5-4 Red Sox win.