The last time the Boston Red Sox were at Camden Yards, the Baltimore Orioles swept them under the leadership of Dave Trembley. Now with Captain Kirk out and Juan Samuel at the helm for the Orioles, the Red Sox were hoping to return the favor.
The Red Sox had the right pitcher on the mound in Jon Lester, who had ten wins in 13 starts with no losses against the O's in his career. And for the better part of last night's 8-2 win, Lester found himself in a pitcher's duel with Jeremy Guthrie.
But it would Guthrie who would crack first as the Kevin Youkilis continued his reign of terror on American League pitchers blasting a solo shot. The Red Sox would add another run in the 8th off of Guthrie and then six runs in the 9th off of the hapless O's bullpen.
Lester was on his game as he had complete control and command of the strike zone. The telling moment though came in the 7th inning when Lester began to tire and walked three straight Orioles hitters. They would be the only walks Lester would issue in the game. And when he left the game, he gave the dugout seats a little pounding before settling down to watch Daniel Bard try and help him out of the jam.
Bard, who's been the most used and most consistent reliever out of the bullpen this season for the Red Sox, found himself in a pressing situation of bases loaded with out against the worst team in all of MLB. But Bard did his job as he got pinch-hitter Luke Scott to fly out to short center and got Corey Patterson to foul out to Youk at third. One of the first people to greet Bard when he got back to the dugout was Lester, who looked to breath a sigh of relief.
Lester had some kind words to say about the job Bard did last night:
“He’s great. He bailed me out. He’s done that all year for us,” Lester said. “Hopefully he can continue to do it. Obviously you see what he brings to the table every night he pitches. He’s done great and you can’t speak highly enough about what he’s done out of the bullpen for us.”
Lester and Clay Buchholz have been the anchors of the Red Sox pitching rotation and their resurgence in the AL East. They've narrowed a big gap down to 3½ games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for first place and just a 1½ games behind the New York Yankees in second place.
Hopefully a sweep is in there future in just a short while at Camden Yards.
We'll be back very shortly with today's lineups, batter/pitcher matchups, any news and links that may become available but for now enjoy the overnight links.