The Boston Red Sox finally got their offense ticking as they ran out to a 7-3 victory in Baltimore in a Saturday evening match-up that was full of controversy and drama.
The Red Sox have been struggling for form of late and have been replaced at the top of the AL East standings by the Tampa Bay Rays, who have won nine of their last ten games.
The Rays will simply not go away in the race for the division title so it was vital that the Red Sox got their bats working again. Prior to Saturday’s match-up with Baltimore, the Red Sox had gone 21 innings without managing to accumulate consecutive hits.
On the field at Camden Yards, there is no doubt that Stephen Drew was the star of the show. Drew hit two home runs, one of which was originally not given as a home run, leading to a bizarre situation where Drew was stranded between third base and home plate.
Drew, however, managed to evade the Baltimore catcher and made it safely home to score. Red Sox manager John Farrell questioned the umpire’s decision and after review, Drew was eventually awarded a two-run homer.
The drama didn’t end there, either. David Ortiz came to the plate in the seventh inning and got the pitch count to three balls and zero strikes. He left the batters box as the fourth pitch came in and flipped his bat in the belief that the pitch was out of the strike zone.
The pitch did indeed appear to be high but it was called a strike, as was the next pitch, which also looked to be out of the zone. Ortiz eventually went out swinging and made his feelings known to plate umpire Tim Timmons, and as Ortiz walked back to the Red Sox dugout, Timmons ejected Ortiz from the game. The decision only served to further anger Big Papi who started swinging his bat at the bullpen telephone, smashing pieces of plastic around the dugout.
Aside from the drama, the game was a real turning point for the Red Sox as they look to string some good performances together, both offensively and defensively.
Ryan Dempster put in a better performance than he has managed in his recent starts, Dempster pitched five and one third innings, giving up two earned runs and picking up his first victory since late June. Starting pitching has been a problem for the Red Sox over the past 10 games, a problem amplified by the tremendous pitching being displayed by Tampa Bay.
The Red Sox will play the deciding game in the series against Baltimore on Sunday evening before playing the rescheduled Tampa Bay game from July 25 on Monday.
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