Red Sox killer Rodrigo Lopez retired the first 11 Boston hitters this afternoon before David Ortiz singled to right. The next inning -- the fifth -- the first six Sox got hits -- Nixon single, Mueller single, Olerud home run, Mirabelli double, Graffanino single, Damon double -- and five runs scored.
The half-inning took 21 minutes, and perhaps David Wells lost his rhythm. He had allowed five hits, but only two batters had reached second base. Melvin Mora and Miguel Tejada both doubled to start the Baltimore sixth. After that, Wells retired the last 12 Orioles, mixing in a lot of curveballs, allowing only two balls to leave the infield. The Fat Man finished with a complete game (8-7-1-0-4) on 114 pitches.
Wells's complete game and Matt Clement's eight innings last night gave the bullpen a much-needed rest before the team plays the Angels and Yankees over the next week.
With his one inning of work on Saturday, Mike Timlin became the first Red Sox pitcher to appear in at least 70 games for three straight seasons. The club record is 80, set by Greg Harris in 1993. Timlin: "I have arthritis in my elbow just like 90 percent of the pitchers in the major leagues, but I get past it."