Rangers - 001 002 000 - 3 6 1First things first: that 4 in the third inning? A first-pitch grand slam from David Ortiz! Good Times!
Red Sox - 004 500 02x - 11 11 0
Mendoza had retired the first eight batters, but Lowrie ended the perfect-game bid with a two-out double to left. Ellsbury walked on four pitches, Pedroia walked on five, and Ortiz unloaded his bomb over the Wall in left. Love those rallies that start from nothing and two outs.
Boston put the game away in the fourth: Drew walked, Varitek doubled (5-1), Casey singled, Rupe replaced Mendoza, Lowrie hit a sacrifice fly (6-1), Ellsbury tripled to center (7-1) and Pedroia homered to left (9-1).
First 8 batters: 0-for-8, all outs in the infield, 2 KIn the ninth, Casey doubled and Ellsbury walked (his third tonight). Ortiz's single to right brought in Casey and Ellsbury raced home when the relay throw was bobbled at first base.
Next 9 batters: 8-for-9 in reaching base, 3 BB, 2 singles, 2 doubles, one grand slam HR, 7 runs
Dice threw a lot of pitches once again (24-13-25 19-14-6) and was pulled after giving up a two-run dong to Blalock in the sixth. Lopez did well in his 1.2 IP, Aardsma left the bases loaded in the eighth (a single, two walks and 30 pitches), and Timlin got three quick outs in the ninth on 11 pitches.
Baltimore beat New York 8-2, dropping the Yankees (9-9) 2 GB the Red Sox.
Luis Mendoza (1.80, 237 ERA+) / Daisuke Matsuzaka (2.70, 166 ERA+)
It's the start of a seven-game homestand (Rangers and Angels). Time for Flo to start hittin'.
Mendoza was originally signed by Boston as a free agent in June 2000. He was sent to Texas for Bryan Corey at the 2006 trade deadline. Speaking of Corey, he has decided to become a free agent rather than accept a Pawtucket assignment.
Don't be fooled by Mendoza's ERA: in his five innings of work this season (April 12 against Toronto), the 24-year-old right-hander gave up eight hits, three walks and four runs (but only one earned run). He pitched in six games (16 IP) with Texas last season.
Mendoza's got a good sinker (low 90s) and an average changeup and curve. Lay off the sinker, and wait until he leaves his other pitches up the zone -- like we so often did with Jose Contreras -- and we should be off to the races.
Mike Lowell, who sprained his left thumb on April 9, is antsy:
I can't eat any more gum or chew any more seeds. ... The swelling is almost entirely gone. Grip strength is another issue. I think that's what we're tackling now. I figure if in eight or nine days the swelling has gone down this much, hopefully I can make the same progress in movement.Before last night, Jonathan Papelbon had pitched 29.2 innings of scoreless relief in 27 career April appearances, allowing only 11 hits while striking out 42 batters.