Red Sox - 300 000 010 - 4 9 2For the second game in a row, the bats struck for three runs in the first, then fell silent.
Orioles - 014 000 00x - 5 11 2
The Red Sox began the game: Crisp single, Pedroia L6, Ortiz double, Manny single/1-0, Lowell E5/2-0, Youkilis F8, Drew E3/3-0.
But Beckett struggled. After retiring the first five Orioles, he allowed three straight singles to cut the lead to 3-1. He gave up two singles to start the third inning, then got two strikeouts, but Millar singled for one run and Scott followed with a three-run dong -- and it was 5-3 Birds.
Boston did little with Guthrie until the seventh when Casey and Pedroia singled. Baltimore went to the pen. Walker walked Flo and the bases were loaded with no one out for Manny. Johnson came in and won a 10-pitch battle, getting Ramirez to tap into a 1-2-3 DP. Lowell then flied to left to end the threat.
The Red Sox rallied again in the eighth. With one out, Ellsbury and Varitek walked. Cora's single to right scored Lyndon to make it 5-4. But with Sherrill on the mound, Casey flied to left and Pedroia grounded to first. In the ninth, Ortiz, Ramirez and Lowell went down in order.
In Florida, Tampa beat the Rivera and the Yankees 2-1 in 11 innings, to move into first place. ... We are .5 GB. ... New York is 19-21.
Back at 'em with an afternoon game tomorrow.
Josh Beckett (3.70, 118 ERA+) / Jeremy Guthrie (4.32, 98 ERA+)
Terry Francona's mother-in-law passed away last night, so Brad Mills will manage the two games at Camden Yards.
Since May 3, Kevin Youkilis is hitting .421 (in 43 plate appearances). His 16 hits in that time: 5 singles, 5 doubles and 6 home runs -- for a 1.026 slugging percentage. (And one stolen base!)
Tampa (.5 GB) hosts the Yankees (Wang/Jackson) at 7.
Rich Gossage, on Joba's 8th-inning fist pump-athons:
That's just not the Yankee way ... Let everyone else do that stuff, but not a Yankee. What I don't understand is, the kid's got the greatest mentor in the world in Mariano ... you'd think it wouldn't happen on that team.