Red Sox - 101 000 130 - 6 13 0 Orioles - 100 001 000 - 2 4 0Jacoby Ellsbury's two-run single in the eighth inning boosted Boston's lead from 4-2 to 6-2, giving the team some breathing room over the last two innings.
It was Ellsbury's third hit of the night - he doubled and scored in the first and singled and scored in the third. Ellsbury collected three hits in last night's game, as well. In his last five games (all as the leadoff hitter), LBJ is 11-for-24 (.458), with four doubles and six runs scored.
Ellsbury was knocked in both times by Adrian Gonzalez, who also had three hits, including two doubles to the opposite field. Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz had two hits, and Carl Crawford hustled his way to a double in the seventh.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia flew out to deep left-center with the bases loaded to end the sixth, but when he batted with the sacks full in the eighth, he (after fouling off three 2-2 pitches) lined an RBI single to center. That put Boston up 4-2, and two outs later, Ellsbury padded the lead.
Lester (8-4-2-3-5, 108) began his night by allowing a walk and two singles. But after that, it was vintage Sid. After the second single, he retired ten in a row. After issuing two two-out walks in the fourth, he dismissed 10 of the next 11 Birds, the one blemish being Vlad Guerrero's solo home run. Lester allowed a leadoff double in the eighth, but stranded him there by getting the next three hitters. Jonathan Papelbon worked a quick and easy ninth.
Jon Lester / Brad Bergesen
Two losses at Camden Yards have dropped the Red Sox (10-13) back into the AL East basement, 4 GB New York. Boston is hoping to avoid a sweep, and hoping this afternoon's rain in Baltimore clears up by evening.
FWIW: Lester is 13-0 in 16 starts against men dressed in Baltimore Orioles uniforms. That unbeaten streak goes back to August 2006, when Lester faced Jay Gibbons and Kevin Millar, among others. What Lester remembers about pitching to those guys -- or to Tike Redman and Freddie Bynum in late 2007 -- is unlikely to help him tonight. Still, 13-0 sure looks impressive. [Sox vs Bergesen; Birds vs Lester]
Note: The April 13 game against the Rays, which was postponed, has been re-scheduled as the first game of a day/night doubleheader on Tuesday, August 16. ... On July 25, 1956 -- 20,000 days ago -- Roberto Clemente hit the only inside-the-park, walk-off grand slam in baseball history, giving the Pirates a 9-8 win over the Cubs.
AL East: Blue Jays/Rangers at 2 PM; White Sox/Yankees at 7 PM; and Rays/Twins at 8 PM.