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Red Sox Bullpen Hold On For The Win

Posted By "Baseball Brenda" Sepanek On May 11 2010 @ 3:00 pm In Boston Red Sox | No Comments

The Red Sox hung on to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-6. It was their 4th straight win over the Jays and it was a messy one. With 10 walks and 10 runs over 2 innings, it took an hour and 2o minutes to complete. John Lackey faced Brandon Morrow and both were shaky.

The Sox took an early 2-0 lead on a Victor Martinez single up the middle scoring Marco Scutaro who walked and Dustin Pedroia who doubled to deep center.

The second inning things went downhill fast for Lackey and Morrow. Lackey allowed the first six batters in the inning to reach base giving up 4 runs making it 4-2 before retiring the side. Lackey’s poor performance was overshadowed by Morrow when he set a new Blue Jays record, walking five batters in one inning.

The Red Sox answered back with 4 runs of their own by the time the long inning was over. Jeremy Hermida led offf with a walk. Darnell McDonald struck out swinging. Jonathan Van Every and Scutaro followed with walks, loading the bases. Pedroia walked making it 4-2. Martinez hit a grounder to short which should have been an inning ending double play, but the throw from second baseman Aaron Hill soared into the Red Sox dugout giving the Sox the break they needed to take the 5-4 lead. Kevin Youkilis earned Morrow his 5th record breaking walk of the inning. David Ortiz ripped a shot to right field giving him his 7th RBI in his last 7 games, making it 6-4. Morrow punched out early last night, lasting only 1.2 innings. Four runs on one hit, with six walks in one inning…we’ll take that.

Bottom of the 3rd, Pedroia notched his second hit of the night and second RBI earning him NESN Player of the Game, a honor he should get used to receiving many times this season.

The Sox were up 7-4 in the top of the 5th when Jose Bautista homered to left with Alex Gonzalez on base making it a one run game, 7-6.

Lackey lasted one more inning before the bullpen took over in the top of the seventh. The Red Sox owe this win to the bullpen and a casper appearance from Morrow. One inning he was there, the next he wasn’t. Hideki Okajima pitched a scoreless seventh inning with 6 pitches. Daniel Bard came in to pitch a scoreless eighth with 14 pitches. And Johnathan Papelbon closed the game out with a 13 pitch scoreless ninth to earn the save. The bullpen pitched 3 innings of near perfection with only Bard giving up a walk in the eighth. Just what the Sox needed.

Lackey finished the night going 6 innings, giving up 8 hits, 6 earned runs, 3 walks with 6 strikeouts on 95 pitches. When asked about Lackey’s performance, Terry Francona had this to say: “To his credit, he reeled it back in. He competed without his best stuff tonight, and got us deep enough where our guys in the bullpen could do their job, and they did it really well.’’ This comes at a time the Red Sox could use some consistency from their bullpen. It was to see them step up and pick up Lackey when he needed the help. That is how you win ball games. Let’s hope the starting rotation can start to find some consistency. Aside from Lester, four of the last five games the Sox starters have given up 5 earned runs a game. Sounds like Lackey isn’t the only one who needs to “reel it in.”

Once again the Red Sox are one game above .500 at 17-16. Toronto seems to be helping us out this year so hopefully they can take advantage of this 3 game series. They are 6-2 during this current homestand and it is nice to see their home record improving.

Injury Watch: J.D. was scratched from the lineup last night due to Vertigo. I can personally attest Vertigo is no joke. My mother was diagnosed with it and because of it took a terrible fall and broke a couple ribs. Between Jacoby Ellsbury’s injury and Drew, they are both serious conditions I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. It took her a couple months to fully heal from the ribs. It is a painful injury.

Speaking of injuries, it looks like Josh Beckett’s next start is being pushed back to Friday because of back spasms. I am not sure how much I believe the back spasm part. All I know is my prediction to see Wakefield back in the lineup sooner than later is accurate. Although, I figured it would be due to an re-injury by Dice K, not Beckett.

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