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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Now We See What the Red Sox are Made of

The Boston Red Sox (35-25) dropped its series finale to the Baltimore Orioles, 6-3, last night at Camden Yards and the news off the field for Boston was even worse.
Slugger David Ortiz hurt his wrist on Saturday night taking a swing and he'll be forced to go on the DL. Reports say he could miss up to a month.

Few teams have as much depth in their lineup as the Red Sox but that will be tested without Papi in there for the near future. So much of what makes Manny and Ortiz great (and the rest of the hitters) and that there's protection.

Last night Manny batted third and Kevin Youkilis was fourth with Mike Lowell following him. It's not an ideal situation but the Sox can make it work if other guys continue to swing the bat and the pitching improves.

Tim Wakefield pitched well enough to win but the bats couldn't provide enough runs for him. Wakefield went seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits with four walks and three strikeouts. He got a no-decision.

Reliever Hideki Okajima (1-1) was the goat last night as he gave up a career-high four hits and four runs in 2/3 of an inning. The big blow was a two-out, three-run double by Adam Jones which gave the Orioles (27-29) the 6-3 lead.

Manny (2 hits) had another home run (his third straight game with a homer) and he actually had a chance to tie it in the ninth but he flew out to right with two men on against Orioles closer George Sherrill. Sherrill walked two in the ninth but recovered to save his 18th game of the season.

Jeremy Guthrie also gave the Orioles a nice start. He went 6.1 innings, giving up two runs on eight hits with one walk and five strikeouts.

Baltimore took a 2-0 lead in the fourth as Aubrey Huff (2 hits, 2 runs) had an RBI double and Kevin Millar knocked in a run with a single.

The Red Sox answered with single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth before Okajima's implosion. Manny homered in the sixth, Kevin Cash had an RBI double in the seventh and Mike Lowell knocked in Youk with an RBI single in the eighth.

Millar tied it in the eighth with a sacrifice fly before Jones delivered.

Boston comes home for a huge three-game series with the Rays. You read that correctly. Tampa Bay is still in first place in the AL East (1.5 games up on Boston) and comes to Fenway for the teams' third series of the year. They've each swept three-game sets at home.

Justin Masterson makes his third start for the Red Sox tonight against Matt Garza.

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