An offensive outburst in Baltimore was just what the doctor ordered. Oh, and the Red Sox had one, too.
David Ortiz’ tirade on a dugout phone appeared to be Big Papi letting out his frustration with the way the Sox had been playing since the All-Star Break. Granted, Boston (62-43) was leading 7-2 in the seventh inning at the time and had received plenty of offense, including home runs by Stephen Drew (2) and Shane Victorino. Still, Ortiz was probably upset that the Red Sox fell out of first place the day prior for the first time since May and perhaps there’s something deeper that we’re all unaware of with Big Papi.
Regardless, the Sox beat Baltimore (58-47) and remained a half-game back of the Rays, who continue to stay hot. The Red Sox look to win the rubber game of this series against the Orioles by sending lefty Jon Lester to the bump. Lester earned his first win since June 27 when he shut down the Rays over 6.1 innings in his last start. The extra rest he received after the All-Star Game paid off and Lester looked like he returned to form. He is 9-6 with a 4.50 ERA, but gave up five runs on nine hits in his last outing against Baltimore.
Here is the lineup for the Red Sox in this Sunday matinee (first pitch – 1:35 pm EDT):
1. Ellsbury, CF
2. Victorino, RF
3. Pedroia, 2B
4. Ortiz, DH
5. Napoli, 1B
6. Carp, LF
7. Saltalamacchia, C
8. Drew, SS
9. Iglesias, 3B
Jason Hammel gets the nod for the Orioles today. Hammel is 7-7 with a 5.20 ERA after starting the year 7-2. He is 0-5 in his last nine starts.
Carp seizing the day
Mike Carp has received the utmost praise one can receive from his manager at this level. After last night’s game, another in which Carp went 3-for-4 with a double and keyed a two-out rally prior to Drew’s first home run, Sox manager John Farrell had high praise for Carp and said he would likely be receiving more at-bats. Lo and behold, Carp’s in the lineup today. Of the trio between Carp, Jonny Gomes and Daniel Nava, Carp has the best batting average by 45 points (Carp - .329; Nava - .284; Gomes - .240). Here's what Farrell said about Carp's swing:
It’s a pretty pure swing. It’s a compact swing. There’s low maintenance to it, which is the reason he can come off the bench and put some good swings on balls and square some up. He’s done a heck of a job when called upon.
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