for this game

Lowell's grand slam lifts Red Sox over Orioles

Jun 13, 2008 - 2:38 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- The Boston Red Sox finished their nine-game homestand with a bang.

Mike Lowell drilled his second grand slam of the season in support of Jon Lester as the Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles, 7-2, at Fenway Park on Thursday night.

Kevin Youkilis and J.D. Drew each added a two-run blast for the Red Sox, who capped a 7-2 homestand against the Tampa Bay Rays, Seattle Mariners and Orioles. Boston improved to a major league-best 28-7 at Fenway Park this season and has not lost consecutive games here since April 23-24.

The Red Sox grabbed the early lead in the second, when Julio Lugo singled home Youkilis from second for a 1-0 advantage.

After getting out of a first and third jam in the fourth, Baltimore starter Jeremy Guthrie wasn't as lucky in the fifth.

With one out, Jacoby Ellsbury singled, and Guthrie was close to getting out of the inning, when Dustin Pedroia popped out to right. But Drew doubled to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, forcing Guthrie to intentionally walk Manny Ramirez to load the bases.

As was the case on May 22 when Kansas City's Jimmy Gobble issued an intentional pass to Ramirez, Lowell made the pitcher pay, when he launched a hanging slider into the first row of "Green Monster" seats for his eighth career grand slam.

"I'll take the result," Lowell said. "They don't have any place to put me so that's to my advantage, and I kind of have a fly-ball swing, so I'm looking to get something that I can put in play hard. I'm looking to drive the ball but I'm not really thinking home run, which I think is the best way to go about it."

"Mikey's got a great swing, but Manny's got a pretty good resume," Red Sox manager Terry Francona added. "You've got an open base. It's hard not to do that. That's the object of having a batting order that is kind of thick. We want guys to keep the line moving and take their walks, and when they give you one, we want the other team to pay for it."

Guthrie allowed five runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 frames, walking a season-high five while striking out just one. He also offered up a wild pitch in losing his fourth start in six outings.

"It's a big deal," Lowell said. "Four runs in one swing I think means one guy on, a wild pitch, a little blooper, they can tie the game and now they've got to mount a big rally and the way Jonny was pitching I think it totally puts momentum on our side and puts a lot of pressure on them."

Lester (5-3), coming off a five-game suspension for his part in the June 5 brawl with Tampa Bay, was in command throughout, allowing just two runs in the sixth inning, when the Orioles strung together doubles from Brian Roberts, Oscar Salazar and Aubrey Huff.

"Lester was good right from the beginning," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "His pitch count was down, his curveball was good, and he didn't give us too much to hit the first couple of innings. But Guthrie really had to work to get three outs every inning. He really had to work for them."

The Red Sox lefthander allowed seven hits and two runs in seven frames.

"The consistency has somewhat been there," Lester said. "You look at the box scores after the game, and I get some walks but I think the consistency's been there. I've been throwing the ball pretty well the last little while and I've been feeling pretty comfortable."

Lester has allowed three runs or less in each of his last nine starts, going 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA over that span.

"He started out today right out of the chute establishing his breaking ball," Francona said. "He pounded the zone like he was in charge of the game."

Youkilis added his homer in the seventh off Dennis Sarfate, his first blast since May 18 - a span of 20 games. Boston played the game without captain Jason Varitek, who was out with strep throat. He is expected to make the trip to Cincinnati, where the Red Sox begin an interleague series on Friday.

The red-hot Drew added his 10th blast of the season in the eighth to provide the final margin.

"You've got to stay away from the big inning," Trembley said. "The game we won was fine, but (Wednesday) night they jumped out - they scored five. It's hard to come back from those kind of deficits. It's 5-0 before anything really happens. You have to get people out early in the count."

The Orioles lost first baseman Kevin Millar to injury when he fouled a pitch off his left knee in his first at-bat in the second inning. He came out in the middle of the at-bat and immediately went for X-rays, which were negative. He was diagnosed with a contusion and is day to day.

After replacing Millar, Salazar had to come out of the game in the top of the eighth with leg cramps.

For the second time in three nights, the game started at 6 p.m. EDT, an hour earlier than normal to allow fans a chance to see the Boston Celtics play the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Four of the NBA Finals.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BALTIMORE 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 7 0
    BOSTON 0 1 0 0 4 0 2 2 x 9 9 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BAL - JEREMY GUTHRIE, CHAD BRADFORD (5TH), DENNIS SARFATE (7TH),
    JAMIE WALKER (8TH) AND RAMON HERNANDEZ
    BOS - JON LESTER, MANNY DELCARMEN (8TH), MIKE TIMLIN
    (9TH)

    Jun 12 8:43 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY J.D. DREW (10) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF JAMIE WALKER SCORED DUSTIN PEDROIA.
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 2, BOSTON 9
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M RAMIREZ (.303, 0-FOR-2, 2 BB)

    Orioles 2, Red Sox 9  Bot 8, 0 OutsJun 12 8:36 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY KEVIN YOUKILIS (10) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 7TH OFF DENNIS SARFATE SCORED MANNY RAMIREZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 2, BOSTON 7
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: C CRISP (.256, 1-FOR-3)

    Orioles 2, Red Sox 7  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 12 8:14 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY AUBREY HUFF SCORED OSCAR SALAZAR.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A HUFF ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 2
    BOSTON 5 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: R HERNANDEZ (.220, 1-FOR-2)

    Orioles 2, Red Sox 5  Top 6, 0 OutsJun 12 7:53 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY OSCAR SALAZAR SCORED BRIAN ROBERTS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, O SALAZAR ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 1
    BOSTON 5 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: A HUFF (.257, 1-FOR-2)

    Orioles 1, Red Sox 5  Top 6, 0 OutsJun 12 7:49 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GRAND SLAM BY MIKE LOWELL (10) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    5TH OFF JEREMY GUTHRIE SCORED JACOBY ELLSBURY, J.D. DREW AND MANNY
    RAMIREZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 0, BOSTON 5
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K YOUKILIS (.298, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Orioles 0, Red Sox 5  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 12 7:33 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JULIO LUGO SCORED KEVIN YOUKILIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J LUGO ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 0
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K CASH (.279, 0 HR, 6 RBI)

    Orioles 0, Red Sox 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsJun 12 6:42 PM