Victor Martinez Erupts as Red Sox Rally for Third Consecutive Victory


Victor Martinez Erupts as Red Sox Rally for Third Consecutive Victory Postgame, Red Sox 9-4: Mike Cameron is going to see a specialist Wednesday morning in order to get to the bottom of his latest bout of soreness, manager Terry Francona said after Tuesday's win.

We will be here early to update you on that. It would seem as if a move could be possible if Cameron does not respond well.

"We should have better information on the best decision to go forward," Francona said.

Expect to see Jeremy Hermida in the lineup against Oakland starter Ben Sheets and either Bill Hall or Darnell McDonald in center. They will be working behind Daisuke Matsuzaka, who will attempt to get past a poor outing at Fenway six days ago.

First pitch is 7:10 p.m.

Final, Red Sox 9-4: Trailing 4-0 entering the bottom of the fifth, the Red Sox faced an uphill climb. The offense, which could not get the big hit early, made that climb rather easy with nine straight runs, and the bullpen closed the door as Boston wins its third straight.

Victor Martinez is the unquestioned star of the game. He is the first catcher to hit four doubles in a game since Sandy Alomar did so for Cleveland on June 6, 1997, and has five hits in a game for the second time in a Red Sox uniform.

We are heading to the clubhouse to hear from Victor and the rest of the gang on a 14-hit effort at Fenway.

End 8th, Red Sox 9-4: It was no longer a save opportunity so Jonathan Papelbon was sat down in favor of Joe Nelson. The Sox gave Nelson plenty to work with by pounding out three more runs on five hits, two wild pitches and a walk in the eighth.

10:35 p.m.: Victor Martinez has set a new career high with four doubles and matches a career high with five hits, the latest a liner that bounced one hop into the stands down the right-field line.

Martinez singled in his first at bat and has doubled in four of the last six innings.

Martinez's double drove in Dustin Pedroia, who gets his first hit since Wednesday with a one-out double in the eighth. It snapped a string of 17 at bats without a hit and prevented the second baseman from slipping below .250 for the first time since the first week of the season.

A Kevin Youkilis RBI single then ended the night for Michael Wuertz. Jerry Blevins is on with one out in the eighth.

Mid 8th, Red Sox 6-4: The Boston bullpen has not surrendered a run in 7 2/3 innings, including Bill Hall's big shutdown performance the other day. Daniel Bard sets the A's down in order in the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon is up in the pen.

End 7th, Red Sox 6-4: Daniel Bard is jogging in to protect a two-run lead here at Fenway. He will be making his 26th appearance of the season. Entering the night, only one pitcher in the American League – Tampa Bay's Randy Choate — had pitched in more games than that.

While Bard is no longer a rookie, his work load bears watching. Through 26 games last year he had a 2.18 ERA. He posted a 6.16 mark with two losses and three blown saves the rest of the way.

10:07 p.m.: A Bill Hall RBI triple chases Craig Breslow. Michael Wuertz is the fourth Oakland pitcher of the night.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 5-4: Manny Delcarmen continues to be a major asset for this team. His ERA is down to 1.73 after a perfect seventh inning, just what the doctor ordered after the go-ahead rally in the bottom of the sixth.

Daniel Bard was up and warming a moment ago in the Red Sox bullpen.

End 6th, Red Sox 5-4: Victor Martinez has three doubles in four innings and four hits in as many at bats, his latest two-bagger giving the Sox their first lead.

It was a shot into the triangle that bounced into the stands, scoring Darnell McDonald.

Boston got the tying run moments earlier when Dustin Pedroia grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and no outs. Pedroia is now hitless in his last 17 at bats and was not pleased with the result, despite the fact that it knotted the score.

Remember, Pedroia had an 0-for-19 stretch not too long ago.

Manny Delcarmen has taken over for John Lackey, who surrendered 12 hits and walked two in six innings. He is in line for his sixth win, despite not being at his best.

9:42 p.m.: Safe to say 23-year-old rookie Tyson Ross wasn't quite ready for the bright lights of Fenway Park. Ross throws one behind the head of Bill Hall and walks the only two men he faces to start the sixth before being replaced.

Former Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow is on to pitch.

Mid 6th, Athletics 4-3: With 117 pitches thrown and Manny Delcarmen loose in the Red Sox bullpen, John Lackey's night appears to be over with. The A's get two more runners on in the sixth before Lackey wiggles out of the jam.

Tyson Ross is on to pitch for Oakland. He has given up eight runs in 9 1/3 innings over his last four games.

The first "Beat LA" chant of the night recently broke out in the bleachers.

End 5th, Athletics 4-3: Just as it appeared as if the Sox might spoil another scoring opportunity, Adrian Beltre steps up with a big three-run homer. Beltre is now hitting .340 and has all six of his home runs since May 3.

The blast came moments after David Ortiz was punched out on a pitch he seemingly held up on. Ortiz was not a happy camper, but moments later he was among those giving the red-hot Beltre some love.

Mid 5th, Athletics 4-0: All the talk coming in was about John Lackey's control issues (13 walks in previous three starts) but he might be throwing too many strikes in this one. Lackey has walked only one but the A's have 11 hits already.

Not too many of the hits have been cheap, too. The exception may be the Mark Ellis RBI double down the right-field line in the fifth. Simply a pop up that fell into no-man's land.

End 4th, Athletics 2-0: Darnell McDonald singles with two outs but that's all the Sox muster in the fourth. Gio Gonzalez has thrown 82 pitches so he won't be around for much longer, but you have to admire his ability to keep Boston off the board.

The Sox have left seven on base.

Mid 4th, Athletics 2-0: Talk about wasted opportunities. I've been discussing the Sox in that regard since the start of this one, but the A's just choked away a great chance to add to their lead.

John Lackey loaded the bases in the fourth on two doubles and a walk (the runner on second had to freeze on the second double to make sure it wasn't caught, and J.D. Drew did a nice job of getting it back in to hold him at third).

But a force at home, a short fly to center and a pop to Dustin Pedroia at second gets Lackey into the dugout still just down two.

Terry Francona loves to talk about how Lackey "competes." That was a great example right there.

End 3rd, Athletics 2-0: You hate to see that number next to "LOB" in the box score grow, but it is at six after the Sox waste another prime scoring opportunity in the third.

Boston has three hits and four walks and nothing to show for it. Victor Martinez led off the third with a double, but Kevin Youkilis struck out.

After Gio Gonzalez lost David Ortiz to put two on, Adrian Beltre grounded into a double play.

LOB: 6

Not good.

Mid 3rd, Athletics 2-0: Coming off a scorching May and playing their first game in June, the Red Sox looked a bit like they did in April in the third inning. Remember April? It was filled with sloppy defense and some rough pitching performances.

With one out, speedy Rajai Davis grounded one up the middle that shortstop Marco Scutaro had a beat on, but pulled up and let it roll into center. He may have thought it was going to hit the bag. Not sure.

Either way, it put a base stealer at first, and he was off in a few pitches. But Victor Martinez's throw bounced and rolled into center, allowing Davis to get to third on a throwing error.

Maybe it didn't matter. Daric Barton followed with a two-run bomb into the Oakland bullpen, but it was not a pretty sequence for the Sox.

Kurt Suzuki also tripled in the inning but was left at third when Jack Cust grounded out.

End 2nd, 0-0: Dustin Pedroia slams his helmet hard and lets out an ugly word, both of which could be heard from the press box, after popping up with the bases loaded to end the second.

Pedroia is hitless in 15 straight at bats but you know that one particularly hurt. The Sox have left five on through two against Gio Gonzalez, who has walked three.

Those missed opportunities can always come back to hurt you.

Mid 2nd, 0-0: Adrian Beltre nearly makes a spectacular play to end the top of the second, but cannot get up from a dive to throw across in time, allowing Kevin Kouzmanoff to reach on the A's first hit. Bill Hall may have actually made a spectacular play moments later but the umps ruled Gabe Gross's sinking liner in left a hit, even though it may have landed in Hall's glove.

John Lackey got out of the two-on, two-out jam by getting Mark Ellis to line out.

End 1st, 0-0: Dustin Pedroia's struggles continue, but he hits a ball pretty hard the other way, which can sometimes be a good sign. Pedroia is now hitless in his last 14 at bats and his average is down to .254 after he lines to first baseman Daric Barton for the second out in the first.

Victor Martinez followed with a hard single up the middle and Kevin Youkilis walked to set up David Ortiz in a big spot early on. Gio Gonzalez, who has dominated lefties this year, battles back from a 2-0 count to strike out Ortiz and end the inning.

Mid 1st, 0-0: To hear John Lackey and most others in the know talk about it, it's just a matter of refinement before he gets the strikeout numbers up and the walk totals down. He looked rather refined in the first inning, freezing Rajai Davis on a fastball on the inside corner to start a 10-pitch, 1-2-3 first.

7:26 p.m.: They are exchanging lineup cards down below and it has turned into a rather nice night at Fenway, where the Sox are 15-7 since April 20.

6:55 p.m.: We just received word that the game will be delayed 20 minutes before a 7:30 start. There is a light rain coming down now but brighter skies to the west and playing baseball will not be an issue. 

6:38 p.m.: As we wait on an official start time, here are a few more pregame updates.

John Lackey enters this one with the knowledge that he has dominated the A's in his career (16-4, 2.76 ERA), yet the first seven hitters in the Oakland lineup are batting a combined .290 (27-for-93) with four home runs against him.

Also, Lackey is still searching for that clean start when it comes to his command. He has walked 13 men in his last three starts and is averaging 4.4 for every nine innings, a full 1.7 above his career norm.

Both Lackey and manager Terry Francona have insisted they are not overly concerned with the high walk totals. Francona said after Lackey walked five against Philadelphia two starts ago that several pitches just barely missed. After issuing four free passes in an otherwise solid outing against Tampa Bay, it was a case of picking and choosing whom he wanted to pitch to.

"There's been times he's gone out there this year and he hasn't had his best stuff but he's been able to navigate through the lineup," Francona said. "He's very intelligent and he competes. More often than not you're gonna look up in the sixth or seventh inning and we'll have a chance to win."

The Sox are 5-5 in Lackey's 10 starts. He has been OK at times but it would be nice to see that clean start soon.

It does not appear as if there is any rain falling, but the tarp is on the field and there is another band of storms expected to roll through before they go off to sea forever. At least the skyline isn't shrouded in Canadian smoke, right?

Updates on the weather to come.

6:03 p.m.: OK, I lied about the tarp and the weather and all that. It is raining again and extremely dark here at Fenway as they have not turned on the lights yet. Kind of surreal, actually.

Will certainly keep you updated if and when they delay this one.

5:42 p.m.: The tarp has been removed from the field here at Fenway, although they may just be dumping the water on top. But the skies are not nearly as threatening as they were two hours ago and we may have a chance to start on time.

In other news, Josh Beckett continues to monitor his back issues, but has not thrown again yet. Beckett had a bullpen session cut short Friday when his mechanics were off.

Terry Francona said the club will monitor his progress in the coming days and try to find a window to throw again.

Also, we have some news on a few other fronts. Click the links for the full stories. First of all, Jonathan Van Every was traded back to the Piratesfor a minor league catcher. Also, highly touted outfield prospect Ryan Kalish has reportedly been promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket amid a very hot stretch.

Back in a bit with a little more.

4:35 p.m.: The Red Sox' messy outfield situation continues to remain a but up in the air. While Jacoby Ellsbury was in the park and took batting practice today, Mike Cameron is sore again and will be checked out by team medical director Dr. Thomas Gill later on tonight.

Manager Terry Francona said Cameron felt a pain in his side on the off day, but it was in a different spot than the original pain he felt while on the DL.

We'll keep you posted on that, but expect to see plenty more of Bill Hall and Darnell McDonald and Jeremy Hermida on a daily basis. It just seems as if the outfield will never be settled.

Francona also went at length on his relationship with Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. Look for more on that in a separate piece on

More updates to come in a bit.

3:35 p.m.: The Red Sox released a statement on the weather situation, saying that showers and thunderstorms will persist into the early evening, but "conditions are expected to improve as the evening progresses." It could be a long night waiting for that window of opportunity.

3:23 p.m.: That rumbling you heard was not your stomach. The skies over Fenway are as dark as night and the thunder and lightning are keeping us alert. We will have all the weather updates going forward. For now, here is the Red Sox lineup for the opener against the A's:

Marco Scutaro SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Victor Martinez C
Kevin Youkilis 1B
David Ortiz DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
J.D. Drew RF
Bill Hall LF
Darnell McDonald CF

8 a.m.:Until the star tandem of Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester stepped in, the Kansas City Royals proved to be a bit tougher than the Red Sox would've liked. That's the way the Oakland Athletics have played all year.

The A's, an unexpected leader in the jumbled American League West, carry their quality starting staff into Fenway Park for three games starting Tuesday night.

The Sox, who split four games with the Royals over the weekend, send John Lackey to the hill. The club is 5-5 in the starts made by the right-hander, who has had an uncharacteristically high number of walks this year.

Over his last three starts, Lackey has walked 13 against just eight strikeouts. He worked around those issues in his last start to allow just two runs in 6 1/3 innings and defeat the Tampa Bay Rays.

Lackey is 16-4 with a 2.76 ERA in 29 career starts against the Athletics.

Oakland, which won eight of its last 10 to finish May, gives the ball to lefty Gio Gonzalez. The A's allowed one run or less six times in that stretch.

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