A pair of wins to end the series in Baltimore helped the Red Sox calm the waters a bit and head to Fenway Park for a must-have homestand with a little bit of momentum.
Here are a few items we took from the three games in Camden Yards:
Still Searching for Consistency
The starting rotation continues to be up and down, even within the outings.
While Josh Beckett had his best start in weeks in the opener, he was the lone starter in the series to get a loss. Jon Lester gave up five runs in the first two innings on Wednesday but struck out 10 and somehow lasted six innings to get a victory.
Daisuke Matsuzaka surrendered four runs in 5 2/3 innings in the finale but was saved by the bullpen and got his ninth win of the year.
It was a mixed bag that keeps with a theme established early in the season.
Boston had three quality starts on the six-game road trip.
The bullpen gave up three runs in 7 1/3 innings in the series, but two came on solo homers surrendered in one inning of the opener by Felix Doubront, who was pitching through a pectoral muscle strain.
After that, the relievers were clutch.
Daniel Bard ate up two big innings in the middle contest and Scott Atchison did the same in the finale. Jonathan Papelbon closed out both wins and became the first pitcher in major league history to record 35 saves in each of his first five seasons.
If the Red Sox make an unlikely push all the way to the playoffs, Adrian Beltre's three-run blast in the seventh inning of the middle game of the series may serve as a launching point.
The homer proved to be the difference in a 9-6 victory and his solo shot in the second inning of the finale started the scoring in a 6-4 win. It's been quite a year for the third baseman.
Beltre enters the homestand two RBIs shy of 1,000 for his career and two runs shy of 900.
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