Red Sox Live Blog: Red Sox Stay Hot, Outlast Orioles 15-10


Red Sox Live Blog: Red Sox Stay Hot, Outlast Orioles 15-10

Final, Red Sox 15-10: Franklin Morales strikes out the side in the ninth to finally put the Orioles out of their misery.

Every starter but J.D. Drew gets a hit and the Sox wind up with 16 as a team in another offensive explosion against the hapless Orioles.

Boston has won 13 of its last 15 games, including three straight. It will try to keep the hot streak going when Kyle Weiland makes his second major league start opposite Jeremy Guthrie on Tuesday night.

We will be here to follow all the action. Check in early. Check in often.

Mid 9th, Red Sox 15-10: It will be up to Franklin Morales to protect a five-run lead. Jonathan Papelbon only threw 11 pitches last night so he will be up at the first sign of trouble.

End 8th, Red Sox 15-10: And you thought last night was nutty.

Before the Sox and O’s stepped on the field tonight, the most combined runs in a game for Boston this year was 21 (16-5 win in Toronto).

The clubs have shattered that mark after the Orioles score three times off Randy Williams in the eighth.

With the bullpen rather depleted, Terry Francona would love to stay away from a situation in which he needs to turn to one of the big guns. That inning, which featured a walk, two singles, a wild pitch and a passed ball, makes that task a bit more difficult.

Mid 8th, Red Sox 15-7: Carl Crawford added an RBI single and Darnell McDonald then ripped a bases-clearing double to break this one wide open. I’d give more detail than that, but all you need to know is that these two teams remain incredibly mismatched, and much of the discrepancy lies in the bullpens.

Boston’s has been excellent of late. Baltimore’s is a disaster.

Randy Williams is on to work the eighth for the Sox.

9:58 p.m.: My goodness. What a disaster this team is.

After serving up the two-run double to Dustin Pedroia, Mark Worrell throws one pitch to Kevin Youkilis, a meaty offering that Youk hammers up the middle to score two more.

Six straight have reached against two Orioles pitchers. Chris Jakubauskas is the third reliever of the inning. He’ll take on Josh Reddick with two runners in scoring position.

9:55 p.m.: The Orioles are a mess. Dustin Pedroia is not.

After working a 3-2 count on the spastic Mark Worrell, Pedroia takes the awkward righty to the wall in right to drive in two.

Worrell is intentionally walking Adrian Gonzalez. He will face Kevin Youkilis with the bases loaded again, now down two.

9:50 p.m.: There was a time when Mike Gonzalez had some putaway stuff.

He couldn’t do away with anyone in the eighth. Jarrod Saltalamacchia saw seven pitches (groundout), Darnell McDonald five (walk), Marco Scutaro nine (single) and Jacoby Ellsbury eight (walk).

Gonzalez leaves with one out and the bases loaded. Dustin Pedroia is up against Mark Worrell.

There’s certainly something going on with Saltalamacchia. He has been a bit awkward with some movements behind the plate and just took a swing that caused him a great deal of pain.

It looks like it might be his right foot. Salty has had a busy night. He homered, singled and scored on a sac fly, caught the knuckler, etc.

If you recall his dash home on the sac fly back in the third, he seemed to lose his stride near the end, perhaps because of whatever is bothering him now. With Jason Varitek coming off a game in which he caught 15 innings, the catching corps is stretched thin.

End 7th, 7-7: The Red Sox did play consecutive extra-inning games once before this year, doing so May 9-10 vs. Minnesota and at Toronto.

We may see that occur once again unless there is some scoring in the final two frames. Perhaps the Red Sox can just leave Dan Wheeler in to do their part.

Wheeler has worked 2 1/3 scoreless innings. He struck out three in the seventh.

This bullpen continues to impress.

Mid 7th, 7-7: A controversial call goes against the Red Sox to end the seventh.

With runners on the corners and two outs, Carl Crawford tapped one to second. Robert Andino made a nice play charging and fielding the ball just in front of a running Kevin Youkilis before throwing to first to nip Crawford.

Crawford was about as hot as you will see him, which is not that hot, and needed to be separated from the first base umpire. It looks like Crawford had a beef having barely beaten the throw. That would’ve given the Red Sox the go-ahead run.

Dan Wheeler is staying in to work the eighth.

9:14 p.m.: If you really thought the Orioles were going to hold a one-run lead for four innings against this offense, you were misguided, to say the least.

Jason Berken comes on in a big spot and delivers two pitches. One was a ball. The other was lashed into left field by Kevin Youkilis, scoring Jacoby Ellsbury with the tying run and prompting Buck Showalter to jump out of the dugout once more.

Michael Gonzalez is on to face Josh Reddick.

9:10 p.m.: Jacoby Ellsbury singled, Dustin Pedroia walked and then Adrian Gonzalez was a strikeout victim.

Gonzalez swung at an awful 2-0 pitch to allow Troy Patton to get back into the at-bat. Two pitches later, Patton went outside with a fastball to get Gonzalez swinging.

Jason Berken is jogging in to take over in a huge situation. Tying run on second. Go-ahead run on first. One out. Kevin Youkilis up.

End 6th, Orioles 7-6: Dan Wheeler. Stopper.

Wheeler has retired all four Orioles he has faced and we enter the final third of this one with no clue whatsoever what the future holds.

Mid 6th, Orioles 7-6: Troy Patton, whose name makes it sound like he should be in rodeo, comes on for the Orioles and gets the Red Sox in order in the sixth.

Tim Wakefield’s pursuit of No. 199 will probably continue Sunday at home against Seattle. If he gets it, then 200 could be tracked down in Chicago the next weekend.

That is if Wakefield remains in the rotation and on turn when Jon Lester returns.

End 5th, Orioles 7-6: Dan Wheeler strands a pair in scoring position to keep this a one-run game.

Something tells me the scoring isn’t done at Camden Yards.

8:38 p.m.: Tim Wakefield cruised into the fifth and started the inning with consecutive strikeouts.

However, one of the Ks also had a passed ball tacked onto it, allowing the hitter, Felix Pie, to reach.

That was just the tip of the iceberg for Wakefield’s issues in the inning.

J.J. Hardy, who finalized a three-year, $22.25 million contract earlier in the day, backed it up with a two-run homer off Wakefield to make it 6-4. Adam Jones lined a solo shot into the seats in left to cut the O’s deficit to on.

Then came two singles and a walk to load the bases and then a two-run double by Mark Reynolds.

You know Terry Francona wanted to give Wakefield a chance to finish five and stay in line for the win. That thing unraveled in an instant and Francona came a batter or two too late.

Dan Wheeler is on with two runners in scoring position.

Mid 5th, Red Sox 6-2: As of a week ago or so, there was still a tiny degree of doubt as to whether Josh Reddick would still be with the team once Carl Crawford returns.

It will be hard for Terry Francona to ever take this guy out of the lineup at this rate. He just homered off the pole in right, giving him four home runs and 12 extra-base hits in 27 games (only 18 of which have been starts) this year.

Reddick is now 15-for-42 (.357) with five of his seven career home runs against the Orioles.

End 4th, Red Sox 5-2: Tim Wakefield has set down seven in a row and is just one inning away from at least qualifying for his 199th win.

The Yankees are losing in Tampa Bay right now. We discussed earlier today how tonight marks the beginning of a stretch that could see the Sox get some distance in the standings.

Mid 4th, Red Sox 5-2: Carl Crawford has his first trip around the bases since June 12 after singling and later scoring when a Marco Scutaro grounder was muffed by first baseman Derrek Lee.

Crawford appeared to be moving just fine, although he was told to slide on the play at the plate and chose to glide through on his feet.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia later scored on a sacrifice fly.

The Orioles may have the worst defense in the league. Statistically, they’re right up there in many categories, but seeing them with the naked eye is further proof. The bungled a bunch of plays in the Sox’ four-game sweep before the break, and didn’t do too much to help themselves out in the fourth.

End 3rd, Red Sox 3-2: Tim Wakefield has his first 1-2-3 inning. It included his first strikeout of the game, the 1,994th of his Red Sox career.

In his bid to give the club innings, Wakefield is off to an OK start. His pitch count is at a very manageable 47 through three.

Interestingly enough, so too is Brad Bergesen’s.

Mid 3rd, Red Sox 3-2: So much for lethargy.

The way the Red Sox have knocked around Brad Bergesen in the past, they figured to get their hits eventually in this one. They got plenty in the third. In fact, they had as many hits in the third inning as they had in 16 innings last night.

It started with a leadoff homer by Jarrod Saltalamacchia. J.D. Drew made a bid for one of his own, but it was caught at the wall in center.

Then came four straight singles, the last two by Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez knocking in a run apiece.

Saltalamacchia’s homer is his seventh. Pedroia’s hitting streak is at 16 games. Gonzalez is now 5-for-6 with four RBIs off Bergesen.

When I get the Pick Six numbers I’ll pass those on, too.

End 2nd, Orioles 2-0: Dustin Pedroia seems to make a play every other inning in the field that makes you appreciate how special he is.

After Felix Pie reached with one out, he predictably tried to run on Tim Wakefield. Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s throw, on the heels of a low knuckler that didn’t make things easy on him, skipped in front of the bag.

Pedroia short-hopped the throw and whipped his glove back to catch Pie sliding in. Great play, and it became even bigger when Robert Andino followed with a single.

Mid 2nd, Orioles 2-0: Brad Bergesen has set down the first six Red Sox hitters, including Carl Crawford to end the second.

Crawford’s first at-bat in a month and a day is a weak tapper to second.

Although he had one incredible week, the season has been a pretty poor one for Crawford. Sometimes injuries are blessings in disguise, and perhaps he can reset and have a much better second half.

To do so he will need fewer weak tappers to second.

End 1st, Orioles 2-0: OK, I was the one who wrote the garbage about the Red Sox being able to take advantage of David Ortiz’s absence by giving other players some days off in the field.

Jacoby Ellsbury is the first to get a shot at playing DH rather than center field, and it may have hurt the Red Sox in the first.

After back-to-back two-out singles gave the Orioles a threat, Derrek Lee launched a moon shot to deep center. The ball hit the wall on a fly and would’ve been a tough play for even the best center fielders in the biz.

But Josh Reddick did not play it all that well. He seemed to be caught off guard with how far the ball traveled and was also turned around. The ball hit a few feet to his right and bounced toward right field as two runs scored easily and Lee ended up with a triple.

Mid 1st, 0-0: Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez entered this game a combined 13-for-28 (.464) against Brad Bergesen.

They are now 13-for-31 against him after the Orioles righty works an extremely easy first. Bergesen threw just nine pitches, getting two quick outs on the ground and then a strikeout of Gonzalez, who is 1-for-16 since the All-Star break.

If there are more innings like that, you can start having that “Is fatigue an issue?” discussion in regards to the Red Sox’ approach at the plate.

7:07 p.m.: Brad Bergesen’s first pitch to designated hitter Jacoby Ellsbury is a strike. We are off and running.

6:10 p.m.: Lost in the David Ortiz news, the late arrival in Baltimore, the amazing win last night and the return of Carl Crawford is the fact that Tim Wakefield is looking to nail down career win No. 199.

As is the case every time Wakefield takes the mound, there are other lists he will climb, both good and bad. Here is the update on a few:

  • Wakefield needs seven strikeouts to join Roger Clemens as the only two pitchers to record 2,000 Ks in a Red Sox uniform. Clemens had 2,590.
  • With a win, Wakefield would be alone in 110th place on the all-time list. He would also move to within seven of tying Clemens and Cy Young for the franchise record of 192.
  • Once his start is official, Wakefield will move into 78th place on the all-time list. It will be his 452nd career start. He will also tie Jeff Brantley for 172nd on the all-time list for games as a pitcher. This will be Wakefield’s 615th game.
  • Wakefield has allowed 404 home runs in his career, good for 12th all time. David Wells is 11th with 407. Randy Johnson is 10th with 411.
  • With a loss, Wakefield would move into a tie for 80th with Mike Moore, who ended his career with 176.
  • Wakefield enters tied with switch-pitcher Tony Mullane for 35th on the all-time list in earned runs (1,537). Kenny Rogers is next with 1,568.
  • Wakefield’s first hit allowed will tie him with Chuck Finley for 117th on the career list. His third will tie him with Bert Cunningham for 116h. His sixth will tie him with John Smoltz for 115th, his seventh with Luis Tiant and his eighth with Dennis Eckersley. Hopefully it doesn’t go too far beyond that tonight.

5:35 p.m.: We know the Orioles will be without Kevin Gregg for this series.

For one night, however, the Boston bullpen may be in rougher shape from a personnel standpoint. Alfredo Aceves will not be available after throwing three innings last night. Terry Francona will also stay away from Daniel Bard after he threw 27 pitches in the 16-inning win.

Then again, Bard appeared in a game one day after throwing 28 pitches, so don’t completely rule him out.

Franklin Morales threw 19 pitches and Matt Albers 20. Both should be available, although Albers has thrown on consecutive days just four times this year and they all came after he threw fewer pitches in the first game.

In any event, it puts a premium on Tim Wakefield’s ability to last deep into the game. Wakefield is certainly rested, last throwing in a game July 6.

We will have a collection of numbers related to Wakefield’s start in a bit.

5:12 p.m.: Word from Baltimore is that Terry Francona has corrected the date of Jon Lester’s return. It is not July 26, as reported yesterday, but the 25th.

Presumably, the rotation on the homestand will look like this: Lackey (Fri. vs. Sea), Beckett (Sat. vs. Sea), Wakefield (Sun. vs. Sea), Lester (Mon. vs. KC), Miller (Tues. vs. KC).

That is not set in stone. It’s just how it lines up right now.

4:23 p.m.: Some good numbers from the Sox media relations team on last night’s game:

  • A 17-inning tie against the St. Louis Browns on July 14, 1916, was the only other Red Sox game to go scoreless longer.
  • The eight combined hits was the lowest total in a game lasting at least 14 innings in the live ball era.
  • Boston is the first team to hold an opponent to three hits or less in a game lasting at least 16 innings since 1919.
  • At 5 hours, 44 minutes, it was the longest game in which the Red Sox have been involved since July 9, 2006, when they lost a 19-inning affair at the White Sox in a game that lasted 6 hours, 19 minutes.

The Sox likely left Tropicana Field around 2:45-3:00 this morning. With a bus ride to the airport and a flight of about two hours, that puts them in at around 6 a.m. or so. Check in. Change into jammies. You’re looking at hitting the pillow at 6:30-7.

Certainly many got a few winks on the plane, but that’s never the same. It was probably all they could do to take a few hours in the morning to nap, grab lunch and then start it all over again.

3:40 p.m.: The fact that David Ortiz is out of the lineup may not be much all that much of a factor. The Red Sox have handled Brad Bergesen very well in their prior encounters with the righty.

Carl Crawford’s return was well-timed. He is 4-for-10 (.400) with two doubles and a home run against Bergesen. J.D. Drew is 7-for-21 (.333) with two homers and a double. Jacoby Ellsbury is 4-for-11 (.364) with two doubles. Dustin Pedroia is 5-for-14 (.357) with a double.

Last but not least is Adrian Gonzalez, who is 4-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs vs. Bergesen. That might be the matchup the Red Sox first baseman needs to break out of a relative slump; Gonzalez is 1-for-15 since the All-Star break.

Overall, the starting lineup Monday is 34-for-102 (.333) against Bergesen.

Tim Wakefield may be getting a break as well in terms of the timing. His first start against Baltimore in over a year comes just days after Orioles designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero was placed on the disabled list with a right hand contusion. Guerrero absolutely murders the knuckleball, sporting a .480 mark (12-for-25) with five home runs.

Without Guerrero, the following Baltimore lineup is just 15-for-62 (.242) with two home runs off Wakefield:

J.J. Hardy, SS
Nick Markakis, RF
Adam Jones, CF
Matt Wieters, C
Derrek Lee, 1B
Mark Reynolds, 3B
Nolan Reimold, DH
Felix Pie, LF
Robert Andino, 2B

3:07 p.m.: David Ortiz will apparently begin serving his suspension Monday, meaning he is likely out for the Baltimore series. We will get concrete word in a bit.

Here is the lineup without Big Papi:

Jacoby Ellsbury, DH
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Josh Reddick, CF
Carl Crawford, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
J.D. Drew, RF
Marco Scutaro, SS

Ellsbury draws the DH nod today. You may see Youkilis get a shot at it during the series. The Red Sox can turn the suspension into a positive by getting some guys a little bit of rest while keeping them in the lineup.

Also, word is that Drew Sutton will be optioned to Pawtucket to make room for Crawford. No surprise there.

8 a.m.: Before Sunday, many Red Sox and Orioles fans might’ve been looking forward to the rematch between the two teams after their fight-filled meeting in Fenway Park last weekend.

But after Boston’s 16-inning win at Tampa Bay on Sunday night/Monday morning, much of the talk will be on the lack of sleep on the visitors’ side when the Sox and O’s meet at Camden Yards Monday night.

Dustin Pedroia’s RBI single in the 16th snapped a scoreless tie and gave Boston a win over the Rays in a game that ended just before 2 a.m. The victory was the 12th in 14 games for the Red Sox.

At least two Boston players will be rested. One is left fielder Carl Crawford, who flew to Baltimore on Sunday and is expected to be activated from the disabled list prior to the game. The other is Tim Wakefield, who goes for career win No. 199.

The last time Wakefield made a start against Baltimore, just over a year ago, he allowed two runs in eight innings of a game that lasted two hours and seven minutes. That’s just over one-third the duration of Sunday’s game at Tropicana Field.

Brad Bergesen goes for Baltimore. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.

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