Orioles 5, Red Sox 2
As the AL East race heads into September, the Baltimore Orioles
aren’t playing like a last-place team anymore and the Boston Red
Sox no longer have the look of a contender.
Rookie Brian Matusz won his third consecutive start, and the
Baltimore Orioles beat Josh Beckett and the fading Red Sox 5-2 on
Tuesday night to cap a memorable first month under manager Buck
Luke Scott hit his career-high 26th homer, had two RBIs and
scored twice to help the Orioles extend their winning streak to
four. Baltimore went 17-11 in August, 17-10 with Showalter in the
”It’s been fun, what can you say? We are getting pitching, we
are getting defense and we are getting offense,” right fielder
Nick Markakis said. ”When you get all three of those, good things
The Orioles last had a winning August in 1997 – the most recent
season in which they finished above .500.
”The positive thing is we are doing it against teams that we
have struggled with in the past,” Markakis said.
Baltimore went 6-0 against the Los Angeles Angels in August and
finished the month by beating Boston. The Orioles were 4-24 against
those teams last year.
Matusz (7-12) allowed two runs, six hits and a walk in six-plus
innings. The left-hander struck out six, including David Ortiz
Koji Uehara, the third Baltimore reliever, retired all five
batters he faced to earn his fifth save.
Jed Lowrie homered for the Red Sox, who have dropped three
straight. Boston fell eight games behind AL East-leader New York
and remained seven games behind second-place Tampa Bay.
”We’ve got to win games,” Lowrie said. ”We don’t have any
Lowrie was one of few players to make himself available in the
sullen Boston clubhouse. Beckett left by the time reporters were
allowed to enter and Ortiz refused to talk.
Beckett (4-4), who came in with a 6.50 ERA, gave up three runs,
two earned, and seven hits in seven innings.
”We expect that from Beckett,” manager Terry Francona said.
”We’ve come for a long time to lean on him. Tonight was more what
he can do.”
Baltimore got a first-inning run when Markakis doubled and
scored on a single by Scott, who ended a 2-for-21 slump. Markakis
became the first player in Orioles history to hit 40 doubles in
four successive seasons.
”It’s definitely something to be excited about,” he said.
”You’re going to have your struggles, but it’s always good to get
something like that.”
It became 3-0 in the third. With runners on the corners and two
outs, Adam Jones hit a grounder in the hole to shortstop Marco
Scutaro, who threw wildly to second. Jones was credited with an RBI
single, and another run scored while right fielder J.D. Drew
retrieved the ball.
”I have nothing to say. I just made a bad throw. That’s it,”
Scutaro said. ”I don’t have any excuses.”
Lowrie ended Baltimore’s run of 30 straight scoreless innings in
the fifth, hitting his fourth homer following a leadoff single by
Mike Lowell. It was only the third home run allowed by Matusz in
his last seven starts.
”I made a bad pitch right there, but that’s going to happen,”
Matusz said. ”I was able to really come back and bear down and
finish it off.”
The Red Sox got runners at first and third with two outs in the
sixth before Lowell looked at a third strike.
Scott and Felix Pie both hit solo shots off Felix Doubront in
Notes: Ortiz is 0 for 9 with eight strikeouts lifetime against
Matusz. … Francona said Boston will reactivate C Jarrod
Saltalamacchia and INF/OF Eric Patterson from the 15-day DL when
rosters expand on Wednesday. … Jones (bruised shoulder) returned
after missing five games and 2B Brian Roberts (hip strain) returned
after missing two games. … 2B Dustin Pedroia (sore left foot) and
C Jason Varitek (fractured right foot), who are both on the 15-day
DL, will be examined on Wednesday by Dr. George Theodore in
Baltimore, Francona said. … The Orioles are 8-1 in series-opening
games under Showalter. Before his arrival, they were 9-25.