Red Sox 9, Orioles 6

Jon Lester felt uncomfortable on the mound, struggled with his

control and put the Boston Red Sox in a deep hole after only two

innings of work.

And still the left-hander delivered another victory over the

Baltimore Orioles.

Marco Scutaro and Adrian Beltre homered in a six-run seventh

inning, and Boston won 9-6 on Wednesday night to improve Lester’s

lifetime record against Baltimore to a stunning 13-0.

J.D. Drew also homered for the Red Sox, who trailed 5-2 before

rallying to end a three-game skid. Boston remains eight games

behind AL East-leader New York and trails second-place Tampa Bay by

seven games.

”We need to chip away and get some wins,” Lester said. ”It

was big that we could come back tonight.”

Lester’s latest victory against the Orioles was anything but

typical. He came in with a 2.00 career ERA against the Orioles and

was 2-0 with an 0.47 ERA in his three starts this year.

Lester yielded more runs (five) in the first two innings than in

any of his previous 15 outings against Baltimore.

”Usually this mound is one of my favorite places to pitch. For

some reason it felt like a rainstorm had come through,” he said.

”It was wet and I had clumps on the bottom of my shoe and was

slipping a little bit.”

Fortunately, Lester recovered in time to give Boston a chance to

make up the deficit.

”I think once he started to settle in and really pitch, he was

able to drop all his off-speed pitches in there for strikes,”

Baltimore’s Ty Wigginton said. ”When you’re facing a pitcher like

Lester and he’s able to throw four pitches for a strike, it gets


Beginning with the last out in the second inning, Lester retired

11 straight – seven by strikeouts.

”It’s a testament to him, keeping the club in the game and not

giving in,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said.

Lester (15-8) allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings.

He struck out 10, walked two, hit a batter and threw a wild


”Early on, I really didn’t have a feel for what was going on. I

don’t really know how to explain it,” Lester said.

When he walked off the mound for the last time, Boston trailed

5-3. Lester then watched in the dugout as the Red Sox batted around

in the seventh.

Scutaro’s two-run homer off Mark Hendrickson (1-5) tied it.

Victor Martinez added an RBI double off Alfredo Simon, and Beltre

followed an intentional walk to David Ortiz with a three-run


Jonathan Papelbon worked the ninth for his 34th save.

Adam Jones had two RBIs and Julio Lugo scored twice for the

Orioles, whose four-game winning streak ended. Baltimore fell to

17-11 under Showalter, who will have to wait at least another day

to become the 64th manager in big league history to reach 900


Boston went up 1-0 in the first inning when Scutaro got an

infield hit and scored on a two-out double by Ortiz, who reached

the 80-RBI mark for an eighth consecutive season.

Baltimore responded with four runs on four hits in the bottom

half, an uprising fueled by Lester’s lack of command. After Lester

hit Wigginton with a pitch to load the bases, Jones hit a two-run

double. Wigginton then scored on a wild pitch and Felix Pie hit an

RBI double off the right-field wall.

”The first inning was a tough one,” Boston manager Terry

Francona said. ”When you’re already warming up (reliever Robert)

Manuel in the first inning, that’s not an easy way to win.”

The Red Sox got a run back in the second when Ryan Kalish broke

a 3-for-29 slump with an RBI double. The Orioles made it 5-2 in the

bottom half when Wigginton drove in a run with a two-out


”You score five runs off Lester, of course we’d take that,”

said Baltimore’s Nolan Reimold, who went 1 for 3 with a sacrifice

fly. ”But it’s a longer game than two innings. so you want to keep

adding on as many as you can. We kind of fizzled a bit out there

after the second inning and they ended up adding some runs at the


Drew launched the comeback by snapping an 0-for-14 skid in the

fifth with his 18th homer. Notes: The game was delayed in the ninth

when home plate umpire Tom Hallion was struck by a foul ball. …

Jones left with upper back soreness. … Reimold, one of the

Orioles’ three callups on Wednesday, got his first hit in the

majors since May 11. … Lester reached double-digits in strikeouts

for the fifth time this season and 12th time of his career. …

Every Boston starter had at least one hit.