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Defending champs finish two-game sweep over O's

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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BALTIMORE -- Matt Clement extended Boston's run of exceptional starts with another outstanding performance against the Baltimore Orioles.

Clement scattered eight hits over eight innings, and the Red Sox beat Rodrigo Lopez and Baltimore 1-0 on Thursday night to complete a two-game sweep.

Kevin Millar scored the game's only run in the second inning after a throwing error by shortstop Miguel Tejada. That was enough to beat the Orioles, who have been blanked in consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2003.

"It is all about the pitchers. We're only as good as our pitchers," Boston catcher Jason Varitek said.

Duplicating the outing of David Wells one night earlier, Clement (2-0) pitched eight scoreless innings before giving way to the bullpen. The right-hander is 3-0 with an 0.89 ERA in three starts against Baltimore; he's beaten them with Chicago, Florida and now Boston.

"You don't get to pitch in a 1-0 game very often, and to win one is rarer," Clement said. "I have been on the other end of a couple of them last year, so it was nice tonight."

Clement threw 110 pitches. To the Orioles, none of them seemed the same.

"He pitched very well. He's a completely different pitcher than what I remember," said Jay Gibbons, who went 1-for-4. "He sinks it, he cuts it, he just keeps you enough off-balance to where you're unsure, and you don't take really good swings off him."

The Orioles had scored at least seven runs in five of six games before the Red Sox came to town, but they were no match for a rotation that has posted a 1.13 ERA over the last seven games.

"Our pitchers are all pitching great right now," Millar said. "We're a good ballclub, but we need starting pitching."

Melvin Mora had three hits for the Orioles, who have gone 21 straight innings without a run.

"We ran into a couple of good pitchers the last two games," Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli said.

The victory enabled Boston to move out of a first-place tie with Baltimore in the AL East.

Signed as a free agent in December, Clement struck out seven and walked one. Keith Foulke gave up a double to Javy Lopez with one out in the ninth before finishing the nine-hitter for his third save.

Clement outpitched Lopez (2-1), who gave up no earned runs, five hits and three walks in eight innings. Lopez, who came in 8-3 against the Red Sox, probably deserved a better fate in this one.

Millar hit a leadoff double in the second and went to third when Tejada threw wildly to first after fielding Varitek's infield hit deep in the hole. After Edgar Renteria grounded out to third, Ramon Vazquez drove in a run with a groundout to second.

"Too bad I didn't get the win, but Clement did a heck of a job," Lopez said, "and they played like world champions."

Baltimore had the potential tying run cut down at the plate in the fourth. Rafael Palmeiro reached on an infield hit and attempted to score on a double to right by Gibbons, but was thrown out on a relay from Trot Nixon to Millar to Varitek at home.

"Trot made a great throw," Millar said. "My job is to back up the second baseman, but he overthrew Mark (Bellhorn) and hit me in the chest. I just made the throw home. As it ended up, it was a huge play in the outcome of the game."

In the seventh, Gibbons hit a drive to right that lost momentum in the wind and landed in Nixon's glove at the warning track.

"I thought it was off the wall," Gibbons said. "The ball just kind of hung up and fell down."

The Orioles also threatened in the eighth. Mora got a two-out single and went to second on an infield hit by Tejada, but Clement completed his fine outing by retiring Sammy Sosa on bouncer to the mound.

Sosa went 1-for-2 with a walk.

Notes

  • The Red Sox have scored only three first-inning runs this season, but are the only team in the majors that hasn't allowed a run in the first.
  • Baltimore's Brian Roberts went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, his second straight hitless game after opening the season with a 14-game hitting streak.
  • Boston 3B Bill Mueller did not play because of a sinus infection.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Matt Clement scatters eight hits over eight innings to help Boston broom the Orioles. (Getty Images)
Matt Clement scatters eight hits over eight innings to help Boston broom the Orioles. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Baltimore

R. Lopez
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 3
K 6
Boston

M. Clement
IP 8.0
H 8
ER 0
BB 1
K 7
 
Boston Red Sox
Johnny Damon, CF4000012 .281
Trot Nixon, RF4010000 .293
Manny Ramirez, LF3000121 .278
David Ortiz, DH4000012 .246
Kevin Millar, 1B4110000 .265
    David McCarty, 1B0000000 .500
Jason Varitek, C4020010 .353
Edgar Renteria, SS3000102 .203
Ramon Vazquez, 3B3011012 .154
Mark Bellhorn, 2B2000113 .226
Totals311513712 
Batting
2B - Kevin Millar (2, Lopez)
RBI - Ramon Vazquez (1)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Trot Nixon 1
DP - Bellhorn-Renteria-Millar
Boston Red Sox
Matt Clement (W,2-0) 8800170 2.13
Keith Foulke (S,3) 1100000 4.00
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Clement 110-76, Keith Foulke 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Clement 7-8
Batters Faced - Matt Clement 31, Keith Foulke 4
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B4000031 .375
Melvin Mora, 3B4030000 .277
Miguel Tejada, SS4010003 .328
Sammy Sosa, RF3010112 .286
Rafael Palmeiro, 1B4010012 .200
Javy Lopez, C4010002 .316
    David Newhan, PR0000000 .167
Jay Gibbons, DH4010013 .239
Luis Matos, CF3010000 .333
   a- B.J. Surhoff, PH1000001 .091
Larry Bigbie, LF3000011 .231
Totals340901715 
a-flied out for Matos in the 9th
Batting
2B - Javy Lopez (5, Foulke), Jay Gibbons (3, Clement)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - B. Roberts-Tejada-Palmeiro
E - Miguel Tejada (3, wild throw)
Baltimore Orioles
Rodrigo Lopez (L,2-1) 8510360 1.91
B.J. Ryan 1000010 2.35
Pitches-Strikes - Rodrigo Lopez 110-69, B.J. Ryan 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rodrigo Lopez 8-9
Batters Faced - Rodrigo Lopez 31, B.J. Ryan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 40419
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Tim Welke, Second Base - Brian O'Nora, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom