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Baltimore at Boston

Scoreboard
Baltimore (41-54)0002000002100
Boston (56-39) «31010002x7101

LaRoche homers in debut as BoSox top Orioles

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- Jon Lester on the mound and the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park were the perfect mix for the Boston Red Sox.

David Ortiz jump-started Boston's sluggish offense with a three-run homer, Adam LaRoche added a two-run shot in his Red Sox debut and Lester worked into the eighth inning in a 7-2 win over the struggling Orioles on Saturday night.

Lester (9-7) improved to 9-0 in 11 career starts against Baltimore, and the Red Sox beat the Orioles for the 11th straight time at home.

"I don't think we were pressing tonight," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "Last week, we were saying guys were trying to swing for a three-run homer. Every team goes through periods where things aren't going very well and you try too hard."

Jacoby Ellsbury added two RBI doubles for the Red Sox, who won their second straight after a season-high five-game losing streak and moved to 1½ games behind the AL East-leading New York Yankees.

Baltimore, which lost for the 14th time in 18 games, fell to 1-16 in road games within the division.

How the Orioles play the rest of their games against the Yankees, Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays may be the difference in the AL East. Baltimore is 0-6 in both Fenway and Yankee Stadium this season, and 1-1 against the Rays in Tropicana Field.

"It's not from a lack of effort, that's for sure. We've played a lot of close games," Baltimore's Brian Roberts said of his team's lack of success in Fenway.

Lester was mostly in control, giving up two runs and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings. He struck out nine and walked two. He allowed both of the runs in the fourth on RBI singles by Matt Wieters and Cesar Izturis.

"The way he's throwing, I'd hate to say it doesn't matter [who he's facing], but if he pitches like that he's going to be OK," Francona said.

Unlike the previous six games when the Red Sox struggled to score, they jumped on Jeremy Guthrie (7-9) for three runs in the first on Ortiz's 13th homer. Dustin Pedroia walked and Jason Bay had a two-out single before Ortiz's high drive carried into the center-field seats.

"It definitely eases a pitcher's mind when we go out and get some runs early," Lester said. "You still have to have the mental edge, but you do have a little room to work with."

LaRoche, acquired from Pittsburgh on Wednesday for two minor leaguers, went 1 for 4. His opposite-field homer went into the first row of Green Monster seats off Mark Hendrickson in the eighth.

"It definitely feels good. I had gotten away from that a little bit," LaRoche said of trying to hit the other way.

The Red Sox were held to four or fewer runs in all of their previous seven games since the All-Star break.

Daniel Bard got the final two outs in the eighth, and Ramon Ramirez pitched the ninth.

Guthrie, coming off one his best starts of the season when he held the Chicago White Sox to three hits and two runs in a 10-2 win last Saturday, gave up his AL-leading 23rd homer.

"Some players maybe," Guthrie said when asked if they may be thinking about the losing streak in Boston. "I can't speak for everybody. I know that personally for me, ever since the first game I've thrown here, it's been one thing after another that leads to crazy things."

Ellsbury's first RBI double made it 4-0 in the second after Jason Varitek had a ground-rule double. He also doubled home Nick Green in the fourth.

Notes

  • The three-run first was Boston's most in an inning since the last game before the break.
  • Red Sox 1B/3B Kevin Youkilis was rested so 1B LaRoche could start. "[Youkilis] is a little beat up. I just thought it was a good night to go ahead and do it," Francona said before the game. "This isn't going to be like a rotation." Youkilis may have been a bit surprised by the time off after the team had an off-day Thursday. "We haven't discussed it much. They told me today's my off day," he said.
  • Baltimore's sidelined right-handed pitchers Dennis Sarfate (circulatory condition) and Chris Ray (biceps tendinitis) each threw a scoreless inning in a rehab appearance with Triple-A Norfolk Friday.
  • Plate umpire Paul Neuert had his mask knocked off by a ninth-inning foul tip.
 
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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Adam LaRoche (left) is already fitting in with the BoSox. He hits a two-run bomb in the ninth. (AP)
Adam LaRoche (left) is already fitting in with the BoSox. He hits a two-run bomb in the ninth. (AP)

Players of the Game
Baltimore

M. Wieters
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Boston

J. Ellsbury
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B5020013 .279
Nick Markakis, RF5010022 .296
Adam Jones, CF5000034 .302
Aubrey Huff, DH4000010 .248
Nolan Reimold, LF3120100 .277
Ty Wigginton, 1B3110102 .257
Melvin Mora, 3B4010014 .263
Matt Wieters, C4021013 .254
Cesar Izturis, SS3011000 .251
   a- Felix Pie, PH1000011 .223
Totals372102210  
a-struck out for Izturis in the 9th
Batting
2B - Brian Roberts 2 (34, Lester, Lester), Nolan Reimold (9, Lester)
RBI - Matt Wieters (11), Cesar Izturis (15)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Wieters (3), Cesar Izturis (9)
Team LOB - 10
Baltimore Orioles
Jeremy Guthrie (L,7-9) 6.2855321 5.21
Mark Hendrickson 0.2222011 4.57
Cla Meredith 0.2000000 3.99
IBB - Ortiz by Jeremy Guthrie
HBP - Ortiz (by Jeremy Guthrie)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Guthrie 105-61, Mark Hendrickson 12-8, Cla Meredith 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Guthrie 7-10, Cla Meredith 2-0
Batters Faced - Jeremy Guthrie 31, Mark Hendrickson 4, Cla Meredith 2
Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF5022000 .291
Dustin Pedroia, 2B3100101 .304
J.D. Drew, RF4010011 .234
Jason Bay, LF3120100 .256
David Ortiz, DH2113112 .230
Mike Lowell, 3B4110003 .289
Adam LaRoche, 1B4112000 .247
Jason Varitek, C4110000 .231
Nick Green, SS4110011 .250
Totals33710733  
Batting
2B - Jacoby Ellsbury 2 (16, Guthrie, Guthrie), Jason Bay (21, Guthrie), Jason Varitek (18, Guthrie)
HR - David Ortiz (13, Guthrie), Adam LaRoche (13, Hendrickson)
RBI - Jacoby Ellsbury 2 (31), David Ortiz 3 (54), Adam LaRoche 2 (42)
2-OUT RBI - Jacoby Ellsbury 2 (13), David Ortiz 3 (23)
SB - Jacoby Ellsbury (43, 3rd base off Guthrie/Wieters)
PK - Jacoby Ellsbury (1, Guthrie)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - J.D. Drew (2, Throwing)
Boston Red Sox
Jon Lester (W,9-7) 7.1822290 3.79
Daniel Bard (H,3) 0.2000000 2.28
Ramon Ramirez 1200010 2.21
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 109-76, Daniel Bard 7-6, Ramon Ramirez 22-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 8-5, Daniel Bard 1-1
Batters Faced - Jon Lester 32, Daniel Bard 2, Ramon Ramirez 5
Game Information
Attendance - 38063
Game Time - 2:32
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Joe West, Second Base - Ed Rapuano, Third Base - Paul Schrieber