|Boston (21-20) «||0||0||0||0||0||5||1||0||2||8||15||0|
BOSTON -- Adrian Gonzalez loves to hit to left field and the Green Monster is a perfect fit.
It certainly was on Monday night when his opposite-field swing capped a big comeback for the Boston Red Sox.
The powerful lefty smacked a two-run double off the high wall at Fenway Park with one out in the ninth to give the Red Sox an 8-7 win over the Baltimore Orioles and put them over .500 for the first time this season.
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"I don't worry about statistics or is the park good for me or not," Gonzalez said. "I just go out there and have fun."
Lately, in his first season since being obtained from San Diego, his statistics have been outstanding no matter where he's played.
In the last 10 games -- in Toronto, New York and Boston -- Gonzalez is hitting .348 with seven homers and 16 RBI in 46 at bats. He hit three homers to left field against the Blue Jays and leads the majors with 37 RBI.
The Red Sox won their fourth straight game but trailed 6-0 after 5½ innings.
Coming back from that is pretty tough.
"We've definitely got the team that's more than capable of doing it," Gonzalez said. "Collectively, we were able to have good, consistent at bats."
The Red Sox scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth with Gonzalez singling in one of them.
"He's definitely going to try to get ahead" in the count, Gonzalez said. "I just told myself, 'be ready to hit, be ready for something middle away and just stay on top and behind it.' "
Pedroia ran hard from first, figuring Gonzalez had enough power to hit the wall on a night with the wind blowing in. He had little doubt he'd be able to score.
"If I don't, man, I need to go have surgery again," said Pedroia who had an offseason operation for a broken left foot. "I got a good jump on it."
Alfredo Aceves (1-0) got the win, allowing one run in three innings.
Gregg, going for his eighth save, gave up two runs on one swing.
"I wasn't executing pitches, walking two guys to get to their best hitter," he said. "It was a curveball and it was actually a pretty good pitch. He went down and hit if off the wall like he knew what he wanted to do."
"We had a lot of chances to open it up," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "You get a lot of walks and you never have enough [runs]. We had a chance to stem the tide early."
On the opening pitch of the game, Brian Roberts reached first on a liner that struck Matsuzaka just above the belt. The next batter, Nick Markakis, drew the first of seven walks off the right-hander. One run then scored on a double by Derrek Lee and another on a groundout by Vladimir Guerrero.
Matt Wieters made it 3-0 in the third with an RBI single.
In the fifth, Matsuzaka left after walking two of the first three batters. Scott Atchison came in and gave up an RBI single by Reynolds and a sacrifice fly by J.J. Hardy.
"We would have liked to see him go longer, but his back stiffened up a little," Showalter said.
When Tillman left, the Red Sox came back.
J.D. Drew led off the sixth against Mike Gonzalez with a single and took second when the ball got by left fielder Luke Scott for an error. Jed Lowrie then doubled in Drew. Lowrie took third when Carl Crawford reached on a fielding error by third baseman Reynolds and scored on a single by Varitek.
On the winning hit, Pedroia slid home even though he would have scored standing up.
"Youk told me to. I do what I'm told," a smiling Pedroia said. "If I'd have stood up, he'd probably clothesline me, so it worked out good."
For Gonzalez, things are working out great.
|Adrian Gonzalez watches as his game-winning double lifts the Red Sox above .500 for the first time this season. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Brian Roberts, 2B||5||1||1||0||0||1||2||.221|
|Nick Markakis, RF||4||1||1||0||1||1||1||.245|
|Derrek Lee, 1B||2||0||1||1||0||0||1||.231|
|Jake Fox, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.158|
|Vladimir Guerrero, DH||5||2||3||1||0||1||1||.295|
|Luke Scott, LF||1||1||0||0||4||0||1||.232|
|Felix Pie, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.256|
|Adam Jones, CF||4||0||1||1||1||1||3||.283|
|Matt Wieters, C||4||1||1||1||1||0||5||.264|
|Mark Reynolds, 3B||5||1||2||2||0||1||5||.191|
|J.J. Hardy, SS||3||0||0||1||1||0||2||.302|
|2B - Derrek Lee (6, Matsuzaka), Vladimir Guerrero 2 (9, Atchison, Aceves)|
|HR - Mark Reynolds (5, Aceves)|
|SF - J.J. Hardy (1)|
|RBI - Derrek Lee (14), Vladimir Guerrero (15), Adam Jones (23), Matt Wieters (22), Mark Reynolds 2 (19), J.J. Hardy (10)|
|2-OUT RBI - Adam Jones (9)|
|SB - Brian Roberts 2 (6, 2nd base off Matsuzaka/Varitek, 2nd base off Matsuzaka/Varitek), Nick Markakis (3, 2nd base off Matsuzaka/Varitek), Mark Reynolds (1, 2nd base off Atchison/Varitek)|
|Team LOB - 11|
|E - Mark Reynolds (7, Misplayed grounder), Luke Scott (1, Misplayed grounder)|
|Jeremy Accardo (H,1)||0.1||2||1||1||0||0||0||4.76|
|Clay Rapada (H,2)||0.1||0||0||0||1||0||0||10.50|
|Jim Johnson (H,7)||1||3||1||1||0||2||0||4.09|
|Koji Uehara (H,4)||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||2.65|
|Kevin Gregg (BS,3; L,0-1)||0.1||1||2||2||2||0||0||3.52|
|IBB - Drew by Koji Uehara|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chris Tillman 88-52, Mike Gonzalez 21-15, Jeremy Accardo 13-8, Clay Rapada 6-2, Jim Johnson 23-17, Koji Uehara 20-13, Kevin Gregg 18-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Tillman 5-8, Mike Gonzalez 1-1, Clay Rapada 1-0, Koji Uehara 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Chris Tillman 23, Mike Gonzalez 5, Jeremy Accardo 3, Clay Rapada 2, Jim Johnson 6, Koji Uehara 5, Kevin Gregg 4|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Jacoby Ellsbury, CF||5||1||2||0||1||0||3||.302|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||5||1||1||0||1||0||5||.245|
|Adrian Gonzalez, 1B||5||1||3||3||1||1||2||.327|
|Kevin Youkilis, 3B||4||0||2||2||1||0||2||.254|
|David Ortiz, DH||4||0||0||0||1||1||6||.287|
|J.D. Drew, RF||4||1||2||0||1||0||5||.243|
|Jed Lowrie, SS||4||2||2||1||1||2||2||.320|
|Carl Crawford, LF||5||1||1||0||0||1||4||.208|
|Jason Varitek, C||5||1||2||2||0||0||3||.183|
|2B - Adrian Gonzalez (14, Gregg), Kevin Youkilis 2 (11, Accardo, Uehara), Jed Lowrie (9, Gonzalez)|
|3B - Jed Lowrie (2, Johnson)|
|RBI - Adrian Gonzalez 3 (37), Kevin Youkilis 2 (27), Jed Lowrie (18), Jason Varitek 2 (5)|
|2-OUT RBI - Adrian Gonzalez (16), Kevin Youkilis 2 (10)|
|SB - Jacoby Ellsbury (13, 2nd base off Gregg/Wieters), Carl Crawford (6, 2nd base off Tillman/Wieters)|
|Team LOB - 15|
|PB - Jason Varitek (2)|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Alfredo Aceves (W,1-0)||3||2||1||1||0||2||1||2.60|
|Pitches-Strikes - Daisuke Matsuzaka 106-57, Scott Atchison 40-24, Alfredo Aceves 31-22|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daisuke Matsuzaka 6-5, Scott Atchison 1-2, Alfredo Aceves 1-6|
|Batters Faced - Daisuke Matsuzaka 25, Scott Atchison 9, Alfredo Aceves 11|
|Attendance - 37138|
|Game Time - 3:53|
|Temperature - 48|
|Umpires - Home - Adrian Johnson, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Lance Barksdale|