David Ortiz watched 17 pitches Saturday, and umpire Tim Timmons only called two of the first 15 strikes. With a 3-0 count in the seventh, Timmons finally did call two strikes before Ortiz swung at a full count pitch to strike out and then let Timmons know how high he thought one of the strikes was and smashing the dugout phone with his bat. His ejection did not matter, as the Red Sox were already ahead 7-2 behind two home runs from Stephen Drew.
Drew drove in five runs as well, leading the Boston Red Sox to a 7-3 win over AL East rivals the Baltimore Orioles. Drew had only recorded one hit in his last 15 at-bats since coming off the disabled list on July 20, but ended the drought with a three for four performance in tonight’s game.
The Red Sox needed the victory to keep pace with the surging Tampa Bay Rays, who beat the Yankees 1-0 today and were leading the AL East by a full game before the Red Sox win tonight.
Baltimore’s stars of the first half are struggling in the early stages of the second half, most exemplified in the play of Chris Davis. Davis, who tied the AL record for home runs before the All-Star break with 37, has yet to hit a home run since the break and has struck out at least once in each game since the start of the second half. Chris Davis had 1 hit in 3 at-bats, striking out twice on the night.
The Red Sox will hope to continue to keep pace with the Rays for the AL East lead and close out the series against the Orioles with a win in Sunday’s midday rubber match.