GUTTING IT OUT
The pinpoint control and dominant stuff that Erik Bedard has had for much of this month was absent. Struggling to get his fastball over the plate for a strike, Bedard walked five Red Sox in six innings, tying his career high. But amazingly, Bedard left the game after the sixth inning, allowing only two runs on David Ortiz's third-inning home run. Bedard allowed just two hits - both to Ortiz - and struck out six. He improved to 5-0 with a 2.21 ERA in six July starts. He has won seven straight decisions.
GET IT STARTED
The Orioles depend on Brian Roberts to be their table setter, and last night he wasted no time in doing just that. Before much of the sellout crowd at Fenway Park had even taken their seats, Roberts sent Josh Beckett's first pitch just over the wall in right field. It was his ninth home run and his second in as many games. Roberts then plated the Orioles' second run by doubling off the Green Monster in left field to easily score Jay Payton, who had reached on a one-out single.
BIG PAPI HITS TWO
Entering last night, Ortiz, Boston's designated hitter, had 16 home runs, but none of them had came off a left-handed pitcher. But that all changed in the third inning last night, when Ortiz crushed a Bedard pitch into the right-field seats. Ortiz hit his second homer in the eighth against right-handed Rob Bell, finishing the game 3-for-4 with all of Boston's hits.
Steve Trachsel (5-7, 5.26) was expected to oppose Red Sox lefty Kason Gabbard (4-0, 3.73) in game two of the series tonight. However, Gabbard was traded yesterday to the Texas Rangers as part of the Eric Gagne deal. One option is veteran Julian Tavarez, who has made 18 starts this season but was moved to the bullpen when Jon Lester was recalled. Trachsel is winless is his last six starts.