Rapid reaction: Red Sox 10, Orioles 3

July, 8, 2011
BOSTON -- Not only did the Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 10-3 Friday night at Fenway Park, but Boston starter Josh Beckett left the game with a knee injury after five innings and then there was a bench-clearing brawl in the bottom of the eighth inning.

A total of four players were ejected, including Boston's David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, along with the Orioles’ Kevin Gregg and Jim Johnson.

During Ortiz’s eighth-inning at-bat with one out and Josh Reddick at third base, Gregg threw three straight inside fastballs and on the third one Ortiz started walking toward the mound, pointing at the pitcher. The benches and bullpens emptied, but the situation was brought under control and play resumed.

On the ensuing pitch, Ortiz popped out to shallow center field, but as he started down the first-base line, Gregg began pointing and yelling at him. Ortiz charged Gregg and the two began throwing punches. The benches and bullpens emptied again.

When order was restored, and those players ejected, the game resumed again. The inning was over, however, because Reddick never tagged up on the play and it was called an 8-2 double play because he left the base paths.

BECKETT INJURED: While the Red Sox continued their offensive onslaught against the lowly Orioles en route to victory, Boston suffered a loss when Beckett was removed from the game after the fifth inning for precautionary reasons with a hyperextended left knee. He did earn the victory and improves to 8-3.

The right-hander slipped on the wet rubber during the fifth inning and the game was halted so the grounds crew could place quick-dry on the mound. Beckett finished the inning, but was replaced by reliever Matt Albers to start the sixth.

During his brief 68-pitch outing, Beckett allowed three runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

The Red Sox have already lost starters Jon Lester (lat strain), Clay Buchholz (back strain) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (Tommy John surgery), all of whom are on the disabled list. Also, John Lackey has been inconsistent since returning from the DL with an elbow strain.

Prior to Friday’s game, Red Sox manager Terry Francona announced that Triple-A pitcher Kyle Weiland would make his major league debut on Sunday against the Orioles.

ALL-OUT ALBERS: With Beckett out of the game, Albers worked two perfect innings with four strikeouts. The right-hander has tossed more than one inning 11 times this season, including a season-high two innings eight times.

AROUND WE GO: The Red Sox completely dismantled Orioles starter Zach Britton in the bottom of the first inning Friday night. Boston ran Britton from the game with only two outs in the inning after the right-hander surrendered eight runs (seven earned) on six hits, with two walks and one strikeout. The Red Sox sent a total of 13 batters to the plate in the inning.

ORTIZ WORKING HIS MOJO: The Sox’s designated hitter absolutely crushed a three-run homer in the eight-run first inning to collect his 19th homer of the season. Since the club has returned to Fenway, following the interleague schedule, Ortiz is 6-for-17 with 2 homers, 3 doubles, 4 RBIs, 4 runs and 5 walks.

PEDEY GOES BOOM: Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia collected his 10th home run of the season with a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning. It was his second homer in as many nights.

UP NEXT: This four-game set between the Red Sox and Orioles continues with Game 3 on Saturday night at 7:10 when John Lackey (5-8, 7.47 ERA) takes the mound for Boston, while Baltimore sends Alfredo Simmons (1-1, 4.64) to the hill.

Joe McDonald

ESPN Staff Writer



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