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Red Sox rout Orioles in second game of doubleheader, wild card lead back at two games

Sep 19, 2011, 11:59 PM EDT

Jacboy Ellsbury, Marco Scutaro

After all that, we’re right back where we were when we began the day.

The Red Sox dropped the first game of today’s doubleheader against the last-place Orioles, but they brought their bats for the nightcap. On the strength of 20 hits, they pushed their Wild Card lead back to two games with an 18-9 victory.

This was a brutal game to watch for many reasons. Brian Matusz, who was making his first start since September 5, gave up six runs over 1 2/3 innings to fall to 1-8 on the season. The young left-hander now has a 10.68 ERA this season, which is the worst ever for a pitcher with a minimum of 10 starts in a season. The previous record holder? Roy Halladay in 2000.

Things weren’t much better with John Lackey. Despite getting 11 runs of support, he couldn’t even qualify for the win. Lackey was pulled in the fifth inning after allowing eight runs on 11 hits and two walks. And had a pretty nasty stare for Terry Francona on the way out. His ERA jumped from 6.19 to 6.49 in the no-decision. If Erik Bedard can’t make it back, it really looks like Alfredo Aceves would be Boston’s third starter in a potential playoff series.

Anyway, this night was about the bats for Boston. Of note, Conor Jackson hit a grand slam and Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-for-6 with an inside-the-park home run. Dustin Pedroia went 3-for-4 with four RBI while Adrian Gonzalez and Marco Scutaro also had three hits.

The Red Sox will play five of their final eight games against the Orioles. And after watching tonight’s pathetic performance, Red Sox fans should feel pretty good about that. The Rays will open a four-game series against the Yankees tomorrow night. They play seven of their final 10 games against the Bombers.

  1. Joe - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:30 AM

    “(Lackey) had a pretty nasty stare for Terry Francona on the way out.”

    That was hysterical. I know the guy wanted to get through the fifth and be eligible for a win, but c’mon man! You’re getting tattooed. You don’t deserve a win if you pitch like that.

    • Glenn - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:43 AM

      Lackey staring down Francona after laying an egg? Big Papi making starting pitching suggestions? These guys need to do their own jobs and leave the decisions to the bosses.

  2. phukyouk - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    Who is turning out to be a bigger bust? AJ or Lackey?

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 20, 2011 at 10:52 AM

      Lackey hands down…at least AJ was OK his first year. Lackey has sucked since the second he agreed to this deal. I bet he didn’t even stay in the lines when he signed his contract.

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