It was the light hitters coming through for the Red Sox in last night’s 7-3 victory. In this game, Stephen Drew (two home runs) and Shane Victorino (one home run) combined to hit 25% of their total home runs on the year. Drew collected five RBIs on the night and really helped to lead the Red Sox to the win. That, combined with a solid start by Ryan Dempster would be enough to tie up the series and push the Red Sox’ lead in the first Wild Card up to four games, keeping them a half game behind Tampa Bay.
Dempster was excellent through the first four innings, not allowing a hit until the third inning. He was also helped out with plenty of run support, starting in that same third inning. With runners at the corners with one out in the third, a Shane Victorino groundout was enough to push across the first run of the game for the Red Sox. They kept that rolling in the third inning, by getting a two-out rally going singles by Mike Carp and Jarrod Saltalamacchia kept the inning alive. That would be enough to get Stephen Drew to the plate, who pounced on a 1-0 offering from O’s starter Scott Feldman and crushed it to right for a three run homer.
The Orioles pushed across their first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth, but the Red Sox got right back to work in the top of the sixth. With a man on first and one out, it would be Stephen Drew again, hitting a deep fly to right field. However, at first look it was not ruled a home run; though, Drew managed his way around the base paths regardless. The Red Sox got their seventh and final run of the game on a long home run off the bat of Shane Victorino, who crushed it over the Orioles’ faux monster in right field.
Dempster would allow one more run in the sixth before being taken out of the game. On the day, he allowed 2 earned runs on 6 hits in 5.1 innings, walking 2 and striking out 4. He was replaced by Craig Breslow, who tossed 1.2 perfect innings. Junichi Tazawa allowed a run in the eighth and Koji Uehara shut down the O’s in the ninth for the win. With Jon Lester (9-6, 4.50) on the mound against Jason Hammel (7-7, 5.20), the Red Sox will be looking to win this series.