February 26, 2020
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Pedroia, Big Papi snap out of slumps

Bangor Daily News | BDN
Bangor Daily News | BDN

BOSTON, Mass. — A couple of slumping sluggers broke out on Patriots’ Day for the Red Sox.

Dustin Pedroia went 4-for-6 with three run-scoring singles and David Ortiz had a two-run triple to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 12-1 win over Baltimore, completing a four-game sweep of the Orioles on Monday.

“I would like to be able to swing like Pedroia. He doesn’t have to worry about mechanics,” the big slugger Ortiz joked about the MVP second baseman who hits in front of him.

Ortiz entered the game hitting just .170 with one extra-base hit. He also doubled in the first inning on Monday to go 2-for-4 and knock his average up to .196.

“It felt good today,” he said. “I’ve been working with my mechanics. I’ve been a little late with pitches, which is something I usually don’t do.”

Pedroia, who has also started slowly this season and entered the game hitting .235, had simple advice for Big Papi.

“He’ll be all right. He swung the bat well today,” he said. “It’s a long year. Six hundred at-bats. The season isn’t 50 at-bats.”

Red Sox manager Terry Francona kept Ortiz in the lineup against a left-handed starting pitcher.

“Anytime hitters hit the ball the other way with authority something’s got to be right,” Francona said.

Jason Varitek hit a solo homer and Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits to highlight Boston’s season-highs in runs and hits (15).

The win was the fifth straight for the Red Sox, who won their sixth consecutive Patriots’ Day game; and 27th in their last 33 at Fenway Park against Baltimore.

Boston led 3-1 before scoring three runs in the sixth and six in the seventh. The Orioles lost their fifth straight after a 6-2 start.

“Well, it can turn on you in a hurry,” manager Dave Trembley said.

Justin Masterson (1-0), who replaced injured starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, held the Orioles to one run and four singles in 5 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out three.

Cesar Izturis drove in Baltimore’s run with an infield hit.

“We didn’t pitch well, except for yesterday,” Baltimore outfielder Luke Scott said. “But at the same time, the last two days we ran into really good pitching. When we score runs, we’ve got to have guys hold it on the mound. When guys are struggling on the mound, we’ve got to pick up the slack and swing the bats.”

The Red Sox jumped on Mark Hendrickson (1-2) for a pair of first-inning runs before Fenway was filled on a chilly morning with its 476th straight sellout. Pedroia’s RBI single made it 1-0 and Rocco Baldelli’s groundout scored Pedroia.

Varitek’s homer into the Green Monster seats, where fans were turning around at times to see the Boston Marathon’s runners make their way through Kenmore Square, made it 3-0.

Pedroia’s RBI single and Ortiz’s triple off the left-center field wall, just past a lunging attempt by center fielder Felix Pie, made it 6-1 against reliever Dennis Sarfate in the sixth.

Mike Lowell had an RBI double and RBI single to go along with run-scoring singles by Ellsbury, Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis in the seventh.

Hendrickson gave up three runs, five hits, walked three and struck out six in six innings. He’s 0-5 with an 8.05 ERA in eight career Fenway starts.

Baltimore third baseman Ryan Freel left the game in the third after getting hit in the head by Masterson’s pickoff attempt at second. He was flat on his stomach for a few minutes before being helped to his feet and aided to the dugout by a pair of Orioles’ trainers. Freel has missed time with concussions earlier in his career.

Trembley said that he was taken for a CT-scan, but no further information was available.

Red Sox left-hander Hunter Jones made his major-league debut and pitched a hitless ninth.

Baldelli left the game in the top of the fourth with a mild strained left hamstring.

Notes: RHP Brad Bergesen will make his major-league debut for Baltimore on Tuesday. Reliever Radhames Liz, who gave up six runs, hit two batters and got just one out in the seventh, was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after the game. … RHP Matsuzaka, on the 15-day DL with a strained shoulder, will start playing catch Tuesday. … Trembley called Monday’s morning start “a unique experience, a festive day and different,” while he sat in the dugout talking to the media just before a flyover, signifying the start of the Marathon, rocked Fenway. … Red Sox SS Julio Lugo, recovering from right knee surgery during spring training, is going on a rehab assignment to Triple-A Pawtucket starting Tuesday. … The first pitch was 11:06 a.m.

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