Now THIS was embarrassing!

The Red Sox may have been humbled by their four-game sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays two weeks ago, but they were downright humiliated by their performance in Baltimore this weekend.

It was the first time the Orioles swept the Red Sox in a three-game series at home since September, 1974. Heck, it was the first time since 1998 that the Orioles swept a series of three games or more against anyone (and THAT was a four-game sweep against the Red Sox)!

For the Baltimore Orioles, these are the best of times. They have managed to compile a three-game winning streak after going 2-16 to start the year. Afterwards, O’s Manager Dave Trembley said: “It’s just great for the team, individuals who have gone through a lot of pain and mimicry for 30 days. I believe we’ve gotten through the worst and the good days are ahead.”

For the Boston Red Sox, these are the worst of times. The Orioles now have seven wins this season, and four of them have come against the Red Sox (in just 6 games). The team seems to be what the NY Yankees were for many years — a collection of highly-talented players unable to play as a team. In the media room after the ballgame, Terry Francona said: “We’re going to have to regroup in a hurry and figure it out.”

The master of under-statement!

Both starting pitchers were highly effective in today’s contest — a good sign for the Red Sox and Josh Beckett (who has been brutal recently). He allowed two runs on six hits over seven innings, walking no one and striking out six. Orioles righty Kevin Millwood remained winless in his first season with Baltimore despite giving up just two runs on five hits in eight innings… he has a 3.15 ERA over six starts but has repeatedly been hurt by poor run support.

The Orioles scored two runs in the fourth inning. They loaded the bases with no one out. Beckett then struck out DH Luke Scott before LF Nolan Reimold drove in the first run with fielder’s choice. 1B Rhyne Hughes delivered a two-out RBI double to give the home team a 2-zip lead.

C Jason Varitek homered in the fifth to get the Red Sox on the scoreboard, and J.D. Drew led off the seventh with his third home run of the series to get things knotted at two-apiece.

Things remained even until 2B Ty Wigginton doubled home the game-winning run in the 10th following a throwing error by Jonathan Papelbon on an attempted pick-off play. RF Nick Markakis led off with a walk and went to second on the errant throw. He later then scored without a throw when Wigginton doubled to left-center field.

Matt Albers (2-3) pitched a scoreless 10th inning for his second win in the series.

For the second time this season, a decision by third base coach Tim Bogar may well have cost the Red Sox a game—this one will be referred to as Bogar’s Boner, Part II. The Red Sox had baserunners at first and second base with two outs in the eighth inning when Dustin Pedroia ripped a line-drive single into left field. Bogar sent the slow-footed Varitek home in spite of the fact he had barely touched third base when the ball was fielded in relatively short left field by Reimold. “Tek was thrown out easily.

NESN broadcasters Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy then insulted the intelligence of their viewers when they declared Bogar “had to send” Varitek home under the circumstances. Talk about pandering to the club! The mere suggestion that Bogar ‘had to’ send Varitek home under the circumstances—with Reimold in short left field was preposterous! I expected more from The Rem-Dawg, a LOT more!


Kevin Youkilis was a late scratch with a strained left groin. Mike Lowell started at 1B in his place.


Seven of Jason Varitek’s 11 hits this season have been for extra bases.

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