Boston Red Sox Take Second Straight From Washington In Nationals Park.

Boston's struggling slugger David Ortiz had just 6 HR's in 230 at bats going into tonight's game against the Washington Nationals, but 3 of the 6 HR's came in the last 10 games as Ortiz has picked it up, and when he stepped to the plate tonight in the fourth with two on and two-out and DC righty Craig Stammen on the mound, you had the feeling something bad was about to happen. Stammen had held the Sox hitless through three, but Dustin Pedroia doubled to start the fourth and took third on a ground out by J.D. Drew, which was followed by a one-out walk to Kevin Youkilis, and a swinging K from Jason Bay. Big Papi vs Stammen started with a changeup outside at the knees for ball one, and continued with four straight heaters on the outside edge, two of them fouled off and two called balls, for a full-count to Ortiz...

" ...3-2 pitch to David Ortiz, and Wil Nieves wants it low, Nieves shows Stammen with his mitt, gesturing down, down, and holding the target just below the zone, but the change Stammen throws hangs up and Ortiz takes it to the deepest part of the park, straight-center and GONE!!! Three-run blast. 3-1 Red Sox lead."

It's actually a case of one pitch deciding a game. Or maybe two pitches, ummm...three?...The 2-0 pitch outside at the knees to Dustin Pedroia in the fourth was just begging to be pushed into right, and it was, for an RBI single, and the first pitch fastball to Jason Varitek in the fifth was ill-advised, and almost as if aimed at the barrel of his bat, which connected with the ball and sent it into the second deck in right for a 6-1 lead in what ends up a 6-4 Sox' win...

Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...

Red Sox win, 6-4 final. 

For The Completists, Full Game Report After The Jump...(currently unedited)...

HEADLINES: (Coverage continues after the jump)...

Dukes' Bat Almost Does Damage...

Sox Take Second Straight Thrilling Nationals Park Crowd. 

One More With Smoltz...

Nationals now 20-49. 

HEADLINES:

Dukes' Bat Almost Does Damage...

Elijah Dukes has broken a lot of bats recently, but none as potentially dangerous as this one, which you're bound to see replayed at least all night, if not every time someone brings up the potential for a broken bat barrel to do damage to a fan or an opposing player. Dukes ripped into a 2-0 cutter from Red Sox' starter Jon Lester and his bat exploded on contact sending the ball and the barrel flying toward short, Boston shortstop Nick Green tried to field the grounder and defend himself at the same time, but the barrel was aimed at his head and Green had to make a choice, batting away the bat which fell behind him, stabbing violently into the outfield grass while the ball rolled out into left. That's about as close as i've ever seen to someone really getting hurt. Is baseball just going to keep investigating until someone actually ends up getting stabbed or otherwise injured by a bat and then do something?

Sox Take Second Straight Thrilling Nationals Park Crowd.

Over 82,000 baseball fans have taken in the last two games between the Washington Nationals and visiting Boston Red Sox. Neighbors in the stands you thought were faithful Nationals fans have shown up wearing red B's on their caps instead of curly W's. They aren't cheering for "Duuukes", or even booing while the Red Sox win, they're cheering for "Youk" Kevin Youkilis, and the "Let's Go Red Sox" chants that break out occassionally are not quite as annoying as Philly fan's cheers, but they're in no way enjoyable...But that being said...it is fun to watch games played in front of a full park...and since all this money goes right into the Strasburg fund, I'm more than willing to accept it...(ed. note - "Just please try pronouncing some 'R's'...and no, there aren't too many baahs around the paahk...")

Tomorrow night's matchup...

John Smoltz makes the first start of his 21st MLB season Thursday night, and the first for a team other than Atlanta. Smoltz has only pitched in Nationals Park once, since he missed most of last season, and he allowed just 1 run on 5 hits in 6.0 innings in that outing, dominating DC in what would eventually be a 10-2 Braves' victory over DC. The win was Smoltz's 209th of 210 in his 20-year MLB career. His opponent on the hill tonight, DC righty Jordan Zimmermann, will be making his 12th start, and he'll be looking for his 3rd MLB "W"...which would be the first since, April 26th...

GAME REPORT...

Boston Red Sox At Washington Nationals. Game 69 or 70 of 162. 

Craig Stammen gets a grounder back to the mound with an 0-2 pitch to Dustin Pedroia. J.D. Drew Kevin Youkilis chases an 0-2 slider off the outside edge to K swinging and end the top of the first...Willie Harris flies out to Jacoby Ellsbury in center field. Cristian Guzman grounds to Youkilis at third. Ryan Zimmerman gets fooled by a two-strike curve and K’s looking to end the first.

 

Ryan Zimmerman skips and throws to first to get Jason Bay on a sharp grounder. David Ortiz grounds into the dramatic shift. Jason Varitek lifts a weak fly to left and Josh Willingham gets in under it...NIck Johnson slices a one-hopper to short, and Nick Green throws to first. Jon Lester walks Josh Willingham for the third time in three career at bats. Elijah Dukes’ broken bat barrel hits Nick Green as the ball bounces by him into left for a scary almost dangerous single. Anderson Hernandez scores Willingham from third with a single into left. 1-0 DC. Wil Nieves grounds to short, Nick Green to Pedroia to David Ortiz at first, double play. 

 

Jacoby Ellsbury grounds to Anderson Hernande to Nick Johnson for the first out of the third. Nick Green gets an 0-2 slider from Stammen, and K’s chasing it out of the zone. John Lester swings over a curve outside and the first nine go down in order...Craig Stammen shoots a single into right for a leadoff single in the DC third. David Ortiz takes the force at second on grounder from Willie Harris. Harris steals second with Guzman at bat. Cristian Guzman walks to put two on for Zimmerman. Lester throws a two-strike heater through Zim’s bat. Nick Johnson turns a pitch inside out and grounds to short, Nick Green fields and throws. 

 

Dustin Pedroia beats a diving Ryan Zimmerman to the line with a double into right to leadoff the fourth. J.D. Drew’s groundout moves Pedroia to third. Stammen walks Kevin Youkilis, and it’s first and third with one out. Stammen gets a swinging K from Bay with with two-strike curve. 3-2 pitch to Ortiz, and Wil Nieves wants it low, he shows Stammen with his glove, gesturing down, down, and it’s up and Ortiz takes it to the deepest part of the park, straight-center for a 3-1 lead. Jason Varitek flies out to end the Sox’ fourth...Willingham, Dukes and Hernandez ground out in order as Lester settles in. 

 

After Ellsbury grounds out to first, Nick Green singles through short, and Jon Lester’s sac bunt moves to second. Dustin Pedroia singles to right on a low outside fastball, and Green scores from second for a 4-1 lead. J.D. Drew’s double bounces into the visitor’s bullpen, holding Pedroia at third. Youkilis grounds out to Zimmerman at third and Stammen limits the damage...Wil Nieves K’s swinging through a 95 mph heater. Stammens just stares at strike three from Lester. Willie Harris K’s swinging at a fastball outside and Lester looks like he wants to win this.

 

Stammen gets Jason Bay looking with a low heater outside. Big Papi beats the shift with an excuse me single to third. Jason Varitek launches the first pitch he sees and it’s into the second deck in right, 6-1 Red Sox. Ron Villone gets a backwards K out of Jacoby Ellsbury and gets a fly ball out to center from Nick Green to end the Sox’ sixth...Cristian Guzman beats out a grounder to Nick Green’s backhand. Ryan Zimmerman goes the other way with a line drive double to the track in front of the out-of-town in right center. Nick Johnson grounds back to Lester, who catches Guzman off third and in a run-down, which lasts long enough to let Zimmerman and Johnson move into scoring position. Josh Willingham clears the bases with a bloop single to right, 6-3 Red Sox. Dukes K’s. Anderson Hernandez grounds to Youkilis, who throws to second, 6-3 Sox after six. 

 

Julio Lugo hits for Lester in the seventh. Julian Tavarez drops a slider on the outside edge for a called strike three. Dustin Pedroia lines out to Willie Harris in center. J.D. Drew draws a two-out walk to bring up Youkilis. Elijah Dukes catches Youk’s fly ball to right, ending the Sox’ seventh...Justin Masterson drops a two-strike curve on pinch hitter Alberto Gonzalez. Josh Bard slides in safe at second with a double by first and into right. Mark Kotsay dives on a sharp grounder from Willie Harris. Cristian Guzman rips a high fastball to right and all the way to the out-of-town scoreboard, Bard scores, 6-4 Red Sox. Ryan Zimmerman flies deep to right...but not deep enough, caught by Ellsbury at the wall for a long fly ball out. 

 

Joe Beimel starts the eighth with a K from Jason Bay. Mark Kotsay flies out to right. Jason Varitek flies out to left, Willingham handles it...Justin Masterson vs Nick Johnson to lead off DC’s eignth. Johnson grounds out to second. Two-strike bender to Hammer for a backwards K. Elijah Dukes takes a two-out walk from Masterson to bring up Adam Dunn is going to face a lefty, Hideki Okajima. Okajima walks Dunn to bring up Belliard with two on, two out. Belliard K’s swinging after battling for quite a while. 

 

Nick Johnson jumps to get a grounder toward first from Jacoby Ellsbury. Nick Green grounds out to Guzman at short. Rocco Baldelli flies out to Willingham in right to end the Red Sox’ ninth...Jonathan Papelbon gets a fly ball out to left from Josh Bard. Willie Harris flies to deep center, Jacoby Ellsbury falls into the wall after catching the second out. Cristian Guzman grounds back to the mound, Red Sox win, 6-4 final. 

 

Nationals now 20-49. 

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