35-15: Schilling silences Tribe

The Red Sox continued playing according to their script, getting a strong effort from Curt Schilling to beat Cleveland, 5-3. Life is good. This is now officially the best start after 50 games in Red Sox history. Ever. Had a gander at the standings recently? Second place in the division is Baltimore, at 11.5 games back. And George Steinbrenner’s boys have lost four in a row and are now 13.5 games back. It’s hard not to be over-confident, but just bear in mind that we have managed to avoid injuries, for the most part.

Schilling (5-2) bounced back from a lackluster stretch to toss his best outing of the season. In throwing 114 pitches in seven innings of work, he only gave up one run in the sixth on an RBI single by Victor Martinez. He was sharp, and able to locate his fastball all game, which led to striking out a season high ten batters.

Somewhat atypical for us, the bullpen did give up two runs in the eighth and ninth innings, but they managed to preserve the lead, and Jonathan Papelbon quashed a rally and notched save number 13. We went through four relievers in this one, so we need a good start from Josh Beckett tonight, fresh off the DL.

Boston scored two runs in the fourth inning on consecutive RBI doubles by J.D. Drew and Mike Lowell, and they kept adding to the lead, even as Cleveland chipped away at it. Indians starter Cliff Lee (2-2) lasted only five innings, and the Sox continued to work over the Indians bullpen after that. It was encouraging to see the Sox muster six hits and two walks off of a good lefty, as they have struggled with left-handed starters in recent years.

Manny Ramirez homered in this one, and Kevin Youkilis got two hits, including an inside-the-park home run in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to 20 games! Is there anything that guy can’t do? Both Julio Lugo and Coco Crisp stole bases off of weak-armed catcher Martinez, and you can expect that to continue over this series.

Dustin Pedroia went 3-3 at the bottom of the lineup, boosting his season average to a robust .298. I am so proud of him! He has hit .375/.426/.554 in 56 ABs with 2 HR for the month of May, for those who haven’t been paying attention.


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