Zink, Sox shelled; Lowell out with oblique injury

Wow, a lot happened yesterday. Knuckleballer Charlie Zink made his Major League debut last night, and was staked to a 10-run lead in the first inning. He pitched well for four innings, but things started unraveling in the 5th inning. Zink actually did much better than his line reflected, but the bullpen suffered a meltdown of historic proportions. What should have been a laugher turned into a 19-17 slugfest that the Sox barely pulled out on a go-ahead homer by Kevin Youkilis. Zink was optioned back to Pawtucket after the game.

On the plus side, the Sox set a season high for runs scored and rallied to win this one. David Ortiz hit two 3-run homers in the 1st inning alone, and should have had a 3rd dinger in the 5th, if not for a play ruled fan interference.

Of most concern to Red Sox fans, however, is the oblique injury to Mike Lowell, which will almost certainly land him on the DL for several weeks. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI today to assess the muscular damage. These injuries can linger and recur very easily unless fully healed. The Sox have a couple of options, but they are likely to slide Youkilis back over to third and utilize Sean Casey at first base for a while. Jed Lowrie may also see some time at third, with Alex Cora and Julio Lugo (once he’s recovered) manning short.

Link: More evidence that the Angels are probably not as good as they’ve looked. Lost in this presentation is the fact that the Sox are first in the AL in run differential by a huge margin (+114 to +64 for Tampa). Tampa’s got the edge in pitching and defense thus far, but now that the Rays are dealing with major injuries to Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria, the Sox need to capitalize and make up some ground.


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