Youkilis backs Smoltz with late go-ahead shot; Ortiz homers, too
BALTIMORE -- The Boston Red Sox put an end to a difficult two-day stretch with an uplifting victory on the road.
Kevin Youkilis put the Red Sox ahead with a two-run homer in the seventh inning, and David Ortiz and Jacoby Ellsbury also connected to help Boston beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-5 Friday night.
The win came one day after the Red Sox learned Ortiz was on the list of more than 100 major leaguers who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003. And it came hours after Boston got All-Star Victor Martinez from Cleveland and Casey Kotchman from Atlanta shortly before the non-waiver trade deadline.
The Red Sox lost leads of 3-0 and 4-3 before rallying to end a five-game skid away from Fenway Park.
"The game took a few turns. We came out and got ahead. They came back and took the lead and we came right back," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "It was an emotional day all the way around after an emotional day yesterday. We made mistakes but didn't let them beat us."
The Red Sox made two errors, and Ortiz was thrown out at second trying to stretch a single. But it was still a good night for Boston's cleanup hitter, who has two homers in two games since learning of his positive drug test.
"I don't think about that when I'm playing. That's how you've got to do it," Ortiz said. "If you think about problems when you're playing, you're not going to be able to do what you've got to do. We need to win games and move on."
John Smoltz (2-4) earned his second victory in seven starts for Boston despite allowing five runs and eight hits in six innings. The 42-year-old Smoltz was 0-1 with a 7.00 ERA in two previous appearances against Baltimore this season.
"I was just grinding it out, just trying to find a way to get people out and keep us in the game," Smoltz said.
Jonathan Papelbon worked the ninth for his 27th save. He has converted 23 of 24 career save opportunities against the Orioles.
Nolan Reimold and Aubrey Huff homered for Baltimore. Huff's was the 200th of his career, a sixth-inning drive with a man on that put the Orioles in front 5-4.
Youkilis wiped out the deficit in the next inning, hitting a 2-1 pitch from Jeremy Guthrie (7-10) into the left-field seats after Ellsbury singled. The homer came on the last of Guthrie's 112 pitches.
"I left Guthrie in the game one hitter too long. I'll take that," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "I really believed that he was going to get him out. He made a bad pitch."
Ellsbury had three hits and made a sensational leaping catch at the center-field wall in the sixth inning to rob Luke Scott of a home run.
Asked whether he would rather hit the homer or make the home-run robbing catch, Ellsbury replied, "Tonight I'll take both. We needed both to win."
Guthrie gave up six runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings. The three homers he allowed upped his AL-leading total to 26, surpassing the number he surrendered last year.
"I don't have the explanation, I don't have the solution, obviously, or I would have hopefully corrected it by now," Guthrie said. "I would take any suggestion, I have taken suggestions. The few that I have gotten, I haven't been able to apply properly to achieve the results, but I'm willing to work as hard as I can to correct it. Obviously I'm not working on the right thing."
Boston loaded the bases with no outs in the second but got only one run, on a sacrifice fly by Nick Green. Ortiz made it 3-0 in the third, hitting a shot to right on a 3-0 pitch after a single by Youkilis.
In the bottom half, the Orioles got a run on a throwing error by Green at shortstop before Reimold hit a two-run homer. The drive, which hit the top of the 25-foot wall in right field, was confirmed to be a home run after a review by the umpire crew.
Ellsbury put the Red Sox up 4-3 by leading off the fifth with his sixth homer.
Baltimore went 9-16 in July, their worst month of the season. ... Ellsbury took over the team lead in multihit games (36). ... Summoned from Double-A Portland before the game, Boston's Josh Reddick grounded out in his first major league at bat. ... Boston is 12-2 against Baltimore since Sept. 1, 2008.
BOS Wins 3-0
- Home Plate Umpire - Brian Knight
- First Base Umpire - Jeff Kellogg
- Second Base Umpire - Hunter Wendelstedt
- Third Base Umpire - Doug Eddings