BALTIMORE The Red Sox all noticed John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino walking around the field at Camden Yards while the team wrapped up batting practice.
It was a surprise visit by Bostons ownership trio to lend support to the beleaguered Sox in the third game of a three-game set against Baltimore, and it worked as the Sox showed energy, urgency and proper focus in a mistake-free 6-3 win over the Os at Camden Yards.
Lucchino addressed reporters prior to the game and admitted that the Sox were going through a valley in their stewardship of the team. Still, he also couldnt resist dropping a shot against the jaded and cynical media within his reality check.
Every franchise, every brand goes through rough times, he said. No one is immune to the hills and valleys. Weve had a long run of success, Lucchino said. Weve created very high expectations for the franchise. Sometimes those high expectations are not met, and the result is a reduction, a hit to the brand and to the team and to the fan base. If its broke, well fix it.
The Sox players clearly kicked up the energy during the game, and Clay Buchholz credited the presence of the ownership group for some of that boost. Werner and Henry were returning from meetings in Colorado and Lucchino is obviously busy with the day-to-day business operations of the Sox, but all three made it a point to back their struggling bunch in Baltimore.
It was awesome. Theyre the ones that put this team together and a lot of smart people did that. It was good to see the guys here and hopefully we can keep that going into New York, said Buchholz, who said he spotted Henry when he was walking out to the bullpen to warm up. Theyve got busy lives just like we do. Im sure they could have been somewhere else, but they were behind us and supporting us. Thats what everybody wants to here.
Perhaps the best reaction was Bobby Valentine thinking about ownerships departure when the Sox had fallen down by an early 3-0 score in the game, and perhaps another rough night was coming in Baltimore.
It was great they were in here. They said they were here to bring us some luck, and when we were down 2-0 I was going to call for an early flight out, joked Valentine.
So now it appears the Sox ownership group just has to start traveling around with the team for the rest of the season to guarantee they get the unrelenting, intrepid effort the team showed Thursday for its remaining games.
Scott Podsednik went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI and has now hit safely in 17 of his 19 games with the Sox.
Public visiting hours for Johnny Pesky's wake will be Sunday, 2-8 p.m., at the Solimine, Landergan and Richardson Funeral Home, 67 Ocean Street, Route 1A, Lynn, Mass.
Jacoby Ellsbury went 0-for-4, ending his 38-game hitting streak against the Orioles that dated to April 17, 2009. The streak was the second-longest for any player vs. one team since 1900, behind only Vladimir Guerreros 44-game hitting streak for the Angels against the Texas Rangers from April 9, 2004-August 4, 2006.