Red Sox salvage a win in Philadelphia, 5-2


Red Sox salvage a win in Philadelphia, 5-2

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
PHILADELPHIA -- Unable to score many runs of late, the Red Sox needed a strong pitching performance to avoid a sweep by the Philadelphia Phillies.

Jon Lester gave them one.

Lester limited the Phils to just two hits over seven innings as the Red Sox defeated Philadelphia 5-2, snapping a two-game losing streak and giving them just their second win in the last eight games.

Lester, 10-4, didn't allow a hit until Chase Utley lined a single to left with one out in the fourth.

Boston belted three homers -- all with the bases empty. Jason Varitek hit in one in the sixth and Dustin Pedroia and Varitek homered back-to-back in the eighth.

The Sox also got some production from the lower half of their lineup.

In the fifth, Josh Reddick tripled and scored on Drew Sutton's single to right. Sutton took third on a hit-and-run as Marco Scutaro singled to right, then scored on Jacoby Ellsbury's single between short and second.

After a scoreless eighth from Daniel Bard, the Phils snapped the shutout bid with a two-run homer by Ryan Howard off Bobby Jenks.

Lester stopped a personal two-game losing streak with a fine effort, shutting out the Phillies over seven innings and limiting them to just two hits in winning his 10th game.

The lefty didn't allow a hit until the fourth, then retired eight in a row before allowing another baserunner to help the Red Sox snap their own two-game streak.

Varitek, moved up to fifth in the Red Sox lineup, smacked two homers -- both solo -- to account for 40 percent of the Red Sox' output.

It was Varitek's first multi-homer game since April 10, 2010.

GOAT OF THE GAME: David Herndon
Herndon came on in relief of Cole Hamels, who left after taking a comebacker off his right hand in the fourth inning.

Coming into a scoreless game, Herndon gave up two runs on five hits over two innings and was saddled with the loss.

Given that the Sox looked to be in for a long afternoon against Hamels, the line drive off the bat of Adrian Gonzalez in the fourth inning -- which eventually drove Hamels from the game -- may have been the break the Red Sox were looking for.

After being held scoreless over the first four innings, the Sox scored three runs against the next two Philadelphia relievers.

BY THE NUMBERS: The last six homers hit by the Red Sox -- three Thursday afternoon and three Saturday night in Pittsburgh -- have all come with the bases empty.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "He may be small in stature, but not in his opinion of himself.'' -- Terry Francona when asked if Dustin Pedroia was the smallest cleanup hitter in baseball.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Report: Trump won't throw out first pitch

Report: Trump won't throw out first pitch

One White House tradition will have to wait, if it’s in fact maintained.

President Donald Trump is not going to throw out a ceremonial first pitch for the Washington Nationals this season, according to the Washington Post.

Post reporter Barry Svrugula wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that the White House declined an invitation from the Nats.

POLITICO reported early Tuesday morning that Trump was in talks to throw out the first pitch and that it was also possible he could spend an inning in the MASN booth.

President William Howard Taft began the custom of U.S. presidents throwing out a first pitch on April 14, 1910, at National Stadium in D.C.

According to The Week:

“Since Taft, every president not named Jimmy Carter has thrown out at least one Opening Day first pitch. The executive guests of honor followed in Taft's hefty footsteps, throwing the first ball from the stands, until the late 1980s when Ronald Reagan sauntered onto the mound and improved upon the tradition."

The most famous presidential pitch in recent memory is George W. Bush’s toss during the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium.

The Nats open their season on Monday at home in Washington D.C., in a 1:05 p.m. game against the Miami Marlins. A Nationals Magic 8 Ball is to be given away to the first 20,000 fans.

The Red Sox happen to play the Nats in a pair of exhibitions right before the season, on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s game is at the Nats’ home park in D.C. Saturday’s game is to be played in Annapolis, Md., at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon...who's the starting catcher?

Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon...who's the starting catcher?

Evan Drellich talks with Toucher and Rich about who the starting catcher will be and should be for the Red Sox. Christian Vazquez appears to be all the way back from Tommy John surgery. Can he hit?