Notes: Miller, Ellsbury carry Sox to victory

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Notes: Miller, Ellsbury carry Sox to victory

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
BALTIMORE -- Andrew Miller's starts can be adventures and Wednesday's was no different.

Miller walked six, a career-high, but managed to keep the Orioles scoreless for 5 23 innings, improving to 4-1.

His hairiest moment came in the second, when, with one out, he walked the bases loaded. But he got Craig Tatum to hit into a rally-killing, inning-ending double play.

"He created a rally (for the Orioles) by losing the plate for three hitters," said Terry Francona. "But he got the double play and then he locked it back in and actually threw a lot of strikes. He didn't give up a lot of hard contact.

"The (control problems) kind of came in waves."

"You've got to find it real quick in a moment like that," said Miller of the second inning. "Fortunately, I was able to get back, got out of the inning and rolled from there. But I think the game definitely goes a different way if that (double play) doesn't happen. That was huge.

"That was kind of a momentum shift. They probably had it there when they loaded the bases and it probably deflated them when they didn't get anything out of it."

Miller said he may have rushed himself some in the first two innings because of the heat -- the temperature at gametime was 95 and humid -- and that may have effected his command.

"I had to step back, take a breath and settle down," he said. "Fortunately, I was able to."

Miller has walked 15 in his last three starts, but the Sox are 5-1 in his six starts since being promoted from Pawtucket.

"Obviously, I'd like to pitch deeper," said Miller. "But ultimately, I think what really counts is whether (your team) gets a win at the end of the day. Fortunately, we're doing that when I pitch. That's the goal. We can't go where we want to go if we don't win ballgames."

Jacoby Ellsbury smoked two homers for the second time in his career and now has 15 for the season.

"We've always thought he was going to be a really good player and basically, he's (become) just that," said Kevin Youkilis. "He's maturing and playing the game unbelievable. He always had that ability, but as he's gotten older, he learned
more about himself and the game. It's unbelievable and the results are showing it."

Ellsbury has now hit safely in 29 straight games against the Orioles, dating back to April 17, 2009. In that span, he's hit .445 (57-for-128) with 11 doubles, six homers, 20 RBI and 31 runs scored.

The streak is the longest for any player against the Orioles since the franchise moved from St. Louis to Baltimore in 1954.

Daniel Bard pitched a perfect eighth inning, extending his consecutive scoreless streak to 22 23 innings over 21 games, a club record.

"I feel like I'm throwing the ball well," said Bard, "but there's definitely a lot of luck involved, too, when it comes to something like this. I've just been fortunate that I've made pitches when I've had to and when I have made a mistake, for some reason, they're not hitting them.

"Nothing's really changes about me as a pitcher or anything."

Bard believes the team's use of him has been carefully monitored, allowing him to be more effective.

"That's huge," said Bard. "They've been really good about it and are always talking to me. I had two days off coming into today and my arm felt good. We just have so many guys out there that can get us through the sixth and seventh innings that we really didn't have last year. That's huge (in limiting his workload)."

Until Bard, Ugueth Urbina's 20 straight scoreless outings was the previous club record.

Jon Lester had a morning side session in the bullpen in anticipation of his return to the rotation Monday against Kansas City.

According to ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes, the Red Sox will host the New York Yankees next season on April 20, 2012 -- the 100th anniversary of the first game played at Fenway Park.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Quotes, notes, and stars: "No sign" of Ortiz slowing down

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Quotes, notes, and stars: "No sign" of Ortiz slowing down

Quotes, notes, and stars from the Red Sox' 4-2 win over the Yankees.

QUOTES:

* "He gathered himself and got a little rhythm as the night went along.'' - John Farrell on Henry Owens.

* "That's a rarity for Betances to leave his breaking ball up like he did. Once David saw it up, he attacked.'' - Farrell on David Ortiz's game-winning homer.

* "There's no sign of him slowing down. Tonight is a prime example of it. Key moment, big hit when we need it. There's a long resume there and it's continuing to build.'' - Farrell on Ortiz's ability to deliver in the clutch.

* "There were some mechanical adjustments that I made. I came out a little erratic, trying to do too much, maybe focusing too much. But as game went on, I kind of got into a rhythm.'' - Owens on his start.

* "I saw him throw a lot of breaking pitches to Mookie. The one they hit stayed up a little longer than usual. He's the kind of pitcher that, if you go up there looking for everything he's got, you're done.'' - Ortiz on his game-winning homer off Dellin Betances.

NOTES:

* Over his career, David Ortiz has hit 29 go-ahead homers from the eighth inning on.

* Ortiz has eight homers in his last 24 games against the Yankees.

* The win was the first this season for the Red Sox in a game in which they were tied or trailing after seven innings.

* The Red Sox have won five of their last six and seven of their last 10.

* The Yankees have been limited to three runs or fewer in their last six games.

* In 21 games, the Yankees have faced 10 lefty starters; in 22 games, the Red Sox have faced two.

* Masahiro Tanaka has issued just one walk in his last three starts.

STARS:

1) David Ortiz

With one swing of the bat, Ortiz untied a 2-2 game in the bottom of the eighth with a game-winning two-run homer.

2) Jackie Bradley Jr.

Bradley's penchant for delivering a big hit continued as he rapped a two-run double to left in the seventh to erase a 2-0 Yankee lead.

3) Masahiro Tanaka

He shut the Red Sox for six innings before allowing three hits and two runs in the seventh.

First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 win: Ortiz has flair for the dramatic

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First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 win: Ortiz has flair for the dramatic

First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 win over New York Yankees...

* David Ortiz still has a flair for the dramatic.

Matched against Yankees reliever Dellin Betances, Ortiz cracked a two-run homer into the Monster Seats to snap a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning. Ortiz now has 18 RBI in 23 games -- he didn't start in four of those games - and at 40, remains the one hitter opposing teams want to face with the game on the line.

Before the homer, Ortiz was 0-for-7 against Betances, with four strikeouts.

* All things considered, Henry Owens did OK.

Owens didn't fool anybody. He couldn't command his fastball, and when the Yankees did hit it, they hit it pretty hard. He walked three and hit another. But Owens managed to limit the damage in a big way, allowing just two hits in six innings despite 10 baserunners.

Occasionally, he would get bailed out by his changeup, which seems to be the lone pitch he has that is better than average by major league standards.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. continues to hit when it counts.

Bradley got the Red Sox offense going with a two-run, two-out double off Masahiro Tanaka, when the Sox were down to their final seven outs.

In the last week along, Bradley hit an extra-inning homer; a solo homer that represented the only run of the game; a ninth-inning triple; and Friday's big two-base hit.

That he has 10 RBI from the bottom of the order suggests he can provide some sock from that spot.

* Matt Barnes continues to make strides.

Since allowing a homer to Kevin Kiermaier on the last homestand, Barnes has allowed just one run in his last four appearances, covering 6 1/3 innings, while holding opposing hitters to a .208 batting average (5-for-24).

* The Yankees bullpen gets all the attention, but in relief of Owens, Barnes, Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel faced nine hitters and retired them all.

McAdam: Gordon suspension is proof MLB testing works

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McAdam: Gordon suspension is proof MLB testing works

Kevin Millar, John Farrell and Sean McAdam talk about Dee Gordon’s 80-game suspension for PED violations.