The Red Sox delivered a 10-3 beating to the Orioles Friday night, but may have taken some losses in the process. Josh Beckett tweaked his knee in the fifth inning, and while that doesn't appear to be serious, they may be without David Ortiz after fists flew between him and Kevin Gregg in the eighth inning, with the benches clearing in the process.
The actual baseball portion of the game may as well have been over after just the first inning. Zach Britton took the mound for the Orioles, and was far, far from the ace he's been most of the season. After getting Jacoby Ellsbury out on a hard drive to center that Adam Jones saved with a running grab, Britton allowed a line drive single to Dustin Pedroia, walked Adrian Gonzalez, and then gave up a ground ball single to Kevin Youkilis that deflected off the glove of J.J. Hardy to bring Pedroia in to score the first run.
Then David Ortiz came up, the ball found its way into the stands for a three-run shot, and the floodgates opened. The Sox would send eight more batters to the plate, chasing Zach Britton from the game after eight runs scored and only two outs were recorded.
The scoring stopped there until the fifth, when Josh Beckett seemed to falter in a suddenly rainy Fenway. Derrek Lee led off the frame with a home run into the Monster seats, and walks to Felix Pie and Robert Andino proved costly after back-to-back RBI singles from Nick Markakis and Adam Jones. In between the walks is when Beckett tweaked his knee after a pitch. The grounds crew came out to work on the mound, and Beckett went on to finish the inning despite what would later be called a mildly hyperextended left knee.
The Red Sox would recoup two of the runs, with Dustin Pedroia launching his tenth homer of the season and then scoring again in the eighth when Josh Reddick tripled him home following a walk.
One at-bat later, and the frustration of the Orioles finally manifested itself in Kevin Gregg, who threw inside three straight times to David Ortiz. Ortiz pointed to the mound and said some words, then flew out on the next pitch. As Ortiz trotted down to first, Kevin Gregg kept talking, getting himself ejected. But it wasn't enough for Ortiz, who came charging at Gregg, touching off a benches-clearing brawl. Reddick left the base paths after tagging up in favor of joining the fray, and was called out on the play, but the real damage would likely come from any possible suspension that could be forthcoming for his part in the fracas.
Still, another big offensive night for the Sox, and another lopsided win. With an added half-game over the Yankees and Rays, they're in good shape heading into a difficult couple of pre-All-Star break games.