It’s no secret that I miss Don Orsillo, he was the Sox play by play guy when I started following the team and I still associate his voice with the Sox. His ouster after the 2015 season is still a sad moment for me as a fan. On Tuesday, I wrote about one of his funniest moments as a play by play guy, the legendary “Here Comes the Pizza” moment. Today I am going to write about an otherwise forgettable Red Sox blowout on a warm summer night at Fenway. It was a night where inappropriate groping inspired dead air and laughter in the booth and then a Red Sox comeback on the field.
The Red Sox entered July 7, 2011 with a record of 51-35, just a half game behind the New York Yankees. They were riding a short two game win streak after taking two out of three against the Toronto Blue Jays. They were set to take on the Baltimore Orioles, who entered the day dead last in the division.
The Sox were also in a stretch where key pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester were all out and John Lackey was struggling, having posted a sky high 7.47 ERA through this point in the season. Josh Beckett was the only bright spot in the rotation. It was a rough time for Sox pitching.
Andrew Miller, in his last season as a part time starter, took the mound for the Sox against Jake Arrieta of the Orioles. The O’s struck quickly in the first inning with an Adam Jones single that scored JJ Hardy and then again when Vlad Guerrero grounded into a double play and scored Nick Markakis. The O’s would hold the lead until the third inning, which began with this……..
In the bottom of the inning, Dustin Pedroia would hit a three-run home run to give the Sox the lead. The Orioles would respond quickly in the top of the 4th when Hardy hit a sacrifice fly to score Mark Reynolds from third. Josh Reddick would lead off the bottom of the 4th by reaching base because of an error, be moved to third by a Jarrod Saltalamacchia single, and then scored by a JD Drew groundout. The Sox would build on their lead with an Adrian Gonzalez solo shot in the 5th and a 2 run shot by Jacoby Ellsbury in the 6th. The dot would be put on the explanation point when David Ortiz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Josh Reddick hit back to back to back home runs in the bottom of the 7th to put the Sox out front 10-3. The Orioles would score one more run before ultimately falling 10-4.
This victory would elevate the Sox over the Yankees in the AL East and give them the division lead. I won’t bother mentioning how the 2011 season ended for the Boys of Fenway. Let’s enjoy a best of compilation with Orsillo and Jerry Remy instead.
Of course, I would remiss if I posted about July 7, 2011 without mentioning that it was also a sad day in Red Sox Nation. Dick Williams, the manager of the 1967 “Impossible Dream” team, passed away in Henderson, Nevada at the age of 82.