KANSAS CITY - This has turned out to be a great night for the Red Sox.
Not only did they defeat the Kansas City Royals, 8-2, the David Ortiz scare turned out to be just that, because he's fine and swinging the bat well.
"I felt fine tonight,"said Ortiz after the win. "I was getting more freedom with my swings. It's a little freaky sometimes because sometimes I feel OK and sometimes I don't." Ortiz knocked in the Red Sox' first run in the first inning with a single to right field, beating the shift.
No clicks (referring to the popping in his wrist on Monday night)?
"No clicks," Ortiz said.
Ortiz reiterated that it's more in his head than physical when it comes to his wrist. He said he just has to get used to things feeling weird for the rest of the season.
Then comes news of Joba Chamberlain heading to Dr. James Andrews to receive a second opinion on his ailing right shoulder. The Yankees lost to the Texas Rangers tonight 8-6, falling short of a full comeback after Richie Sexson hit an 8th-inning grand slam to make things closer. With Chamberlain out, the Yankees almost have to win everytime Andy Pettitte or Mike Mussina pitch. Pettitte didn't win tonight, which isn't a good sign.
If the Yankees lose Chamberlain for a while, that could doom the Yankees (though Carl Pavano appears to be getting close. OK, I'm kidding. And Ian Kennedy could also come up). The feeling is because Chamberlain is seeking an opinion from Andrews, it might be serious. Chamberlain is a Hendricks Brothers client, and they always sent Roger Clemens to Andrews when things didn't seem so good. The Yankees will definitely shut Chamberlain down for the season if there's any question about jeopardizing his future, for he is, in the words of Hank Steinbrenner, "our version of Josh Beckett."
The Red Sox' version of Josh Beckett - Josh Beckett - was superb tonight (6-2/3 innings, four hits, two runs, two walks and seven strikeouts).
"He looked great," said Jose Guillen of Beckett. "His ball was moving all over the place, both sides of the plate. He looked like the playoff Beckett."
Beckett (10-8), snapped a three-game losing streak with some big time offense behind him.
Leadoff hitter J.D. Drew had reached base three times, Dustin Pedroia had a pair of hits, Kevin Youkilis had a pair, Jason Bay had four hits and two RBI, Jed Lowrie had a triple and two RBI and Jacoby Ellsbury had two hits and two steals.
Bay continues to impress teammates.
"He can hit, bro," said Ortiz.
"He (Bay) swings the bat very well," said Terry Francona. "He's been fun to watch. It's been fun to get to know him."
Bay hit a ball that hit the top of the wall in left-center in the 7th inning and rolled along the edge. Left-fielder Ross Gload knocked the ball into play, but Bay had a double and knocked in one of his two runs.
There's been a lot made of this lineup with Manny Ramirez out of it. The feeling has been it can be shut down, but not last night as the Sox attacked KC starter Brian Bannister early and often and didn't let up against the Royals bullpen.
The Sox were keeping pace with Tampa Bay which defeated Cleveland. Those guys just won't go away. The Red Sox need to be more consistent on the road and they need tonight's game to trigger a road renaissance. The White Sox are coming up on Friday after tomorrow's series finale here, which is huge series for this team.