Fenway Park is quiet now, but the ballyard was buzzing tonight, with the Sox winning their fourth straight game and scoring 10 runs for the second night in a row. Most of those won’t be on the highlight shows, though. The eighth-inning fight between David Ortiz and Orioles reliever Kevin Gregg, which emptied the benches and bullpens and featured a few mighty swings and misses, is what most people will remember from this game.
Ortiz didn’t make himself available to the media following the game. Gregg did, though, and offered no apologies. He came inside twice on Ortiz with the Sox leading, 10-3, in the eighth inning, the second tight pitch prompting Papi to take a few steps toward the Orioles’ reliever and pointing the bat at him. What incited Gregg, though, was what Ortiz did when he hit the next pitch, a fly ball he lofted toward short right-center. Or, according to Gregg, what Ortiz didn’t do.
“I think there are some ethics to this game, guidelines that you got to stay within,” Gregg said. “You know, run. You hit a lazy fly, you’ve got to run the bases. Apparently he didn’t like me telling him that stuff and he came out there. That’s part of the game, he has the right to come out there, and I’m going to defend myself if he comes out.”
More from Gregg:
“They’re going to whine and complain about it because they think they’re better than everybody else, but no, we have just as much right to pitch inside as they do.
“I think we showed them we’re not backing down. We’re not scared of them, them and their $180 million payroll, we don’t care. We’re here to play the game, we have just as much right to play the game here, and we’re going to do everything we can to win.”
In other postgame news, Kevin Youkilis has been added to the AL All-Star team, taking the roster spot of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who has been bothered by some right knee soreness and is electing not to play. It’s Youkilis’s third All-Star trip; he also played in 2008-09.
Josh Beckett, who was taken out of the game after pitching five innings (he earned the victory), said after the game that he mildly hyperextended his left knee, with his removal from the game strictly precautionary. He doesn’t expect it to affect his throwing session, or his availability for Tuesday’s All-Star Game.