On Saturday, Michael Bowden became the second Boston Red Sox pitcher to start his year at AA in Portland, and make his Major League debut for the Sox. First-batter jitters gave way to 5 solid innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and one walk (his first batter faced) while striking out three.
“It’s filling pretty big footsteps, coming behind guys like [Jon] Lester, [Clay] Buchholz,” said Bowden. “Those are all great guys and they’ve made their mark in the big leagues and it’s an honor just to follow them.”
With Kevin Youkilis sideluned with an illness, second baseman Dustin Pedroia filled the cleanup spot. For the second day in a row, Pedroia went 4-for-4, and was intentionally walked when he came up to bat in the 8th inning.
“I never thought I would walk a jockey,” said Guillen, joking about Pedroia’s stature. “I must be the worst manager ever in the history of baseball right now, walking a guy that just came from being on the top of Big Brown to beat the White Sox. Right now, he’s on a roll. This guy right now is on fire.”
The Sox benefitted from 3 RBI’s from new Red Sox Mark Kotsay, and 2 each from Jason Bay and Jed Lowrie (plus one from Jeff Bailey). All 8 of the Sox runs were driven in by people who weren’t on the team as of 32 days ago.
After Bowden left, the Sox got 4 clean innings from the bullpen. Lopez, Delcarmen, Masterson, and Okajima combined for 4.0 innings, 2 hits, and 2 strikeouts to help 21-year-old Bowden win his first major league game.
Tampa Bay came from behind to edge out the Orioles 10-9, so the Sox remain 4.5 back in the American League East.