By Jeff Louderback
With the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline drawing closer and the Red Sox lineup struggling to score runs, rumblings have arisen about the club acquiring veteran third baseman Michael Young. That would have an impact on the playing time of shortstop Stephen Drew, whose average has hovered in the .220s for awhile. Perhaps feeling a sense of urgency to produce, Drew slugged two home runs, collected three hits overall and knocked in five runs as the Red Sox gained a much-needed victory on Saturday with a 7-3 decision at Baltimore.
The Red Sox improved to 62-43 and remained a half-game behind Tampa Bay in the American League East. The Orioles slipped 4.5 games back at 58-47.
This is just one game, and even with the offensive eruption on Saturday, Drew is still only hitting .206 over his last 10 games, yet getting any production at all from the left-handed hitting shortstop is a surprising bonus.
Ryan Dempster earned the win by allowing two runs and six hits over 5.1 innings. Craig Breslow tossed 1.2 scoreless frames of relief, but Junichi Tazawa permitted a run in his lone inning of work. Koji Uehara logged a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation.
David Ortiz was 0-for-2 with two walks but has not homered or knocked in a run over his last 10 games. He was called out on strikes and ejected after arguing.
Shane Victorino was 1-for-5, but his one hit was a solo home run in the seventh inning.