Photo: Wikimedia Commons
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Vance Worley didn’t get Dustin Pedroia’s autograph. He got the former MVP’s attention — and the rest of the Boston Red Sox, too.Worley pitched seven strong innings, Raul Ibanez hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the seventh, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Red Sox 2-1 on Wednesday night.
Worley (3-1) allowed one run, five hits and struck out five. The rookie right-hander has filled in nicely for injured starters Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton.
He sent someone to get Pedroia’s signature on a ball before the game, but came up empty.
“He wouldn’t give me one until I met him,” Worley said. “Then I threw one up and in on him so I probably won’t get it now.”
Worley dusted Pedroia with a high-and-tight fastball inside in the first inning and left an impression with his solid performance.
“He had great mound presence, and we were all very impressed,” Pedroia said. “It’s really good for a kid that young to have a presence like that on the mound. He’s going to be a good one.”
In a series billed as a World Series preview, the major league-leading Phillies (51-30) have taken two straight and go for a sweep Thursday.
Michael Stutes pitched a perfect eighth and Antonio Bastardo finished for his third save and first filling in for Ryan Madson. The Phillies are down to their fourth closer with Madson, Jose Contreras and Brad Lidge on the disabled list.
But their young relievers are doing well.
“We talk about our starting pitching a lot and we should, but I’m real proud of the back end of our bullpen,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “We have young kids who like to pitch and they gut it out. They’re not afraid.”
Ibanez was 3 for 3 with two RBIs, falling a triple short of the cycle. He came in 5 for 44.
John Lackey (5-7) gave up two runs and eight hits in 7 2-3 innings in one of his best starts this season. He lowered his ERA from 7.36 to 6.81.
The Red Sox have lost six of seven since going 14-2.
Desperate to wake up a slumping offence, Boston manager Terry Francona gave Adrian Gonzalez his second career start in right field so David Ortiz could play first base. Ortiz hadn’t started the previous four games because there is no designated hitter in NL parks.
It didn’t work. Big Papi was 0 for 4.
“Did that guy just come up or something? Man, because he looked pretty good to me,” Ortiz said of Worley. “He had decent stuff, and it really looks like he’s been around for a long time.
“They’ve got four big starters here, right? Well, he looked like one of them out there tonight. He really looked comfortable. It’s obvious that he’s listening to those big starters over there. It’s rubbing off on him.”
Gonzalez didn’t have any putouts in his first game in right since 2005. He went back to the wall and leaped for a ball hit by Chase Utley in the eighth, but it bounced high off the railing and went for a triple.
Ibanez put the Phillies up 2-1 when he led off the bottom of the seventh with a drive to the seats in right. It was his first homer since May 30, and snapped a streak of 90 at-bats without one.
“He works hard and he stays at everything,” Manuel said.
The Red Sox tied it at 1 in the fifth on Lackey’s fourth career hit. Josh Reddick singled with one out and scored on Lackey’s two-out double. Lackey was 3 for 36 with one double and one RBI in his career before hitting a 3-2 pitch to deep left-centre.
Ibanez gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the second with an RBI single. Shane Victorino led off the inning with a double down the left-field line. He scored when Ibanez hit a hard liner to left-centre.
Notes: Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz said he’s unlikely to pitch before the All-Star break. Buchholz has been sidelined by a lower back strain. … Lidge threw 35 pitches in a bullpen session and could be ready for a rehab assignment next week. Lidge has been out all season with shoulder and elbow problems. … Bernard Hopkins, the oldest boxer to win a major world championship, talked to the Phillies before the game. … A crowd of 45,612 was the 181st straight sellout at Citizens Bank Park, including postseason play.
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