Given his familiar surname and uniform number, Stephen Drew always knew that Red Sox fans may not be so eager to warm to him. But then, a spring training concussion caused him to miss Opening Day, and his replacement, slick-fielding homegrown shortstop Jose Iglesias, began the season on a 9-for-20 roll. For Drew, it was the worst possible storm. And by the time Drew came to the plate in the fourth inning this afternoon at Fenway Park, his early-season slump had reached 4-for-36 depths. He had one extra-base hit, one RBI and 13 strikeouts, and the only thing preventing the masses from booing J.D. Drew’s younger brother back to the bench was Iglesias’ struggles since being sent to Triple-A Pawtucket. But the Red Sox signed Stephen Drew in the offseason because they believe he is an above-average shortstop due to bounce back after a gruesome ankle injury in 2011. And for the first time, Drew rewarded their faith with a two-out, two-run triple to help pace a 6-5 victory over the Oakland Athletics in the finale of a three-game series. “I just think it’s a matter of at-bats for Stephen before things begin to click with him,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said earlier this week. “Because it’s not a flaw in the swing or anything like that. It’s just a matter of getting some consistent timing and building some confidence on his end.” Trailing 3-0 in the fourth inning, the Red Sox finally broke through against hard-throwing A’s lefty Brett Anderson on back-to-back one-out doubles by David Ortiz and Mike Napoli. Drew’s triple tied the game before the Red Sox scored three more runs in the fifth. And on a day when ace Jon Lester walked six batters and lacked usual command, four relievers combined to record the final 10 outs, punctuated by closer Andrew Bailey’s scoreless ninth inning. The Red Sox secured their fifth series victory and improved to 14-7. In a matchup of ace lefties, neither Lester nor Anderson was especially sharp. Lester labored through the first two innings, walking three batters and battling a seemingly tight strike zone from plate umpire Jerry Layne. But it wasn’t until the fourth inning that he allowed runs, as the A’s seized a 3-0 lead on Chris Young’s three-run homer off a billboard atop the Green Monster. Anderson, meanwhile, cruised through three innings, making him look familiar to the Red Sox. He tossed a two-hit shutout at Fenway Park on July 6, 2009, blanked the Sox for eight innings April 19, 2011 in Oakland and allowed one run in six innings of a start against them last season.
Red Sox beat A’s in series finale
Boston Herald | Apr 25