PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Jarrod Saltalamacchia wanted to make sure
Bobby Valentine put him in the Boston Red Sox’s lineup Saturday

So the catcher texted Valentine on Friday night from the
hospital, where he received 12 stitches after taking a ball off his
ear, and told the manager that he was feeling good and predicted a
homer Saturday.

Saltalamacchia kept his word, going 3 for 4 and falling a triple
shy of the cycle, as Boston hit four home runs in a 7-5 win over
the Philadelphia Phillies.

David Ortiz homered, singled and drove in two runs to help
Boston snap the Phillies’ six-game winning streak. Mike Aviles and
Will Middlebrooks also homered for Boston, which won for the
seventh time in nine games.

“Everything came back good, I’m cleared to play, plus I’m due
to hit a bomb,” Valentine said, reading the text sent by

“I wanted to make sure he knew I could play,” Saltalamacchia
said. “Sometimes if you tell the manager you are going to hit one
out, he’ll put you in there. I felt good. The ear didn’t bother or
affect me.”

Jon Lester (3-3) improved to 3-0 in four career starts against
the Phillies despite matching a season high for hits allowed with
eight and giving up four runs in six innings.

“I didn’t have my best stuff, but I tried to battle through it
and keep the ball down,” Lester said.

Freddy Galvis homered, and John Mayberry Jr., Hector Luna and
Shane Victorino each had three hits for the Phillies as the teams
combined for 26 hits.

Alfredo Aceves got four outs for his ninth save in 11 chances.

Joe Blanton (4-4) pitched a season-low 4 1/3 innings while
surrendering seven runs _ six earned _ on nine hits.

“I threw a lot of pitches down the middle, not good results
when you do that,” Blanton said. “They have a lot of good hitters
and when you make mistakes, a lot of times a lineup like that will
make you pay.”

Aviles gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead with the club’s first leadoff
homer of the season.

Boston extended the margin to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the
second, with Saltalamacchia scoring on Daniel Nava’s grounder and
Ryan Sweeney reaching on Lester’s double-play groundout.

Philadelphia got a run back in the third on Shane Victorino’s
RBI double off the metal fence above the 10-foot, 6-inch wall in
left. But Middlebrooks and Saltalamacchia opened the fourth with
consecutive homers to put Boston up 5-1.

Philadelphia scored three runs in the fourth, highlighted by
Galvis’ two-run homer to left, to make it a one-run game.
Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel had Pete Orr in the on-deck
circle ready to pinch-hit for Blanton, but pulled Orr back with the
bases clear.

“I thought he still had something left, thought he might settle
in and give us two (more) innings,” Manuel said of Blanton.

But after Dustin Pedroia singled to lead off the fifth, Ortiz
launched the first pitch he saw off Blanton in the fifth over the
wall in straightaway center to give the Red Sox a 7-4 advantage.

“That was a big blow,” Manuel said. “We couldn’t catch up.”

Said Blanton: “It was supposed to be away and I threw it down
the middle.”

Sweeney saved two runs in the seventh when the Red Sox center
fielder robbed Carlos Ruiz of extra bases with a highlight-reel
diving catch just in front of the warning track in right-center
with two outs and runners on first and second.

“I thought it saved the game,” Valentine said. “I didn’t
think he had anything left. It was full extension, a top-tenner

The Phillies trimmed the lead to 7-5 in the eight on Jimmy
Rollins’ RBI infield single, but stranded the bases loaded when
Victorino popped out to shortstop off of Aceves.

Victorino defended his swinging at the first pitch despite
Aceves walking the previous batter, Mayberry, on four pitches.

“I was looking for a cutter and he threw a cutter, I’ll swing
at that every single time,” he said. “He just beat me. I want to
be the hero, but I was the goat tonight.”

Notes: Red Sox OF Cody Ross did not play after fouling a ball
off his left leg in Friday’s game. Boston manager Bobby Valentine
said before the game that X-rays were negative. … The crowd of
45,656 was the Phillies’ 224th straight sellout and 240th counting
postseason play. … Former Philadelphia OF Pat Burrell was honored
in a pregame ceremony after signing a one-day contract and
officially retiring as a member of the Phillies. … Boston
right-hander Josh Beckett (3-4, 4.97) is scheduled to face Phillies
left-hander Cliff Lee (0-1 1.95) at 1:35 on Sunday.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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