Monday, Sep 1. BOSTON. Pedroia's two-run single capped a four-run sixth inning, Paul Byrd pitched seven efficient innings and the Boston Red Sox beat the struggling Baltimore Orioles 7-4 on Monday night. Byrd, Pedroia's teammate for a little less than three weeks, was gushing with praise for the scrappy second baseman. This coming after White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen continually lauded his play over the weekend.
"I can't say enough about my second baseman," Byrd said. "This guy, in my opinion, is the MVP of the league. He's unbelievable. I didn't know he was that good when I came over here."
Pedroia, who hit .374 in August and closed the month going 9-for-12, scored 33 runs last month, the most for the Red Sox since Dom DiMaggio and Billy Goodwin had 35 in 1950, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Red Sox, who had the AL's second-best record at 18-9 in August but failed to gain ground on AL East-leading Tampa Bay, which went 21-7, pulled to five games behind the idle Rays. Boston increased its lead to three games in the wild card race. Baltimore, swept in a three-game series at Tampa Bay over the weekend when its pitchers allowed 34 runs, lost for the ninth time in 10 games.
Jason Varitek and Jeff Bailey hit consecutive homers for the Red Sox. Varitek's tied Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk for a club record with his 157th as a catcher.