Friday April 22, 2011 | 06:45 AM

The Boston Red Sox were 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position Thursday night, and won.

The first two RBI came from a Jacoby Ellsbury's bloop single, which was a surprise since Ellsbury anchors the black hole of the lineup. The bottom three players Thursday were Carl Crawford (.143), Jason Varitek (.043) and Ellsbury (.186).

Josh Beckett: 8 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K. The ERA is 1.93. Three straight solid outings.

Tonight should be a good one with Jon Lester (1-1, 3.20) vs. Dan Haren (4-0, 1.16) ... A big lead and deep outing by Lester would be helpful since Bobby Jenks, Daniel Bard and Josh Papelbon have all pitched consecutive days (Bard and Papelbon have each gone 2 1/3 innings over the previous two days).

A big scare Thursday came when Kevin Youkilis fouled a ball off his left shin. Media reports out of Anaheim say the X-rays were negative.

The Red Sox are still waiting to see how Pawtucket outfielder Ryan Kalish's left shoulder is. He injured it while making a diving catch. He will be evaluated today.

In Portland, the Sea Dogs put together solid pitching and quality at-bats for a 5-1 win. See the story.

Tonight at Hadlock, prospect Stolmy Pimentel takes the mound.

There will be plenty of explosions (after the game). It is the first fireworks show of the season.

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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