June 11, 2004

Faith Is Fun. No worries. Derek Lowe throws seven shutout innings, David Ortiz homers in the 7th (off a LHP!) for a 1-0 lead, the Padres are winning easily in the Bronx and Keith Foulke is in for the 9th.

Encarnacion? K. PH Grabowski? Ground out to first. 2 outs on 8 pitches. Then Cora singles; Bellhorn dives to his right, but the ball ticks off the end of his glove. PH Saenz lofts a 1-0 pitch to left. Ramirez moves to his right, then comes in, then cuts back over to his left. He tries an awkward basket catch and the ball falls untouched. Cora sprints across the plate and the game is tied 1-1. ... Izturis flies out to center for the 3rd out.

Bottom of the 9th: I'm not worried. I'd rather have won 1-0, but the Red Sox have the top of the order up and I'm thinking Manny can drive in the winning run and atone. He never gets the chance.

Damon gets ahead 3-0, takes a strike and then walks. ... Bellhorn has an amazing at-bat. After a called strike and a foul, he's down 0-2 -- and he leads the AL in strikeouts. But he battles: Ball 1. Foul. Ball 2. Ball 3. Foul. Foul. And then he rips a pitch into the left field corner for a double. Damon stops at third. ... Ortiz steps in with Manny on deck. After 2 big cuts, Ortiz is down 0-2 (he's second in the AL in Ks). But he turns on an inside breaking pitch and drives it down the right field line. It's a fair ball -- Damon scores -- Boston wins 2-1.

And in New York, where Mussina was pulled after only three innings because of a tight groin, San Diego adds 5 in the 9th and beats the Yankees 10-2. ... Boston is now 2½ back.

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