IP H R BB K ERAWells wanted to pitch a complete game, but after a long top of the ninth -- three Sox walks and a pitching change -- Wells was a little stiff and Francona gave the final inning to Blaine Neal. Tito: "My heart was wanting to send him out there for the ninth, but my head won out."
Starts 1-2 10.2 19 10 1 8 8.44
Starts 3-4 15 9 0 1 8 0.00
25.2 28 10 2 16 3.51
Wells allowed only three singles: Sammy Sosa in the second, Javy Lopez in the fifth and Luis Matos in the sixth. His only walk was Brian Roberts in the sixth (Wells also snapped Roberts's 14-game hitting streak). Wells retired the side in order in five of his eight innings. The win left Boston (9-6) in a tie with the Orioles for first place.
Bruce Chen was equally effective -- for four innings. Boston scored the game's first run on Chen's bases-loaded balk in the fifth; they also made Chen throw 33 pitches in that inning. Jason Varitek's three-run home run in the sixth provided a 4-0 cushion. ... Manny Ramirez reached base in all four of his plate appearances: two walks, double, single.
Wade Miller's next rehab appearance will be Saturday afternoon in Portland (AA). He's hoping to throw about 90 pitches. After that, he expects to pitch for Pawtucket (AAA), then make his Red Sox debut either May 3 in Detroit or May 8 at home against Seattle. ... Curt Schilling watched some video with Dave Wallace and thinks he found a flaw in his delivery.
The last word(s) on the Sheffield/House incident belong to the Globe's Bob Ryan.
Last night was one of those rare evenings when EI didn't give me the NESN feed. Orioles announcers Fred Manfra and Jim Palmer weren't bad -- Manfra often sounded exactly like Jon Miller, same observations delivered with the same cadences -- but I need Jerry and Don tonight.
Matt Clement / Rodrigo Lopez at 7:00.