May 11, 2005

G34: Red Sox 6, Athletics 5

Octavio D'oh-tel! For the second consecutive game, the Oakland closer was asked to save a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning.

First, there was last night:
Oakland leads 2-1.
Ramirez (bsbf) struck out looking.
Ortiz (bfbbs) walked.
Millar (bfbf) homered to left.
Red Sox win 3-2.
And then this afternoon:
Athletics led 5-4.
Ortiz (bsbffb) walked.
Millar (bfbb) flied out to left.
Varitek (bf) homered to right.
Red Sox win 6-5.

What made this victory (and the three-game series sweep) even sweeter was that it came after the A's had scored four times against Keith Foulke in the top of the 9th, the tying and go-ahead runs coming on a home run by the much-loathed Eric Byrnes.

It was a disheartening outing for Foulke, who looked sharp pitching to the first two batters. He struck out Durazo, walked Kielty, and got Hatteberg to hit into a force out. Then trouble began. Scutaro doubled to the gap in left-center for a double and Ginter singled to the same spot. Then Byrnes homered. Foulke walked Kotsay before getting Kendall to fly to right.

I have no idea what's going on with Foulke and barring any news in the papers tomorrow, I'm going to chalk it up to a bad outing and move on. In my mind, he struck Byrnes out -- and ended the game at 4-3 Sox -- on an inside 1-2 pitch that was called ball two.

Other offensive bright spots: Manny Ramirez hit a first-pitch home run in the third, the 398th tater of his career. NESN showed some old footage of his first major league home run, which came on September 3, 1993 at Yankee Stadium. Manny had made his debut only the night before (he went 0-for-4). There were a ton of people in the bleachers that night from Manny's Washington Heights neighborhood, yelling and waving signs and flags. I remember watching the game. Manny hit two home runs and a double in that game.

In addition to today's game-winning home run -- which was down the right field line -- Varitek also singled, doubled and walked. Ortiz singled, doubled and walked, Renteria and Mueller both singled twice and Damon doubled to extend his hitting streak to 17 games.

In what has become almost de rigeur, the Red Sox starter -- Matt Clement this time -- shone. Clement pitched seven innings and allowed five hits, one walk and one run. ... The Red Sox left the bases loaded twice today (fifth and eighth innings), which would have stung if not for the comeback.

Baltimore beat the Twins so the Red Sox stay 1½ games behind. Toronto (4 GB) and the Yankees (7 GB) also won. ... Boston's next game is Friday night at 10 pm in Seattle, which means we'll go almost 54 hours without some Red Sox baseball.

1 comment:

Jeremy Crowther said...

Good thing is: We go about 56 hours without MFY baseball!