Boston took a quick 5-0 lead before Matt Clement was hit near the right ear by a Carl Crawford line drive in the third inning. Clement stayed motionless on the mound for at least five minutes -- the ball caromed into left field and the Trop was as quiet as a tomb -- before being put on a stretcher and taken off the field. He is reportedly in good shape, but will stay in the hospital overnight.
Tampa Bay tied the game in that inning on Aubrey Huff's grand slam, and later took leads of 6-5 and 8-6. Delcarmen (#57) threw a perfect eighth inning, mixing in a fastball that was clocked at 94-95 and a curve at 77. He threw 14 pitches, nine for strikes.
After Curt Schilling allowed the potential winning run to reach base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Johnny Damon saved the game with a leaping catch at the wall in deep left center.
Damon then led off the top of the tenth by smacking Danys Baez's first pitch to deep right for a home run. Boston added another run in the inning and held on as Schilling allowed one run in the bottom half of the 10th.
Why Baez was allowed to pitch the entire 9th and 10th innings is beyond me. He allowed seven hits and four runs before he got five outs.
Boston would have likely won the game in nine innings if Dale Sveum hadn't sent John Olerud from first base on Bill Mueller's double. That hit tied the game (Adam Stern scored ahead of Olerud) and if Sveum had done his job -- holding one of the slowest men in professional baseball at third -- Boston would have had:
Runners on 2nd and 3rd, with 1 out in a tie gameinstead of
Runner on 3rd, with 2 outs in a tie game.Thanks for fucking up yet again, Dale. And, thanks Red Sox front office, for keeping this incompetent numbskull around to screw up potential rallies. ... Trot Nixon also hurt himself on a swing in the third inning. He strained an oblique muscle and had to leave the game.
Boston's win kept them atop the East, as the Yankees (1 GB), Orioles (3.5 GB) and Blue Jays (4.5 GB) all won.
Wakefield / McClung at 4:00.