Instead, the Red Sox rallied and won their 14th straight home game. It was far from a pretty win, but it kept the East lead at 2.5 games.
Boston answered with three runs in the third, highlighted by Doug Mirabelli's double to right-center, Tony Graffanino's single (Graff had three hits, a walk, three runs scored and a RBI), and a bases-loaded walk to Manny Ramirez.
After Wakefield gave it right back in the next inning (Brandon Inge and Curtis Granderson both hit two-run home runs), the Sox scored twice in the fifth -- highlighted by Ortiz's double to right -- and four times in the sixth -- Manny had a two-run double.
Detroit tried to come back -- Jeremi Gonzalez surrendered back-to-back home runs in the seventh -- but Chad Bradford and Mike Timlin held on.
Millar needs to be benched. He hits better at Fenway (where the team will be for most of the remainder of the season) than on the road, but it would be next-to-impossible not to. Millar whiffed in his first two at-bats, both on horribly bad pitches. The first time, the ball was so far outside, he wouldn't have hit it with an oar. Add in his poor fielding and there is absolutely no excuse for not giving Roberto Petagine more playing time.
A few SoSHers think that Francona will continue to bury Petagine, because if he gets a chance to prove himself, it'll become obvious that he and Olerud should make the post-season roster and Millar should not. And Tito will not allow that to happen. I don't know if I agree, but it's certainly bizarre to see Millar in the lineup more times than not and Petagine not even given a chance to pinch-hit.
The August 14 rainout against the White Sox will be replayed Monday, September 5, at 12:05 at Fenway, giving the Sox 30 games without a day off -- August 22 to September 22. Initial reports of the White Sox agreeing to forfeit the game were wrong. ... Mark Bellhorn declined an assignment to Pawtucket and was placed on waivers.
From Chris Snow's Friday notebook in the Globe:
Manny Ramirez did not give a full effort running out an inning-ending, fifth-inning grounder Wednesday night with the bases loaded. The score was 3-1 at the time, then the Royals tied it in the bottom of the inning, then won in the 11th, 4-3. When a reporter noted that Ramirez jogged down the line, Francona said, "I don't think he jogged. I don't think that's correct. I don't agree with that at all." Francona then asked, "You think he would have beat it out? I don't, either."To my knowledge, Snow does not write a paragraph every time a Red Sox player fails to sprint down the line. From watching replays on NESN, John Olerud, Johnny Damon and Kevin Millar have also jogged to first base on groundouts in the last two games. So why doesn't Snow tell us about these malingerers also?
David Ortiz, who missed Thursday's game (running hard to first on a play similar to Manny's, according to the Herald), doesn't understand the anti-Manny faction:
[H]e hit that ball right at the shortstop. He doesn't run like Johnny Damon. I understand that if you hustle a little more, it might make people happy, but it was going to be a double play anyway. Why are people making a big deal about it? When he does something wrong, people make a big deal out of it and [when] he does something great, they don't make a big deal out of it.Curt Schilling says he felt fine the day after allowing six runs in five innings to the Royals:
If I go out every time from here on out and feel like I did last night, I'll win more than I lose. ... I'm not sore, my ankle feels great. I haven't felt like this since last April, before I hurt my ankle. ... I know there are a lot of people that don't want to hear it, but when I look back on it, stuff-wise, that's every bit as good as I threw the ball last year from a pure physical standpoint. Every time I needed to reach back, I felt like I did and had something extra on the ball. I had all four of my pitches. ... I'm not used to feeling that good and not pitching well.He sounds way more positive than I felt while watching him. His next start should be on Tuesday against Tampa.
Arroyo / Douglass at 7:00.