LOB-otomy!Red Sox - 222 202 32x - 15
It was a night of squandered opportunities -- 13 hits, 5 walks, 1 Devil Ray error -- but Boston prevailed, because, well, Tampa Bay sucks.
Josh Beckett was strong (6-4-0-1-7) but threw 101 pitches in six innings. Keith Foulke pitched a clean seventh, Mike Timlin struggled in the eighth (one out, then three straight singles and a force play), and Jonathan Papelbon jogged in for a four-out save.
He struck out Ty Wigginton to end the eighth -- and then seemed a bit off in the ninth. He threw nine pitches to Greg Norton (not this cool guy) (single) and eight pitches to Toby Hall (pop to right). After his sixth pitch to Hall, Papelbon shook off Jason Varitek three times before the catcher called time. Then Papelbon shook him off again, before delivering a pitch. Papelbon was not throwing his split as much, relying much more on fastballs, which were not up to his usual velocity. (Of Pap's 17 pitches to the first two batters in the ninth, nine were fouled off.)
Papelbon regained some control and got Russell Branyan looked at a 96 mph fastball, then got Dave Hollins to ground to second. ... And the water was dirty. ... 16 saves in 16 chances for Mr. 0.36 ERA.
Also: While the Sox were batting in the bottom of the eighth, many fans were doing the wave. If I were president of the Red Sox, any fan doing the wave at any time during any game would be subject to a lifetime ban from Fenway Park. ... John Henry, I suggest you introduce such a scheme.
Beckett (4.19) / Waechter (6.63), 7 PM
Redsox.com says Doug Waechter
made his first start out of the bullpen on Saturday ... He allowed three runs over six innings on six Marlins hits, walking three and striking out two. It was a big improvement from his last outing, in which he allowed seven runs on 11 hits over seven innings in his longest outing of the year. Waechter lasted just 2.2 innings at Boston on April 19, surrendering seven runs (six earned) on five hits and three walks for his first loss of the season.