Rudy Seanez allowed a first-pitch, three-run homer to give Atlanta a 5-3 lead in the home half of the seventh. David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez both struck out to start the Boston eighth. Amazingly, in addition to making the second out of the inning, Manny also made the third out!
In between, against a trio of Atlanta pitchers, the Red Sox rallied: Nixon walked, Varitek walked, Crisp singled (5-4), pinch-hitter Lowell doubled (Sox led 6-5), pinch-hitter Cora singled (7-5), Youkilis hit a two-run home run (9-5), Loretta singled, and Ortiz was hit by a pitch.
Jonathan Papelbon recorded his 23rd save by getting the final four outs, including ending the eighth with the potential tying runs on base. ... Those of us not named Joe Morgan didn't need any more evidence that a pitcher's won-loss record tells us little about his actual performance, but as Boston finished off the sweep, it was Seanez that received credit for the victory.
7:06 PM -- Jeff Horrigan reports that Kyle Snyder will start tomorrow night against Washington.
Tonight, Mike Lowell (.231 lifetime vs. Smoltz) is on the bench, as is Chipper Jones, who will miss his second consecutive game with a sore right thumb.
Jonathan Papelbon has faced 124 batters this year. Only 22 of them have reached base -- less than 18%. In 34.1 innings, he has allowed only 18 hits, four walks and one run (0.26 ERA), with 34 strikeouts.Youkilis 3B Giles 2B
Loretta 2B Renteria SS
Ortiz 1B Thorman LF
Ramirez LF AJones CF
Nixon RF McCann C
Varitek C Francoeur RF
Crisp CF LaRoche 1B
Gonzalez SS Betemit 3B
Schilling P Smoltz P
It looks like Pedro Martinez will pitch either the first or second game of the Mets' series at Fenway June 27-29, depending on whether the Mets give him an extra day of rest because of an off-day on June 26.
Curt Schilling (3.59) / John Smoltz (3.78), 8:00 PM
The two pitchers have faced each other only twice before, both when Schilling was with the Phillies. Both games were played in Atlanta.
On June 3, 1992, Schilling (7-6-0-0-6) led the Phillies to a 4-1 victory. Smoltz lasted only three innings (3-6-4-2-1).
More than five years later, on June 28, 1997, Smoltz (7-6-0-2-7) came out on top, winning 9-1. Schilling's line: 5.2-8-7-4-12.