Jonathan Papelbon, after pitching two innings and throwing 24 pitches yesterday, was needed for two outs in the ninth inning today. He ended up facing five batters and throwing 31 pitches (16 strikes and 15 balls).
Craig Hansen, with a 11-7 cushion, allowed singles to two of the first three Baltimore batters. Papelbon had Corey Patterson struck out, but was squeezed on what were called balls 1 and 4, so it was a walk and the bases were loaded.
Kevin Millar hit a double play grounder to shortstop, which should have ended the game, but Alex Cora brought his glove up a bit too fast and it rolled into short left field for an error. 11-8, bases loaded.
Papelbon fell behind Nick Markakis 3-1 before coming back to strike him out on a 95 mph fastball. Papelbon fell behind 3-0 to Brian Roberts -- Remy said he hasn't had this much problem with his control all year -- and ended up walking him to force in a run. 11-9, bases loaded.
Melvin Mora battled through a nine-pitch at-bat, fouling off three pitches, before grounding hard to third. Mike Lowell backhanded the ball, spun around and threw a bullet to first. Game over. Whew!
Lowell also hit a first-inning grand slam. Kevin Youkils hit a three-run shot in the seventh and Doug Mirabelli added a solo blast in the eighth (the Stud has hit a bomb in three straight games).
Manny Ramirez's 27-game hitting streak is over. He was in the on-deck circle when Youkilis made the final out in the eighth. Manny walked and scored in the first, flew to deep right to end the third, lined out to shortstop to open the fifth (Tejada made a fantastic diving catch to his left), and reached on an error by the pitcher in the seventh. It was a little squib to the first base side of the mound that was spinning wildly. When Todd Williams touched it, it darted off in another direction; then he tossed it wildly to first.
The Yankees lost 5-3, so the East lead is down to one game.
Daniel Cabrera (4.95) / Jon Lester (3.86), 2 PM
Wily #5! ... And Tito assures us that Ortiz is just getting a rest before the games with the Tigers and Yankees.Roberts, 2B Crisp, CF
Mora, 3B Loretta, 2B
Tejada, SS Youkilis, 1B
Conine, LF Ramirez, DH
Gibbons, DH Pena, LF
Hernandez, C Lowell, 3B
Patterson, CF Cora, SS
Millar, 1B Kapler, RF
Markakis, RF Mirabelli, C