But, lo and behold, Justin Verlander gave those runs back. With one out, he walked Mike Lowell and with two outs, gave up a single to Javy Lopez and another walk (his 7th) to Alex Cora. Jim Leyland stayed with his starter (he was at 100 pitches) and Coco Crisp lifted a 2-1 pitch to the opposite field. It hit off The Wall above the standings, and two runs scored. (Cora also scored, but Bruce Froemming (umping his 5,000th game) blew the call, not seeing Cora get in under the tag.)
Craig Hansen relieved Wells with one on and two outs in the seventh and ended the inning with one pitch. He then made quick work of the Tigers in the eighth (single, DP, groundout). (Does that count as a second inning?) Jonathan Papelbon needed only six pitches in the ninth.
Crisp has looked much better in the leadoff spot; he walked, singled and doubled, and made a nice diving catch in right-center. Ortiz homered and walked three times; Cora and Mike Lowell each walked twice and Lopez walked and singled.
ESPN had the game, with Gary Thorne and Steve Phillips. ... Moronapolooza. ... We did the wise thing, and watched the game on mute.
Baltimore scored one run in each of the first three innings against Corey Lidle and made it stand up (overcoming an obvious blown call and gift to the Yankees on what should have been a game-ending double play), beating the Yankees 3-2, cutting the Chokers' lead to two games. Damon made the final out. ... The Royals are routing the White Sox, so it looks like Boston will be two back in the WC also.
Justin Verlander (2.95) / David Wells (6.23), 7 PM
The Red Sox are currently three games behind both the Yankees in the East and the White Sox for the Wild Card. ... Schilling:
I'm not talking about the Wild Card. I don't care about the Wild Card. That's for second-place teams. We can't think like a second-place team right now.Win tonight, David, and I'll send you a few of these: