Kenny Lofton was out. Twice.
Jonathan Papelbon retired the Rangers leadoff man two times in the top of the ninth, but did not get either call. Lofton ended up singling (he was 4-for-4 with a walk) and stealing second (his 4th SB of the night).
After two quick outs in the ninth, Papelbon battled Lofton: two called strikes, two balls, then two fouls. On the 7th pitch, he threw a perfect inside fastball -- but Jason Varitek had set up outside and had to cross over the plate to catch it. Perhaps the ump (Andy Fletcher) thought the pitch was borderline and was swayed by Tek moving his glove to the inside black.
Lofton chopped the next pitch to the right side. Kevin Youkilis led Pap and it was a near tie at the bag, but after looking at several replays, I think Papelbon touched the corner of the bag a split-second before Lofton. However, the umpire signaled safe and Papelbon exploded, coming close to getting ejected.
The umpire (Mike Reilly) was set up on the foul side of first base. Papelbon's toe nudged up against the other side of the bag and the umpire may have been unable to fully see that. Papelbon then pulled his foot slightly away and pushed it back again into the side of the bag -- after Lofton had crossed. Did Reilly feel that second step was the only time Pap touched the base?
Papelbon, clearly annoyed, fell behind Jerry Hairston 3-1 before plunking him. It then took seven pitches to get Michael Young looking at strike three for the save.
Lofton should have been rung up for the final out on Papelbon's 13th pitch. The blown call(s) mean Papelbon had to throw another 14 pitches.
Wakefield pitched well (6.2-7-1-4-4, 101). Manny Delcarmen relieved him in the seventh with two on. He then walked Young to load the bases before getting Sammy Sosa on high heat. Hideki Okajima pitched a perfect eighth.
Boston scored first in the 4th. Manny Ramirez was hit with a pitch and JD Drew hit a ground rule double to left. Wily Mo Pena's infield single to deep short scored Manny.
Texas came right in the 5th when Adam Melhuse doubled, was bunted to third and scored on Hairston's sac fly. Then Boston went ahead in their half of the 5th. Youkilis was on first with two outs. David Ortiz walked and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Manny hit a grounder back to the mound. Wright kicked at it and it went right over to Ramon Vazquez at third. Ortiz put on the brakes and Youkilis was able to score just before Vazquez tagged Tiz for the third out.
JD Drew and Mike Lowell each had two hits.
Jamey Wright (7.43, 61 ERA+) / Tim Wakefield (4.52, 99 ERA)+
After a 4-5 road trip to Atlanta, San Diego and Seattle, the Red Sox return home for a quick seven-game homestand against Texas (four) and Tampa Bay (three). Then a three-game series in Detroit takes us to the All-Star break.
Wakefield's ERAs: In June: 7.06. At Fenway: 5.54.
Last Saturday, in his third start of the season (he missed two months with right shoulder inflammation), Wright allowed three hits, five walks and two runs over 5.2 innings against Houston. ... Texas is 32-46, in last place and 16.5 GB the Angels in the West.