Mike Timlin made his 1,000th game memorable for the wrong reasons. In seven batters, the White Flag allowed four hits, one walk and four runs. I'm not sure why Manny Delcarmen was not used in that 6th inning spot -- the score when Timlin came in was only 4-3. MDC did start the eighth.
But the Red Sox rallied against the weak O's pen. Three runs in the seventh: Dustin Pedroia doubled and scored on Kevin Youkilis's single and then -- after a walk to David Ortiz, two outs, and an infield single from Coco Crisp -- Eric Hinske doubled to right to make it 9-6.
With one out in the eighth, Pedroia singled (he finished the game 4-for-5) and Yook was HBP for the second time in the game. But Ortiz, who hit his 26th home run in the first inning, stepped in as the tying run -- and grounded into a 1-6-3 double play.
In the bottom of the ninth, against Danys Baez, it was the "automatic outs" who nearly pulled the game out of the loss column. Mike Lowell (3-for-5) singled to left, pinch-hitter Alex Cora singled to right and after Crisp flied to center, Hinske (3-for-3, walk, 4 RBI) singled to make it 9-7. Julio Lugo hit a smash off Melvin Mora's glove at third for an error. The 8th run scored and Hinske moved to third as the potential tying run. Jason Varitek, who had batted for Kevin Cash and made the first out in the eighth, grounded into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
So it's a loss, but it's a loss that doesn't bother me a whole lot right now -- an hour after the last out. Plenty of good news from the bats and Crisp made a couple of great grabs in center, one saving Jonathan Papelbon's bacon in the top of the ninth.
New York managed only two hits against Tampa Bay and lost 9-1. Toronto beat Seattle 7-5. So the standings remain the same. Boston 5 GA in the East, MFY 1 GA in the wild card.
Globe, 5:16 pm:
Tim Wakefield has been scratched from tonight's start because of a sore back. Julian Tavarez will move from his scheduled tomorrow to tonight. A starter for Saturday has not been determined.Sexy Lips (4.84, 93 ERA+)
Wakefield ... is expected to miss just one turn in the rotation. ... Dan Shaughnessy notes that Wakefield was in the outfield earlier working with pitching coach John Farrell, not his usual routine. Perhaps they were testing out his back.
Kevin Cash will remain in the lineup at catcher.
Radhames Liz (7.50, 59 ERA+) / Tim Wakefield (4.16, 109 ERA+)
Wakefield hasn't allowed a run in 22 innings. He beat the Orioles on August 2, allowing three runs over seven innings. ... Liz made his major league debut on August 25, giving up five runs to the Twins in six innings. He was 11-4, 3.22 Bowie (AA), with 161 strikeouts in 137 innings.
New York (5 GB) hosts Tampa Bay: Sonnanstine/Hughes.