Rays - 000 001 200 - 3 8 1The bats return -- and Boston scores 26 runs in the three-game sweep of Tampa Bay.
Red Sox - 102 100 12x - 7 11 1
Kevin Youkilis -- who was bumped up into the #3 spot when David Ortiz was scratched from the original lineup with a sore knee -- hit a home run and two doubles and drove in four runs. The Red Sox also stole a season-high five bases, including two double steals (Jacoby Ellsbury/Dustin Pedroia in the 1st and Julio Lugo/Ellsbury in the 8th). Boston last had five steals in a game on July 3, 2002.
Jon Lester had a rough beginning to his start. He threw 28 pitches in the first inning, but was able to escape with no runs allowed. Listening to the NESN feed on MLBTV, I heard Don Orsillo say "Lester back to being Lester" after the network went to commercial. While he obviously thought he was completely off-mic, he did sum up what most Sox fans were feeling.
However, Lester settled down. He got the first two Rays in the second and would have had a perfect inning, but Lugo booted a grounder for an error. After allowing a single, Lester got the final out, then retired 9 of the next 11 batters before Carlos Pena put Tampa on the board with a solo home run in the sixth. Lester finished with a 6-4-1-3-5, 112 line.
Manny Delcarmen threw a wrench into Terry Francona's bullpen plans, allowing a single and triple with one out in the seventh (both runners would score). Tito was forced to go with Hideki Okajima earlier than he would have liked. Jeemer got the final two outs in the seventh and the first two outs in the eighth. After allowing a single which brought the tying run for Tampa to the plate, it was time for Jonathan Papelbon. Bot secured his four outs quickly, on only 15 pitches.
Scott Kazmir (2008 debut; 3.48, 130 ERA+ in 2007) / Jon Lester (4.31, 102 ERA+)
W L PCT GB RS RA EXPHank:
Boston 19 13 .594 -- 155 140 17-15
Tampa Bay 16 14 .533 2.0 141 130 16-14
Baltimore 16 14 .533 2.0 126 135 14-16
New York 16 16 .500 3.0 140 143 16-16
Toronto 14 17 .452 4.5 126 114 17-14
I'm very disappointed with the way the season has gone ... We just can't win one out of five games, every time Wang pitches. It's not going to work. It's not a good win percentage. Starting pitching is where it's at, especially in the postseason. At this point, we'll see if we even make the postseason.