Red Sox - 000 030 100 0 - 4 7 1This contest evolved from a game I thought the Red Sox had pretty well in hand to a toss-up to a loss. Boston is now 5 GB the white-hot Rays.
Yankees - 010 001 200 1 - 5 8 1
Wakefield was fantastic (again!) for 5.1 innings, allowing only two baserunners to the first 18 New York hitters: Kabbalah McBluelips's home run leading off the second and a walk to Giambi to begin the fifth.
Boston struck for three runs off Joba in the top of the fifth: Youkilis and Casey singled and Crisp walked. Ball four to Ococ was a wild pitch that scored Yook (who slid into JtC's right leg and then had a pitch thrown behind his ass his next time up). After Lugo and Cash struck out, Ellsbury walked and Pedroia singled in two more runs. 3-1 Sox.
With one out in the sixth, Wakefield allowed a single to Gardner, who stole second and scored on Jeter's RBI single. CI took second on an errant pick-off throw, but was doubled off when Lugo leapt skyward to haul in Abreu's line drive.
Lugo again got the best of Jetes a few minutes later when, in the top of the seventh, he got credit for an infield single up the middle and took second on an error by the Yankee captain, who (uncharacteristically) ranged far to his left to snare the grounder. Cash followed with a line drive double into the left field corner and Boston led 4-2.
A-Rod singled to open the seventh against Wakefield and after Timmeh retired HGH on a flyball, Tito went wisely to the pen. But Lopez was not sharp. After Posada singled, Cano tripled in both runners to tie the game. After a fielder's choice nailed Cano at the plate, Delcarmen came in to fan Molina.
In the top of the ninth, facing Rivera, Casey singled and went to second on Crisp's bunt. Varitek was sent up to hit for Lugo (why?) and he shattered his bat on the first pitch, tapping weakly back to the mound. Casey went to third, but he died there as Manny, hitting for Cash, stood stock still and looked at three straight strikes to end the inning.
MDC pitched a perfect eighth, Okajima matched him in the ninth, and Papelbon came on for the 10th. Cano grounded an 0-2 pitch into center field for a leadoff single. Milk Dud bunted him to second and Bot blew Betemit away with pure heat. Gardner fell behind 0-2 but fouled off two pitches, took two balls, then fouled off another heater. On the 8th pitch of the at-bat, he grounded a ball up the middle. Cora dove to his left, deflecting the ball into short center, but neither Pedroia nor Crisp could make a play as Cano scored the winning run.
Tampa topped the Royals 9-2 and lead the East (and Red Sox) by a whopping five games. New York remains 9 GB.
Tim Wakefield (3.72, 115 ERA+) / Joba Chamberlain (2.22, 182 ERA+)
Wakefield has pitched at least seven innings in each of his last seven starts (dating back to May 28). He has allowed a grand total of 11 runs (1.98 ERA).
David Ortiz may take BP on Monday and "might be able to begin a rehab stint in the minors after the All-Star break". ... Bartolo Colon long-tossed from 120 feet and may throw off a mound this week.
Dustin Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 13 games (with nine multi-hit games (log)). Tony Massarotti, Herald:
The author of a 13-game hitting streak, Pedroia has raised his average from .260 to .313. During that stretch, in 57 at-bats, Pedroia had an absurd 30 hits, a batting average of .526.Gordon Edes reports that Javier Lopez
That isn't a streak. It's an avalanche. ...
Since May 1, 2007, among major leaguers with at least 700 plate appearances, Pedroia's .324 average ranks behind only Magglio Ordonez, Ichiro Suzuki and Placido Polanco in the AL.
has allowed just one earned run in his last 15 outings (15.2 innings). You can go back even further - in his last 28 appearances, he has allowed just three earned runs in 25 innings, an ERA of 1.08. His ERA of 2.10 ranks in the top five among AL relievers with 30 innings or more.Joe McDonald, Journal:
Lopez still has too many walks - 14 in 34.1 innings - but many of those came early. He's walked just three in his last 11 appearances.
On this current three-city road trip, the Red Sox have produced 13 bases-loaded situations. However, Boston is 1-for-11 with only three runs scored, including a sacrifice fly. In fact, the Sox are 0-for-their-last-9 with the bases juiced.Also: Doing the Red Sox's laundry.
Overall, they are 1-for-19 with one walk, four sacrifice flies, and eight strikeouts and have grounded into two double plays in their last 24 bases-loaded situations.
Never forget -- I love you all!