Red Sox - 000 110 000 000 3 - 5 11 0With one out in the 13th, the Red Sox offense came alive.
Phillies - 010 000 001 000 0 - 2 5 0
Boston had not had a hit since the eighth when Jason Bay singled to left-center off Kyle Kendrick. Pinch-hitter Julio Lugo lined a 1-0 pitch (a fastball low in the zone) to left for a hit. Jason Varitek walked on five pitches to load the bases. There was a meeting at the mound, but there would be no relief help. This was Kendrick's responsibility.
With the infield in, Jacoby Ellsbury singled to right and Bay scored. Green, down 0-2 after talking a monstrous cut, hit a sacrifice fly to left that scored Lugo. And Mike Lowell lined a single to center to score Tek.
Daniel Bard came on for the bottom half. He walked Chase Utley on four pitches. Utley took second on DI on the first pitch to Jayson Werth. Bard went up and in with a 98 fastball, then low and away at 99 for a called strike. On 1-2, Bard dropped a 85 curveball and Werth had absolutely no chance, swinging and missing for the first out.
Bard got a called strike on Ryan Howard (who had tied the game in the ninth with a solo bomb off Ramon Ramirez) on a fastball, then got him flailing at two curves for another whiff. Bard hit Raul Ibanez to bring the potential tying run to the plate. Shane Victorino slashed an opposite field line drive down the left field line that was only a few feet foul. After another foul ball, he tried to check his swing on a low slider, but could not, falling to one knee, and getting rung up.
(There was a serious heart attack moment in the bottom of the 11th when it looked like pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs had hit a two out, three-run dong off Justin Masterson. But it apparently sailed over the right field pole as a foul ball -- I could not see it via MLBTV on my computer screen -- and the Big Donkey regrouped and quickly got a strikeout.)
Lester (7-2-1-2-11, 111) was absolutely superb, striking out the side in both the fourth and fifth innings and becoming the first left-handed pitcher in Red Sox history to record 10+ strikeouts in three consecutive starts.
The only two hits he allowed were Ibanez's single and Victorino's double to open the second inning. After that, he set down 14 in a row and 18 of his last 19 batters.
Solo home runs accounted for the two early Boston runs: Youkilis in the fourth and Drew in the fifth.
Jon Lester (5.09, 93 ERA+) / Joe Blanton (5.46, 79 ERA+)
Fifteen games of interleague play begin tonight against the defending World Series champs. After three games in Philadelphia, the Red Sox go back to Fenway to face the Marlins and Atlanta, then visit the Nationals and Atlanta. Each series is three games.
With Boston facing lefties on Saturday and Sunday, Ortiz grabs his mitt tonight.Pedroia, 2B
In his last two starts, Lester has allowed only five hits and five walks in 15 innings, while striking out 23. In his last four starts, opposing hitters are hitting .198.
In 33 plate appearances in June, J.D. drew is batting .391/.576/.696 for a cool OPS of 1.271. Since moving to the #2 spot eight games ago, Drew has reached base in every game: 10-for-27 (.370) with 10 walks.
John Smoltz's Pawtucket start was rained out last night. He will pitch tonight.