Red Sox - 001 000 004 01 - 6 10 0Canada Day Miracle!
Orioles - 112 100 000 00 - 5 6 1
When Ty Wigginton led off the fourth inning with a solo home run, it put Beckett and the Red Sox in a 5-1 hole. Who knew that would be Baltimore's last baserunner of the day? Boston pitchers retired the next 24 consecutive batters and end up on the winning side of a 6-5 score.
Facing Jim Johnson in the ninth, Dustin Pedroia (bbbc) walked and Kevin Youkilis (cbb) cracked a home run to right-center! 5-3! Kirk gave Johnson a quick exit and asked George Sherrill to close it out.
Bay went down swinging (he ended the day 0-for-5, with 5 K) and Ortiz was caught looking. The Red Sox were down to their last out.
Jacoby Ellsbury dumped a single into left-center. Jeff Bailey, who had run for Mark Kotsay in the eighth inning, walked on five pitches. Jason Varitek also walked, loading the bases. Rocco Baldelli, pinch-hitting for Nick Green, grounded a ball to shortstop. It looked like it would be an easy, game-ending fielder's choice. But the ball rolled through!! Robert Andino made a Jeterian dive to his left and came up empty (which is the usual outcome of a Jeterian dive). Ellsbury and Bailey scored and the game was tied at 5-5.
Sherrill was still on the mound. He walked J.D. Drew to re-load bases -- and Kirk finally gave him the hook. Danys Baez came in and retired Pedroia on a foul pop to the catcher.
Both teams went down in order in the tenth. Ellsbury started the eleventh with a double down the left field line. I didn't see many replays, but it sure looked like the ball landed on the foul side of the line. However, the Orioles did not argue, so maybe the call was that it passed over the bag in fair territory. Bailey flew out to right and LBJ sprinted to third. Julio Lugo, who has taken over at shortstop for Green, looked at ball 1, then chopped a single through the shortstop hole to bring Ellsbury in with the go-ahead run. LUGO!
Jonathan Papelbon finished up in the bottom half to record his 133rd career save, passing Bob Stanley and setting a new Red Sox franchise record. He retired the Birds in order, something the Sox pitchers did for eight straight innings.
After Beckett allowed Wigginton's dong in the fourth, he got the next three batters (K, K, F8). And he retired the side in the fifth (3-1, F7, K), sixth (4-3, P8, 6-3), and seventh (P6, F9, K). Daniel Bard struck out the side in the eighth and pitched a perfect ninth (P6, K, P7). Ramon Ramirez breezed through the tenth (3-1, P4, K). Bot's inning went: P5, F7, P6.
Josh Beckett (3.48, 133 ERA+) / Brad Bergesen (3.76, 121 ERA+)
Okay, so maybe watching last night's game was like passing a kidney stone ...
Earl Weaver once said, "This ain't football, we do this every day." And so last night becomes a distant memory -- and lo: A new day and a new game.
(Still, if everyone in the bullpen was going to have a shitty outing, it was awfully nice of them to do it all in the same game.)
In his last seven starts, Beckett is 5-1 with a 1.24 ERA. He has not allowed an earned run in five of his last seven starts.