Royals - 000 304 010 - 8 13 1David Ortiz hit his 300th career home run in the first inning, but Manny Delcarmen and Justin Masterson could not hold a 5-3 lead in the sixth.
Red Sox - 301 010 010 - 6 10 1
Boston had a golden scoring opportunity in the eighth. They trailed 8-5, but had the bases loaded with one out. Down 0-2, Mark Kotsay fouled off five pitches from Juan Cruz before lofting a sacrifice fly to center field. With Sox on first and third and two outs, Joakim Soria came out of the pen and quickly struck out Nick Green (who had singled and doubled earlier) on a filthy 12-6 curveball inside.
Dustin Pedroia singled, doubled and homered -- his AL-leading 14th three-hit game of the season; he also scored two runs. Kevin Youkilis singled and doubled and scored twice. Daniel Bard finished the eighth and pitched the ninth, striking out three of the four batters he faced.
The Yankees beat the Twins 6-4 during the day, so Boston and New York are tied yet again -- at 51-34 -- atop the AL East. The MFY head to Anaheim for the weekend.
Luke Hochevar (5.08, 85 ERA+) / Brad Penny (4.67, 100 ERA+)
Since May 3, Penny has been remarkably consistent -- and quite productive for a 5th starter.
A 3.68 ERA in 12 starts. At least six innings pitched in eight of those 12 starts. He's allowed two runs or fewer in half of the starts -- and three runs or fewer in 10 of the 12 starts. He is allowing a lot of baserunners, however: 97 hits + walks in 71 innings.
Zack Greinke (2.12, 203 ERA+) pitched last night, so the Red Sox will not see him during this four-game series. Boston plays in Kansas City September 21-24.
The Yankees (1 GB) play this afternoon in Minnesota (Aceves/Liriano).
Julio Lugo left the team yesterday because of a family matter. There was no word on when he would return.
David Ortiz's home run last night was #299 of his career. He has 773 RBI with Boston, tied with Rico Petrocelli for 8th on the Red Sox All-Time List.
Jed Lowrie was activated and optioned to Lowell (A). He went 2-for-3 last night with two doubles, two walks, two runs and an RBI. The earliest the Red Sox could bring Lowrie back to Boston is July 18 -- the second game after the All-Star break.
Daisuke Matsuzaka is in Fort Myers doing spring training drills, though it's in the heat of July now and not the relative cool of February/March. Francona:
[I]f you go down to Fort Myers in the middle of July at 7:30 in the morning, and the first day you run the shuttle and the second day you run the mile-and-a-half, he did a good job.Steve Buckley says Wakefield should start the All-Star Game. Eric Wilbur says (and I agree) that's coo coo bananas.