Red Sox - 010 001 000 000 0 - 2 7 1Takashi Saito was in his second inning of work, having thrown 29 pitches. Tampa Bay had the potential winning run at third base with two outs in the bottom of the 13th. Evan Longoria was up.
Rays - 000 000 110 000 2 - 4 9 1
Terry Francona decided to pitch to him. Longoria crushed Saito's 1-0 pitch to deep left for a rays win. And the Red Sox bullpen, which escaped from serious jams in the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth innings (!!!), finally ran out of luck.
For Longoria, it was his second home run of the night. His solo shot off Daniel Bard to begin the eighth tied the game at 2-2. He had struck out four times, but that was no excuse to pitch to him in the ninth. Saito could have put Longoria on and pitched to Ben Zobrist or loaded the bases and dealt with Joe Dillon. (Clay Buchholz had begun warming up in the 12th, as the Sox had run out of relievers. I'm a little surprised Saito came out for the 13th at all.)
Boston had no offense to speak off. Its two runs came via leadoff solo dongs -- from Kevin Youkilis in the second and Dustin Pedroia in the sixth. The only real sustained scoring threat of the entire game came in the tenth, when with the bases loaded with one out, Pedroia grounded into a double play.
The Yankees topped Toronto 5-3, so the Red Sox are now 1.5 GB.
Jon Lester (3.90, 121 ERA+) / Matt Garza (3.69, 123 ERA+)
Nearly two-thirds of the team's remaining 58 games (36 or 62%) are against teams currently .500 or better.
August could be a tough month for the Red Sox, who are currently 0.5 GB the Yankees and 4.5 GA of the Rays. After this two-game series with Tampa Bay, Boston plays four at the Yankees (1st in AL East), hosts the Tigers (1st in AL Central) for four, then visits Texas (2nd in AL West) and Toronto. Then it's back home for three against the Yankees and four against the White Sox (2nd in AL Central). After three-game sets against the Blue Jays and Rays, it's four more in Chicago.
Tim Wakefield, who turned 43 on Sunday, may need a second cortisone shot to deal with a sciatic problem that has spread to his left calf. He had been scheduled to throw off a mound this week, but that may be postponed.
I’m just depressed that this isn’t progressing the way I want it to progress. I’m throwing, playing catch. There are different symptoms now. I’ve got zero strength in my left calf due to the nerve. I’m just waiting for it to get better.Jacoby Ellsbury has had multiple hits in seven of his last nine games.
Yankees-Pettitte/Blue Jays-Halladay at 7.