Tigers - 000 210 200 - 5 10 0Back at Fenway Park, the Red Sox bats felt at home immediately. Jacoby Ellsbury doubled to start the first and Dustin Pedroia followed with a line drive home run to left. Boston collected eight hits in the first two innings.
Red Sox - 220 010 10x - 6 12 0
The Tigers chipped away and tied the game in the seventh off Manny Delcarmen. After the stretch, J.D. Drew doubled and one out later Casey Kotchman singled him to third. Nick Green, who had begun the second with a dong over everything in left, lofted a sacrifice fly to center. Drew scored easily and it was Sox 6-5.
Ramon Ramirez had some trouble in the eighth. Magglio Ordonez doubled and Brandon Inge was plunked. After a successful bunt and a strikeout (why didn't Jim Leyland hit for Adam Everett?), Jonathan Papelbon came in and, with runners on second and third, got Curtis Granderson to foul out to catcher Victor Martinez. In the ninth, Bot needed only nine pitches to dispense with the Bengals (F8, K, F9).
Toronto edged the Yankees 5-4, so Boston moved to 5.5 GB in the East (one day, one game closer) and took a 0.5 lead over the idle Rangers for the Wild Card.
Edwin Jackson (2.62, 174 ERA+) / Brad Penny (5.20, 91 ERA+)
We thought David Ortiz was back (and back big!) with his strong performance in June. But it turns out that was an aberration.
AVG OBP SLG OPSThere is talk at SoSH about whether Terry Francona has the will to bench Ortiz and Jason Varitek (.164/.270/.236 since the ASG) and go with Lowell DH/Youkilis 3B/Kotchman 1B/Martinez C on most nights.
Mar/April .230 .290 .333 .623
May .143 .278 .242 .520
June .320 .409 .653 1.062
July .247 .306 .539 .845
August .071 .188 .107 .295
Road Gms .201 .287 .307
Last 13G .146 .226 .313
Last 24G .202 .273 .393
We need the absolute best lineup on the field every single night, egos be damned. Playoff Tito, you are our only hope.
Adam Kilgore reports (see here, too) that
Since the Red Sox arrived in Baltimore the morning of July 31, 19 roster spots have remained constant. Fifteen players cycled through the other six spots over the next nine days [Justin Masterson, Adam LaRoche, Marcus McBeth, Josh Reddick, Victor Martinez, Casey Kotchman, George Kottaras, Billy Traber, John Smoltz, Rocco Baldelli, Chris Woodward, Junichi Tazawa, Jed Lowrie, Enrique Gonzalez, and Fernando Cabrera]. ...Also at 7: The Blue Jays roll over for the Yankees.
It has been the busiest week of shuttling players in and out of the clubhouse that traveling secretary Jack McCormick can remember.