Rangers - 101 310 000 - 6 8 1It was the worst of games, it was the best of games.
Red Sox - 100 102 021 - 7 13 0
The first game of Tuesday's single-contest doubleheader was innings 1-5, in which the Rangers stole a whopping nine bases (five in the third inning alone), took five walks from Wakefield (who also hit a batter, balked, and threw two wild pitches), and outscored the Red Sox 6-2. It felt much more like 46-2.
Game Two was innings 6-9. Against a quartet of Texas relievers, Boston scored five runs - all of them driven in by the #9 hitter in the lineup: Josh Reddick and then Darnell McDonald, the two outfielders summoned from Pawtucket this afternoon when Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury were placed on the disabled list.
With two outs in the sixth, after singles by Victor Martinez (3-for-4) and Jeremy Hermida (solo dong in the fourth), Reddick hacked at Chris Ray's first pitch and lofted a pop-up down the left field line. Josh Hamilton ran over to the stands, but he overran the ball and had it drop behind him. The ball then caromed up into the seats, hit a fan in the head, and landed back on the field. However, the umpires, much to Texas manager Ron Washington's dismay, did not correctly rule it a ground-rule double, so the Red Sox got two runs on the play, instead of having Hermida stop at third. That cut Texas's lead to 6-4.
In the seventh, Boston loaded the bases after two were out on singles by Kevin Youkilis and Martinez and a walk to Mike Lowell (who pinch-hit for David Ortiz against the lefty Darren Oliver). Adrian Beltre grounded out to first to end the potential rally.
Jason Varitek (now hitting in Hermida's spot) doubled into the left field corner to begin the eighth and McDonald, pinch-hitting for Reddick, crushed a 2-2 slider from Oliver over the Wall for a two-run, game-tying dong!
Youkilis began the bottom of the ninth against Frank Francisco with a line drive off the pitcher's arm that caromed over by third; no play was made. Francisco's next pitch - to Bill Hall - was a passed ball, and Yook took second. Hall then bunted the Bearded One to third. After a big meeting at the mound, Lowell was walked intentionally. With runners at first and second, Beltre took a strike, then lunged at an outside pitch and popped it straight up. Texas 1B Chris Davis caught it for the second out.
Varitek walked on four pitches to load the bases for McDonald. (Since Hall at third was the only runner that mattered, Texas may have been pitching around the Cactus.) McDonald hit an 0-1 pitch to deep left. NESN's cameras had me (and likely thousands of others) totally truped, thinking the kid had hit a grand slam (capping a 6-RBI night), but the ball was not deep enough. Hamilton leapt near the out-of-town scores, but the ball struck the tin high above his glove. It was a single, Yook scored, the Red Sox won, and the entire team mobbed McDonald in the infield.In the 3rd picture, the ball,having hit off the wall, is falling by the "38" under the 2 Outs in NESN's score bar.
It's only one game, the team remains in fourth place at 5-9, but this win has got to do wonders for the players' attitudes. In the fifth, when Texas stole its ninth base -- tying the 1913 Senators for the most SB in a game against Boston -- I was imagining how many they would end the game with: 10, 12, 15?
Instead, the night ended with a celebration worthy of a pennant-clinching victory. And why not? The Red Sox have played like dogshit since beating the Yankees on Opening Night. Maybe a comeback like this -- after being humiliated by Tampa and being utterly incapable of stopping Texas from running the bases at will in the early innings -- will break the team out of its collective slump, get it loose and playing baseball like we expect it to.
Also: In the team's first AB tonight w/RATS ended the 0-for-32 drought. With runners on first and second in the first inning, Martinez singled to center. With that streak over, we can now concentrate on building a winning streak.
Colby Lewis / Tim Wakefield
Reddick is hitting .179/.200/.359 for Pawtucket this year. He played 27 games for the Red Sox in 2009: .169/.210/.339.Scutaro, SS
Peter Abraham looks closer at who is at fault for the woeful 0-for-32-w/RATS* stat:
0-for-7: Hermida*: I must stop using the highly inaccurate term "scoring position". So how about Runners At Third and/or Second?
0-for-5: Beltre, Scutaro
0-for-3: Martinez, Youkilis
0-for-2: Hall, Ortiz
0-for-1: Cameron, Drew, Lowell, Pedroia, Varitek