Red Sox - 000 100 010 0 - 2 10 1Dan Johnson, the first batter in the bottom of the tenth, homered to right-center off Scott Atchison to win it.
Rays - 000 000 110 1 - 3 6 0
Boston scored first when Victor Martinez singled, David Ortiz doubled, and Adrian Beltre hit a sac fly to left.
In the bottom of the seventh, Carlos Pena was on first with one out. For some stupid reason, Buchholz tried multiple pick-off attempts. Pena, who didn't have much of a lead at all, has stolen only 10 bases over the last six years. HH's 14th throw over to first of the night sailed past Mike Lowell and rolled down near the right field bullpen. Pena raced uncontested to third, from where he scored two pitches later on a foul fly ball to Drew in right.
Victor rescued the Sox yet again in the top of the eighth, when he crushed another high fastball, this one courtesy of Joaquin Benoit, for a solo dong, giving Boston a 2-1 lead. Ortiz and Beltre followed with singles and moved up on a wild pitch, but Lowell popped to first to end the threat.
Terry Francona tried to get squeeze an extra out or two from Buchholz in the bottom of the eighth. Clay was at 107 pitches and Felix Doubront was ready. The strategy failed (as it seems to usually do). Buchholz threw ball 1, then B.J. Upton golfed a solo home run to left to re-tie the game. After a foul out, Tito brought in Doubront.
Even with Jonathan Papelbon questionable for the game after throwing 23 pitches last night, and Daniel Bard having tossed 15, this was poor management. Buchholz was probably not going to pitch the entire eighth inning anyway, unless he retired the side on four or five pitches. If he had allowed a single or walked someone, he likely would have been hooked. So why put him out there when it seemed like he was labouring in retiring the last two batters in the previous inning?
Two dumb decisions -- and they were both very costly.
The Yankees beat the White Sox 12-9, so we are right back where we were two days ago, with Boston 5.5 GB New York and Tampa Bay in both the East and WC.
Pre-game: Hideki Okajima is back in the bullpen and Michael Bowden has been optioned to Pawtucket.
Clay Buchholz / Matt Garza
Last six starts:Scutaro, SS
(Team records in those games: Boston 6-0, Tampa Bay 3-3.)
IP H BB K ERA AVG OBP SLG BABIP
Buchholz 43.1 31 12 30 1.04 .199 .263 .256 .232
Garza 44.1 25 10 36 1.62 .160 .214 .263 .186
Garza, however, leads Buchholz in TSI* 52.7 to 3.3.
* - Times Spat per Inning. According to Educated Cheese, even Garza's spit spits.
Buchholz leads in AL in ERA (2.26). He is the first Red Sox pitcher to lead the AL in ERA this late in the season since Pedro Martinez, in 2003. Buchholz has not allowed an earned run in his last 21 innings.
He has a 1.73 ERA over his last 16 starts, dating back to May 14.
Also at 7 PM: Yankees/White Sox
1909 - In the first game of a doubleheader at Chicago's South Side Park, Washington pitcher Dolly Gray walks eight White Sox in the second inning, including seven in a row.
1950 - The Red Sox trail 10-0 and 12-1 but rally and beat Cleveland 15-14 at Fenway Park. Cleveland blew a seven-run lead to the Red Sox the day before, losing 11-9.