Red Sox - 000 101 200 - 4 6 2 Pirates - 000 110 000 - 2 5 4The Red Sox snapped a four-game losing streak and avoided a sweep in Pittsburgh, thanks to several errors by the Pirates and another good outing from Andrew Miller (6-5-2-1-2-4, 109), who pitched out of a huge jam in the fifth.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia got the Sox on the board when he led off the fourth with a double, took third on Josh Reddick's fly ball to center and scored when Andrew McCutchen's throw sailed way over the bag and was tipped into the stands by third baseman Chase d'Arnaud, who was scrambling back into foul territory and made a valiant attempt to catch the errant sphere.
Boston tied the game in the sixth without the benefit of a hit. James McDonald (6-5-2-0-2-5, 101) walked Kevin Youkilis on four pitches. Darnell McDonald bunted back to McDonald (they are cousins, by the way); the NL McDonald tried to get the lead runner and threw the ball into left field. Yook raced to third and later scored on Reddick's sac fly to left. (Sox McDonald went into the game for J.D. Drew in the second inning. Drew had bunted a ball off his face in batting practice and the area around his left eye was clearly bruised. He struck out looking in the first and played only one inning in the field, before being taken out.)
In the seventh, the Red Sox scored two more runs, again without getting a base hit. Tim Wood began the inning in relief of J. McDonald and walked Marco Scutaro on four pitches; he was then pulled. Daniel Moskos walked David Ortiz (the pitch before ball 4 was crushed high and deep, but just to the foul side of the RF pole) and committed an error on Jacoby Ellsbury's bunt. Chris Resop was the next man out of the pen and he allowed an RBI groundout to Pedroia, an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez (two singles, two BBI), and a sacrifice fly to Youkilis.
Note: And because Scutaro scored Boston's third run, Wood (who is not my cousin, by the way (and neither is Brandon Wood) is credited with the loss, even though Moskos moved Scutaro to third, and Resop let him - and other inherited runner - score. That makes zero sense.
Miller wriggled out of a potential big mess in the fifth. He issued an eight-pitch walk to J. McDonald, and gave up singled to Garrett Jones and d'Arneaud to load the bases. McCutchen's hard grounder skipped by Yook and a run scored, giving the Pirates a 2-1 lead. Jones was initially waived around third, then suddenly not, but that stop sign was too late and he could not get back to the bag before Youkilis tagged him out. Miller then bore down and struck out Neil Walker on three pitches and got Matt Diaz to fly harmlessly to right.
Jonathan Papelbon walked the first batter of the ninth, but retired the next three men: a seven-pitch strikeout of Eric Fryer, and lazy fly balls to right and center.
The Yankees beat the Rockies 6-4.
Andrew Miller / James McDonald
The Red Sox have lost four in a row (and five of their last seven) and are in second place for the first time since June 5. They have scored a total of 10 runs in those four losses.
Dustin Pedroia: "We started the season 2-10 and we've been kicking ass ever since. I don't think anybody's going to go home and jump out of their hotel room because we lost four in a row."
Bobby Jenks (left back tightness) made a rehab appearance for Portland (AA) last night, pitching one inning and allowing one hit. ... Josh Beckett threw 50 pitches off a mound and said he felt "pretty good". ... Daniel Bard made only his third appearance since June 10 last night. He has not allowed a run in his last 12 innings, dating back to May 27. He has allowed one of eight inherited runners to score in that span, however.
AL East: Rockies/Yankees and Rays/Astros at 2 PM.