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The Red Sox left 12 men on base, ending the third, fourth, and ninth innings with the bases loaded. They were 1-for-12 with RATS. The Astros pitchers walked 22 Red Sox batters in the three-game series, including nine on Friday and 10 today. Boston pitchers issued four walks, all on Saturday.
Boston began the fourth with Kevin Youkilis's single and a walk to J.D. Drew. After Josh Reddick struck out, Yamaico Navarro singled to load the bases. Jason Varitek grounded to first baseman Brett Wallace, who threw home. His throw was extremely high; catcher Carlos Corporan leapt, but could not hold on the ball, and Youkilis scored (who was yelping in pain after sliding in safely when Corporan landed on his right foot/ankle).
The Red Sox had the first two men on in both the fifth and seventh innings, but could not do a damn thing, failing to advance any of the runners, and hitting into a double play in each inning.
With one out in the ninth, pinch-hitter Drew Sutton fell behind 0-2 and worked Mark Melancon for an eight-pitch walk. Jacoby Ellsbury singled to right. Dustin Pedroia grounded the ball into the shortstop hole. Clint Barmes had a play at third base, but he went to second instead. There was no relay to first, so the Sox had runners at first and third with two outs. The Astros decided to intentionally walk Adrian Gonzalez and load the bases for Youkilis. Melancon threw three high pitches to Yook, dropped in a strike, and then threw ball four, forcing in a run.
Jonathan Papelbon struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth. He allowed a single to Wallace, but came back to strike out Chris Johnson to complete the sweep. (The 2-2 pitch before Wallace's single was a borderline (though very callable) strike, so Bot ended up striking out four batters to get out of the inning.)
The Red Sox are now 1.5 GB, as the Yankees lost to the Mets 3-2 in 10 innings. Mariano Rivera blew the save in the ninth and Jason Bay singled in the winning run in the 10th. New York shortstop Ramiro Pena committed two errors (one in the ninth and one in the tenth) on routine plays to aid the Mets.
Josh Beckett / Jordan Lyles
Yamaico Navarro - 5.000 OPS in 2011! - starts today at shortstop.
Lyles is a 20-year-old right-hander who made his major league debut on May 31. In six starts, he has a 4.75 ERA.
Baseball Prospectus 2011:
Lyles reached Triple-A as a 19-year-old barely two years after he was selected by the Astros in the supplemental round of the 2008 draft ... Lyles draws rave reviews for his maturity and mound presence ... His stuff is not dominant, but plays up because of his approach and ability to keep things unpredictable, mixing a 90-92 mph fastball with late life, a big-breaking curveball, a slider capable of snapping lumber, and a changeup that's already a swing-and-miss offering.ESPNBoston's Jeremy Lundblad, with some June stats re Adrian Gonzalez:
Highest June AVG for Red Sox, Last 50 Years AVG YEAR Wade Boggs .485 1987 Nomar Garciaparra .452 2000 Carl Yastrzemski .415 1965 Adrian Gonzalez .404 2011 Mike Greenwell .404 1988 [Ted Williams hit .460 in June 1948]Gonzalez was the first Red Sox batter to hit over .400 with 25+ RBI in any month since Manny Ramirez did it in his first month with Boston (April 2001, .408, 31).
Chad Finn, Globe/Twitter:
Finally figured out who Adrian Gonzalez reminds me of: Either Will Clark '87-'89, or a 15-year-old playing Little League.AL East: Yankees/Mets at 1 PM and Cardinals/Rays at 1:30 PM.