WIN: Okajima (4-0)
LOSS: Janssen (2-4)
SAVE: Papelbon (29)
Had 'em all the way!
But seriously, this was a wild one! The Red Sox went all Lumberjacks on Ricky Romero, lighting him up for 6 runs (5 earned) in 3 2/3. Ortiz and Bay hit do(u)ngs, and the offense gave Beckett some breathing room.
Breathing room is exactly what Beckett would need. He was not good tonight. He struggled with his location and generally looked sluggish. He had leads of 4-0 and 7-3 but still managed to blow it all away, as Toronto slowly dug away and tied the game on a two-run homre by Rod Barajas. Beckett: 5.1-9-7-1-4, 99/63
In the 8th, Ortiz walked, Green singled to left, then Alex Gonzalez bunted back to the pitcher Janssen, who bobbled it then threw it up the first base line. A sacrifice bunt turns into two errors and Ortiz scoring the go-ahead run. Ellsbury then hit a scrotum fly to right that scored Green to make it 9-7. Victor Martinez hit an Xtra Mart down the left field line to score Gonzalez which proved to be the difference in this one.
Daniel Bard came in to pitch the 8th, throwing 99-100 and got two quick outs, then gave up two quick singles. Terry Francona had Papelbon warming and decided to go for the 4-out save. It almost completely blew up in our faces tonight, as Papelbon STRUGGLED. He walked Snider to load the bases, then gave up a two-run single to Scutaro to make this one a way-too-cozy 10-9 ballgame.
The Red Sox had a chance for insurance with men at first and second with 1 out, but Nick Green grounded hard into a 5-4-3 double play, and by this point we're wondering what Papelbon's going to give us in the bottom of the 9th.
It was interesting... A lead-off single to Overbay, two quick outs, then a walk to Encarnacion. Rod Barajas came up with the tying run at second, winning run at first, and ended up popping out into foul territory, halfway down the right-field line, into Kevin Youkilis' glove.
It's too bad more games weren't this easy.
MIN: 000 104 3
TEX: 104 001 0
It looked like Texas was going to cruise to a win tonight! Not so fast.
The Yankees and A's are in the 3rd in Oakland, tied at 2.
Francona, on Papelbon: "He was just kinda blah tonight." We do forget he hasn't pitched in a few games and he did look sluggish and rusty. After 33 pitches, I wonder if he'll be available tomorrow night. Pfft. This is August. Of course he's available!