Four Milwaukee errors in the night cap help Mike Lowell & Co. sweep day-night doubleheader


Four Milwaukee errors in the night cap help Mike Lowell & Co. sweep day-night doubleheader

(May 17, 2008) – Tonight was not a game youth baseball coaches will be showing their youngsters when they resume practice this week. The Brewers and the Red Sox, combined, committed seven errors in the field during the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader. Due to the numerous miscues half of Milwaukee’s six runs were unearned while the game winning run against Brewers reliever Solomon Torres was also unearned.

Tim Wakefield cruised through the Brewers order for the first five innings before he ran into trouble in the top of the sixth. With one out in the inning, Milwaukee right fielder Corey Hart lined a shot over the Monster seats for the Brewers’ first run of the game. Former Sox outfielder and current Brewers left fielder, Gabe Kapler lined a single into center before the Sox knuckleballer hit third baseman Bill Hall in the left arm with a pitch. After seeing enough of Wakefield, Terry Francona knew his starter had enough and he had to get him out of there.

But David Aardsma, who relieved Wakefield did not fair much better. After getting catcher Mike Rivera to strike out of the second out of the inning Aardsma hit Craig Counsell on the right thigh to load the bases. The lead off batter of the game, Rickie Weeks made Aardsma pay for the hit batter, with a base hit into left plating Kapler and Hall – both runs charged to Wakefield –narrowing the Sox lead to two. Aardsma would settle down and “minimize the damage” by getting designated hitter Ryan Braun to pop out Kevin Youkilis over by the Sox dugout to end the inning. After just allowing three runs, there was still the possibility of Wakefield picking up the win with the Sox leading 5-3, but enter the right handed Craig Hansen.

Next inning, Hansen came on in relief of Aardsma and gave up a single to left to first baseman Prince Fielder. Hansen struck out Hart for the first out of the inning before allowing Kapler and Hall to reach on back-to-back errors by Mike Lowell at third and Alex Cora at shortstop, respectively, to load the bases. This is not a good predicament for the 2005 Red Sox Draft pick to be in.

During the 2005 season, many amateur prospects – within the Sox organization and outside – said Hansen was the player in the draft who was the most Major League ready and could pitch that year. Well it has been three years since Hansen was drafted and so far he has spent the majority of his time in the minor leagues. He has not done what the Sox as well as other amateur scouts projected he was able to do: become a strike out, power pitcher.

Hansen failed to become that pitcher once again. Brewers catcher Mike Rivera grounded into a fielder’s choice to force out Hall at second, but Fielder snuck in through the back door for Milwaukee’s fourth run. Two-time World Series winner, Counsell cleared the bases with a double down the right field line to drive in Kapler and Rivera and give the Brewers the 6-5 lead and costing Wakefield his fourth win of the season. The Sox starter pitched a fine 5.1 innings allowing three runs on six hits while striking out five Brewers.

But Milwaukee’s lead was short lived. Just as the Red Sox made back-to-back errors in the top of the inning, the Brewers made two costly miscues to begin the bottom half. Left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury reached base on Weeks’s throwing error while second baseman Dustin Pedroia reached on a fielder’s choice to third. Third baseman, Hall’s throw to the second baseman Weeks was off the mark allowing Ellsbury to be continue to third safely. David Ortiz would wind up plating Ellsbury to tie the game with a ground out to shortstop for his 33rd RBI of the season. Having a knack for the timely hits, Youkilis blooped base hit over the head of Weeks and Fielder to drive in Pedroia from third with the winning run. Just like that Hansen went from being the losing pitcher to recording his first win of the season.

Earlier on in the game, Lowell got the Sox started on the right foot of Milwaukee starter Dave Bush, thus why he receives the number one star even though he made a costly error later in the ballgame. In the first inning with two outs and runners on second and third, the Sox third baseman lined a base hit down the left field line to plate Youkilis and Ortiz. Two innings later, Lowell added two additional runs with a two-out homerun that traveled well over the Monster in left and onto the parking garage on Lansdowne Street. It was Lowell’s fifth homerun of the year while driving in his 14th and 15th runs batted in. Overall on the night, Lowell was 2-4 with a homerun and four RBIs.

The Sox return to action tomorrow afternoon at 1:35pm where Josh Beckett will toe the rubber in his eighth start of the season against Brewers right hander Carlos Villanueva. In search of just his fifth win of the season, Beckett will try to give the Red Sox their first series sweep of the Brewers at Fenway since May 20-22, 1991. Not much of a better, but there is something there that told me the Sox will complete the sweep of the Wisconsin’s baseball team tomorrow at Fenway Park.

Sorry Dr. Upton but although Josh Beckett has been struggling to start the 2008 season, he still is one of the best pitchers – if not the best – in major league baseball. His record (4-3) and ERA (4.21) are not showing it this year but he is still just 11 off the American League (Javier Vazquez)lead in strike outs and 16 off the Major League lead (Tim Lincecum). Beckett is going to come out victorious tomorrow against Villanueva who is 2-4 with a 6.00 ERA 28 strike outs, 13 walks and a 1.60 WHIP.

WIN: Craig Hansen (1-2)

LOSS: Solomon Torres (3-1)

SAVE: Mike Timlin (1)


Game Notes:

Last time these teams met: June 6-8, 2003 at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Sox won the series 2-1, sandwiching a June 7 loss with two wins.

Red Sox-Brewers history:

When the Milwaukee Brewers were part of the American League, the Red Sox and Brewers played 394 games with Boston winning 211 of them. Since moving over to the National League after Major League Baseball expanded following the 1997 season, Boston and Milwaukee have faced each other just once – in 2003. But let’s reminisce back to the day when these two teams one another between 10 and 18 times a year. In 197 games played at Fenway between these two teams, the Sox came out on the winning end of 113 of them.

Manny Ramirez and Julio Lugo get the start of game two off while Kevin Cash is behind the plate catching Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball. Coco Crisp is in center field while Jacoby Ellsbury replaces Ramirez in left.

The 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. Mike Lowell, BOSTON --- 2-4; Double, Homerun, 4 RBIs
  1. Kevin Youkilis, BOSTON --- 2-4; Double, RBI
  1. Rickie Weeks, MILWAUKEE --- 2-5; 2 Singles, 2 RBIs

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