Dan Haren fools Sox while retiring 11 consecutive batters as Arizona edges past Sox 2-1


Dan Haren fools Sox while retiring 11 consecutive batters as Arizona edges past Sox 2-1

(June 23, 2008) – It was an old-time baseball pitcher’s duel between grandfather (Red Sox) and grandson (Diamondbacks) and ended with young Trey being victorious while grandpa was left scratching his head.

Usually when we think of pitchers duels we think of nostalgic baseball, historic franchises – like the Sox – and Steve Buckley. So it made all the sense to think the Sox would be victorious in last night’s duel but not quite, the Diamondbacks proved they were for real against one of the best pitchers in baseball. Dan Haren retired 11 consecutive Boston batters between the third and seventh innings while Brandon Lyon picked up his 15th consecutive save.

After the Sox Daisuke Matsuzaka failed to make it through the second inning on Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Sox bullpen was forced to pick up the slack and it carried into the next day’s 13 inning affair. With this being said the Sox relievers were heavily relying on their Ace, Josh Beckett to give them a breather against the Diamondback. Beckett did just that, he went a solid eight innings allowing just two runs on five hits while striking out eight Arizona batters.

Enough to get himself his eighth victory of the season right? Wrong! Haren masterfully matched Beckett’s eight inning performance with a masterful seven innings of two hit ball with five strike outs and one walk. The Diamondbacks right hander retired the first six batters of the game before giving up his first base hit to catcher Jason Varitek who lined a double off the wall in left center. After a two out walk to rookie Jacoby Ellsbury, Haren struck out Dustin Pedroia and set the cruise control button on from there. The Sox could not catch a break against the 6’5” Arizona right hander for the next three innings.

With Harden mowing down the Sox, Beckett was doing the same to the Diamondbacks in the same time span, which included retiring six consecutive Arizona hitters between the third and the fifth innings. Cruising along at an 11 pitch per inning pace, Beckett had all ready accumulated seven strike outs and had yet to walk nobody. But that all changed with a lead off, seven pitch walk to first baseman Conor Jackson in the top of the seventh, leading to a 33-pitch inning for the ace of the staff.

Jackson worked the first walk by Beckett after being down 0-2 in the count. It was the first time in the game the Diamondbacks had the lead off hitter on base and they would not waste the opportunity. Third baseman Mark Reynolds would advance Jackson to second dropping a bloop single in front of Ellsbury before center fielder Chris Young drove in his 40th RBI of the season with his second base hit of the season. Young’s rocket line drive off the wall drove in Jackson from second and sent Reynolds to third. Reynolds scored the winning run on Chris Snyder’s ground out to defensive replacement Brandon Moss at first base. (More on that later.)

After throwing 33-pitches in the seventh and Beckett’s pitch count at 104, it looked unlikely that Beckett was going to come back out for the eighth. But after Jason Varitek struck out with runners on first and second in the bottom half of the seventh, Beckett came back out to the mound to give himself another opportunity to win his eighth game of the season. He gave himself a good chance by retiring the side in order on 12-pitches and keeping the Boston deficit to just two runs.

The Sox bats would attempt another come-from-behind victory when Julio Lugo walked with one out in the bottom of the eighth to bring up the top of the Red Sox line up. Ellsbury singled back up the middle for his first hit of the game (1-for-3 on the night), moving Lugo up to second. Pedroia followed with a base hit of his own to left, loading the bases and bringing June’s hottest hitter, J.D. Drew, to the dish with less the two outs. Although Drew was hitless in last night’s game, he still managed to drive across Boston’s lone run of the game lifting a fly ball to deep center field to drive in the Sox shortstop from third. It was the right fielder’s 10th RBI in his last 11 games and his 23rd RBI this month.

Down by one run after Drew’s RBI, two runners on base and two outs, who would you rather have at the plate other than David Ortiz? That is correct. Manny Ramirez. He is called the RBI Machine for a reason and the reason being is that he is second all time in Runs Batted in since 1998 with 1,281. But as the rest of the night went, Ramirez was robbed off a sure RBI double down the left line as Reynolds made a diving play to snare Ramirez’s line drive. Reynolds had to double check his glove to make sure the ball did not go through the glove because the ball was hit so hard down to the hot corner.

The Sox will try to even up the series in game two tomorrow night when they send the rookie Justin Masterson (4-1 3.00 ERA, 28 strike outs, 1.08 WHIP) to face Diamondbacks left hander Doug Davis who is 2-3 on the season with a 3.65 ERA, 38 strike outs, 25 walks and a 1.60 WHIP. Masterson is making his first start against Arizona while Davis is making his seventh appearance and sixth start against Boston. Against the Red Sox, Davis is 3-2 with one complete game with a 3.78 ERA, 15 strike outs, 11 walks and a 1.56 WHIP. Boston batters are hitting at a .299 clip against the Arizona lefty.

WIN: Dan Haren (8-4)

LOSS: Josh Beckett (7-5)

SAVE: Brandon Lyon (16)


Game Notes:

The start of the game was delayed 30 minutes due to scattered thunderstorms.

Sox are still win-less at home (0-4) against the Arizona Diamondbacks since they starting playing the Diamondbacks in interleague play back in 2002.

Bad Timing

On the same day when back up first baseman Sean Casey dropped his appeal of his three game suspension, Kevin Youkilis had to be taken out of the game before the start of the fifth inning. While throwing grounders to the rest of the infield in between the bottom of the fourth and the top of the fifth, Youkilis took a bouncer from Mike Lowell off his right eye. His eye started to swell up immediately and was replaced at first by Brandon Moss who has never played a Major League game at first in his career.

The 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. Dan Haren, ARIZONA ------ 7IP, 2H, 0R, 1BB, 5K
  1. Chris Young, ARIZONA ---- 2-3 Double, RBI
  1. Josh Beckett, BOSTON ------ 8 IP, 5H, 2R, 1BB, 8K

Cardinals spoil Red Sox championship celebration for the 17-time NBA champion Celtics


Cardinals spoil Red Sox championship celebration for the 17-time NBA champion Celtics

(June 18, 2008) – The 2008 NBA Finals MVP and The Truth, Paul Pierce did something not too many Red Sox pitchers do. Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, the Celtics captain jokingly shook off the Red Sox captain three times before delivering a high fastball that glanced off Jason Varitek’s glove. With the newly crowned World Champions in the house, the Sox fell one run short, 5-4, of a ninth inning come-from-behind victory to their special Friday Night guests.

The Sox got on the board early in the bottom of the second when Manny Ramirez – who was the night’s designated hitter – led off the inning with a walk. Third baseman Mike Lowell would reach on starting shortstop Cesar Izturis’s fielding error, thus sending Ramirez onto second. After Kevin Youkilis struck out on a low fastball by Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse, center fielder Coco Crisp lined a single into left for the first hit against the St. Louis right hander. Shortstop Julio Lugo lifted a fly ball to deep center allowing Ramirez to score easily from third base.

Sox starter Tim Wakefield was cruising along before he ran into last minute addition to the St. Louis line up, catcher Jason LaRue in the fifth. LaRue led off the visitor’s half of the inning with his second homerun of the season that just barely made it over the Green Monster.

Two innings later the red birds jumped out to their first lead of the game on Lugo’s 15th and 16th errors of the season in the top of the sixth. After former pitcher turned outfielder Rick Ankiel led of the inning with a double of the wall in center, third baseman Troy Glaus reached on Lugo’s wild throw that Youkilis could not corral. His defensive woes continued when he did his best Chuck Knoblauch impersonation on a double play attempt by throwing the ball to fence of the Red Sox dugout, allowing Ankiel to cross the plate with the go-ahead.

Lugo’s 16th error of the season looked familiar to the Celtics who were honored before the game. They had seen something similar just a week ago. Lugo’s errant throw to Wakefield at first resembled Kobe Bryant’s pass to Pau Gasol in the third quarter of Game Four that found itself in the row of photographers for the Celtics ball instead of in the basket for two points.

But Lugo would atone for his two mistakes with his first homerun of the season the Sox half of the inning. With two outs in the inning the Sox starting shortstop lifted a a pitch from Lohse that ended up in the last row of the Monster seats.

The seventh inning would be Wakefield’s last inning of work. Jared Luner’s red birds got to the knuckleballer again and once again it was started by LaRue. The Cardinals catcher lined a base hit into left field to lead off the inning before being drove in on Skip Shumaker’s fifth homerun of the season into the St. Louis bullpen. Not only did it give the Cardinals the 4-2 lead it also was the first homerun of the game that was not a solo shot. The seventh was also Wakefield’s last inning of work where he allowed four runs – three earned – on six hits while walking three and striking out four.

Boston would cut the lead to one in the bottom of the inning when Lohse was out of the game. The Cardinals right hander allowed just two runs on five hits while walking one and striking out four. Left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury lined his first hit and only hit of the game into left field to lead of the inning against St. Louis left hander Randy Flores. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia followed with a base hit of his own before Flores walked Drew on four pitches before it was the night for the Cardinal lefty.

Long time St. Louis manager Tony LaRussa called upon the 39-year-old Russ Springer to get out of the no-out mess Flores left behind. But it was not an easy task for the right handed veteran to do because he was facing the Ramirez, who drives in runs like my sister buys shoes, with the bases loaded and nobody out. Ramirez grounded into a double play for the first two outs of the inning but with the Cardinal defense playing back Ellsbury was able to cross the plate to cut the lead to 4-3 and send Drew to third. The inning ended with Drew being stranded at third after Springer struck out Lowell to end the threat.

After the Cardinals tacked on an additional run in the eighth, the Sox were down to their last at-bat in the bottom of the ninth against closer Ryan Franklin. In Franklin’s second inning of work, he was facing the top of the Red Sox batting order. The Sox hoped to provide a come-from-behind victory on the night the team honored the Celtics winning their 17th NBA Title (third most in all of professional sports).

Franklin got Ellsbury to fly out to right on the first pitch, which turned out to be an important at-bat. If the Sox rookie got on base in the ninth it would have changed the entire complexion of the inning. But he did not. So with one out Pedroia lined a double off the left field wall. After Drew struck out looking and Ramirez walked with two outs, Lowell lined an RBI single past the dive of shortstop Brendan Ryan – who came into the game in the fourth replacing Izturis – scoring Pedroia and cutting the St. Louis lead back to one. The Sox had something going with Ramirez at third as the tying run, Lowell at first as the winning run and Youkilis at the dish. They were so close that you could almost feel they were going to pull of a win but Youkilis just got under a pitch from Franklin and hit a lazy fly to Schumaker in right. It would have been nice to see a come-from-behind win for the Sox and then see Terry Francona light up a nice cigar in honor of the late, great Red Auerbach, who was as much apart of championship banner #17 as he was in any of the rest.

It is the Sox on Fox tomorrow afternoon and begins with Daisuke Matsuzaka making his first start after missing the last 24 games with a mild strain of the right rotator cuff. Matsuzaka’s last start came against the Seattle Mariners on May 27 where he was pulled after four innings of work allowing three runs – two earned – on four hits while striking out two. Many thought he was taken out of the game with a left oblique injury since he reached for his left side after recording the final out of the fourth inning at first base but it was reported he suffered from a shoulder injury after the game.

The Sox right hander who is vying for his ninth win of the season and still undefeated with a 2.53 ERA, will be opposed by the Cardinals 24-year-old rookie, Mitchell Boggs. Making just his third start of his major league career, Boggs is 1-0 with a 5.56 ERA, three strike outs, five walks and a 1.59 WHIP. He made his major league debut on Friday June 6 coming out of the Cardinals bullpen to pitch two innings in St. Louis’s 6-1 loss to the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.

Boggs is coming off a no-decision against the Philadelphia Phillies where he went only 4.1 innings allowing four runs on six hits while striking out three and walking two. But the Cardinals would squeak out the 7-6 win.

WIN: Kyle Lohse (9-2)

LOSS: Tim Wakefield (4-5)

SAVE: Ryan Franklin (10)


Game Notes:

The start of the game was delayed one hour 10 minutes due to rain.

Former pitcher now turned outfielder, Rick Ankiel got the first hit against the Tim Wakefield when he lined a base hit into left to lead off the second inning for the Cardinals.

The 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. Jason LaRue, St. LOUIS -------- 2-4 Homerun, Single, RBI
  1. Skip Schumaker St. LOUIS ----- 1-4 Homerun 2 RBIs
  1. Julio Lugo, BOSTON ------------ 1-2 Homerun, 2 RBIs

It's What We Do

Get used to it, America. It is Boston. Come-from-behind victories are our specialty. It’s just what we do.

This year’s 2008 NBA Finals looks eerily familiar to Boston fans. In the post-season the 2007-20088 Celtics slightly resembles the 2004 Red Sox and it can only mean one thing: championship banner #17.

Now what exactly do I mean by the Celtics resembling the ’04 Sox?

When the Sox won their first World Series championship for the first time in 86 years, they did so after making history, in ANY sport – coming back from a 3-0 deficit to the Yankees in the ALCS. The Sox hit rock bottom when New York won Game Three 19-8 and it looked for sure as if the Yankees would be heading back to the World Series. But the Sox stepped up their game with four, one-game series starting with a clutch come-from-behind win against one of the best closers in baseball, Mariano Rivera.

Leading the series two games to the Lakers one, the Celtics found themselves down 21-points at the end of the first quarter. With Los Angeles playing the role of New York, Boston – once again – “Cowboy’d Up,” to quote former Sox first baseman Kevin Millar, and mounted their comeback. They started slowly, chipping away at the lead and grinding it out like Tiger Woods when his A-game as escaped him. It all started with another number 34, the Captain and The Truth, Paul Pierce. (It always comes back to the number 34 in Boston, doesn’t it?)

As the Sox climbed on the back of Ortiz in 2004, the Celtics did the same to Pierce. Pierce led them back from a 24-point deficit, at one point, to giving the Lakers their first home playoff loss this season. Being one of the more physical players on the Celtics, the Celtics captain started doing what he does best, driving his way to the basket for either the lay-in, the foul or to kick it back out to the perimeter. Not bad for guy who had to be carried off the court by Brian Scalabrine and trainers in the first half of Game One after injuring his right knee on play under the basket.

Huh? That kind of sounds familiar too, doesn’t it? Does anybody remember Curt Schilling and the bloody sock of the ALCS?

After Schilling had to leave Game One in the third inning with the infamous right ankle injury leading to a disastrous 10-7 loss, renowned orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Bill Morgan, implemented a temporary surgical fix. In the surgery, Dr. Morgan placed three surgical sutures into Schilling’s ankle to avoid the tendon snapping over the pitcher’s ankle bone, allowing him to start Game Six. Although he was in the later stages of his storied career, Schilling risked what time he had left to bring home the Red Sox’s first World Championship in 86 years. We all know the story of Game Six, the Sox went on to win the game 4-2 against Jon Lieber while Schilling’s blood stained the white sock from the sutures became as famous as the right hander himself.

Pierce’s Game One knee injury against the Lakers at the TD Banknorth Garden turned out not to be all too serious but it appeared as if it was going to be worse than it was. That is the reason why Celtic fans cheered him heavily when he came bouncing out of the tunnel from the locker room. Just like Schilling, Pierce was not going to let his team down and against the words of the team medical staff, the small forward tried to put wait on his right knee. When he was able to do that he there was no stopping him. He was going to head back to the court and get back into the game. Game Four’s comeback can be traced back to this moment.

The man’s a warrior. He has been through more in his professional basketball career than most players. Not only has he suffered through six losing seasons and never made it past the Conference Finals, Pierce also had to overcome the “stabbing incident” that occurred outside a Boston club in 2000. He is the ultimate team player, unlike his counterpart wearing yellow and purple, and can put the team on his back and lead them to victory as he did in Game Four.

To compare the 2007-2008 Celtics even more to the 2004 Red Sox, Ray Allen’s baseline drive to basket past the Lakers soft power forward, Pau Gasol was reminiscent of Dave Roberts steal of second in Game Four in 2004.

Come-from-behind victories have become the M.O. of Boston. It can be traced back to Super Bowl XXXVI when the young Tom Brady lead the Patriots down field with just over a minute left in the game to set up Adam Vinatieri’s game winning field goal. Even in the 1999 and 2003 ALDS against the Cleveland Indians and Oakland Athletics, respectively, for the Sox.

There have only been three teams from the four major professional sports to have come back from a 3-1 series deficit and two of those times involved a Boston team. So even though the Los Angeles Lakers can make a come-back, I do not see that happening. Together, the Three Musketeers (Garnett, Allen and Pierce) will raise the NBA Trophy for the first time in their careers and will be the 17th time in Celtics history they own the right to call themselves the best team in the NBA.

Defending Manny

All it takes is two minutes of listening to Dennis & Callahan before you start to feel like you just took a Josh Beckett fastball to the head. They hammer (and I mean hammer) their opinions into your brain until you give up and walk away because you can not take them any more. Or you walk away because you start to feel your blood pressure spiking to an incredibly dangerous level.

My latest issue with the morning duo on WEEI is their constant bashing on Manny Ramirez from his altercation in the dugout with first baseman Kevin Youkilis. First off, I do not condone Ramirez’s actions but I understand where they are coming from. Confirmed by many sources in the Red Sox clubhouse, the dispute arose when Ramirez confronted Youkilis about his excessive and chronic complaining after things do not go his way at the plate. With the Sox up by six runs against the Rays, Ramirez did not figure it was necessary for Youkilis to be kicking and screaming about flying out to right so he said to Youkilis “cut that [expletive] out.”

Unlike Gerry Callahan wants you to believe, Ramirez did not walk up to Youkilis and sucker punch him or slap him. There is no right or wrong opinion but when the opinion has no factual basis it turns wine to water. It takes two to tango, Gerry. Manny is not the only guilty party in this. Youkilis had to have said something in response to Ramirez’s comment that provoked the outburst. It is illogical to think that a person walks up to a co-worker and punches them without motive.

Secondly, I have to say I am not the biggest Kevin Youkilis supporter. I, too, like Manny, abhor the outbursts after a ground out, fly out or strike out – especially when the strike out is looking. (If you strike out looking and you disagree with the umpire’s call that is your fault, you should have swung.) But I do understand – unlike Callahan – where both players are coming from.

From Ramirez’s point-of-view, it is understandable to approach a teammate and say “cut that out,” if you have an issue with the way he is conducting himself after a poor performance. There was no harm or malice involved in what Ramirez said. He was not out to get Youkilis, he was just telling his teammate what others probably wanted to say but did not.

But then again there is Youkilis’s side of the situation. He is a hot-tempered, confrontational player who performs at his all time best when he is emotional. That emotion at times can get under the skin of teammates, as in this case, and he does not know that. When Ramirez informs Youkilis, instinctively, the first baseman goes on the defensive, saying or doing something that offends and provokes Ramirez.

In the moment, they both were wrong with the actions and should have walked away from the situation while their emotions were boiling and discussed things behind closed doors. Because they did not do this, the situation reached its boiling point and all hell broke loose in front of the cameras.

Now that I have played Dr. Phil for the day. I believe it is time to get back to baseball.

Red Sox return to action tomorrow night when they welcome the Baltimore Orioles to Fenway Park for the three game series. Josh Beckett (6-4) gets the ball in game one against Daniel Cabrera (5-3) in a re-match of the Red Sox’s 5-2 extra innings win on May 30. Game two will see Bartolo Colon (3-1) against left hander Garrett Olson (5-1) while Jon Lester (4-3) and Jeremy Guthrie (3-6) close out the series before the Sox re-start interleague play on Friday against the Cincinnati Reds.

J.D. Drew’s third homerun of the home stand to lead the Sox to the 2-1 series win


J.D. Drew’s third homerun of the home stand to lead the Sox to the 2-1 series win

(June 8, 2008) – Revenge is sweet – even sweeter on a day like yesterday. The 37,198 fans at Fenway Park, who stuck out the hot and humid June afternoon, were rewarded with the Red Sox 40th win of season after beating the Seattle Mariners 2-1. After the Mariners took two of three from the Red Sox back on May 26 through the 28 in Seattle, the Sox came back and took two of three to tie the season series at 3-3 this weekend back in the confines of Friendly Fenway.

On a day where the weather felt 10-degrees warmer than what the mercury read, Sox young gun Justin Masterson was as cool as the other side of the pillow. Although he ran into occasional trouble by falling behind some Mariner hitters, Masterson never looked flustered. In six innings of work, the Sox youngster allowed just one run on three hits while walking three and striking out four. During his brief stint in the majors substituting for Daisuke Matsuzaka, Masterson has proved he is ready for the bright spot light of Boston sports. Of course he will have to buy his time at the triple A level due to the overhaul of starters on the Red Sox roster that include excellent performances from Matsuzaka, Jon Lester, and Clay Buchholz. But you heard it hear folks, come late-August Masterson will be a mainstay on the Sox pitching staff.

The lone Seattle run came in the top of the second when Masterson walked third baseman Adrian Beltre and right fielder Jeremy Reed to lead off the inning. First baseman Richie Sexson hit a scorching line drive into right field that was tracked down by right fielder J.D. Drew, on the edge of the warning track, for the first out of the inning. Although it was the first out of the inning, the deep fly out allowed Beltre to tag and advance 90 feet, to third. Shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt hit a slow bouncer to counterpart Julio Lugo. Lugo played the play ball back and was only able to get the force out Reed, allowing Beltre to come in the back door, giving Seattle the brief 1-0 lead.

The Sox tied the game in the bottom of the third when Coco Crisp lined the first hit of the game for the Sox off Erik Bedard into right field. With the speedy Crisp on first to distract the left hander, Bedard walked Brandon Moss to bring lead off hitter Lugo to the dish with just one out. Lugo skied a 2-2 pitch to Ichiro Suzuki in center field, allowing Crisp to tag and move up to third. Dustin Pedroia was able to work the bases loaded two-out walk to send the hottest man on the Red Sox to plate: J.D. Drew. Drew would not be at the plate for long. Right after following a 1-2 pitch, Bedard came up and in on the Sox right fielder and hit him on the right hand with a rising fastball to force in Boston’s first run of the game. It was not exactly the way Drew wanted to pick up his 31st RBI but whatever works. Manny Ramirez ended up striking out on a 3-2 check swing with the bases loaded to end the inning.

Right now if you are an opposing pitcher getting ready to face the Red Sox, you are scared to death of the current number three hitter. He is just on fire right now – very similar to the Celtics offense in the last three minutes of the third quarter last night. Drew would drive in all of the Sox two runs in the game. After getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the third, Drew would add his eighth homerun of the season as he hit a rocket shot to the front row of the covered seats in center against reliever Sean Green. (John McLaren how sick are you feeling now? Bringing in a right hander to face the left handed Drew especially when Bedard had only allowed one run on two hits while striking out five.) The homerun was Drew’s third round-tripper on the current home-stand and fourth in eight games. Sorry Big Papi, but I do not think Drew is going to want to give up that number three spot in the line up when you return.

Not only is Drew getting things down on offense, the guy is locked in, in the field. He has always fielded his position well and has a strong throwing arm but most of the time his defense gets overlooked due to his offense. In years past, Red Sox fans have been privileged to watch one of the original Dirt Dogs, Trot Nixon, who was always diving all over right field for fly balls. That is why Sox fans liked him because of his grittiness and willing to get dirty. When Drew replaced him in right – as well as taking the number seven – it was tough sight for Sox fans to see. The did not see a guy diving all over the field for fly balls so it looked as if he wasn’t as good as Nixon but the truth is Drew is better.

He does not have to dive because he can get to more balls than Nixon could. Drew makes some of the catches Nixon would have had to dive for, look easy. He runs almost effortlessly toward the ball and catches it just as easy. Drew has much more than athleticism than Nixon ever did, so when it looks as if Drew is not trying hard as Nixon did, it is because he does not have to. (Guys like Nixon and Kevin Youkilis, have to work harder than others to make up for their lack of athleticism.)

After day off Monday, the Sox will send Josh Beckett to the mound on Tuesday night to face Daniel Cabrera and the Baltimore Orioles in a re-match of May 30 in Baltimore. Beckett is 6-4 on the season with a 4.07 ERA, 80 strike outs, 14 walks and a 1.10 WHIP. He is coming of a six inning win against the Tampa Bay Rays last Thursday where he allowing just one run on six hits while walking no one and striking out five. He has faced Baltimore twice this year, both in Maryland, and has been un-Beckett like. In 2008 Beckett is 1-1 with a 5.63 ERA, 15 strike outs, five walks and a 1.79 WHIP. Oriole batters are 15-for-50 (.300) against the Sox ace this year in 11.2 innings.

Cabrera is also making his third appearance against the Red Sox this year. In his first two starts against Boston this year, the Oriole right hander is 1-0 with a 3.21 ERA, five strike outs, two walks and a 1.79 WHIP. Sox batters are hitting at a .302 clip against Cabrera in 14 innings of work. The 6’9” pitcher is coming off a 7-5 loss to the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis. In the loss, Cabrera went six innings allowing six runs on eight hits while walking none and striking out three. On the season, Cabrera is 5-2 with a 3.98 ERA, 47 strike outs, 32 walks and a 1.28 WHIP.

WIN: Justin Mastertson (3-0)

LOSS: Sean Green (1-2)

SAVE: Jonathan Papelbon (18)


Game Notes:

Boston College Men’s Head Basketball Coach Al Skinner was at Sunday’s matinee game with the Seattle Mariners.

Manny Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the sixth inning.

The 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. J.D. Drew, BOSTON ---- 1-3 HR, 2 RBIs
  1. Justin Masterson, BOSTON ---- 6IP, 3H, 1ER, 3BB, 4K
  1. Erik Bedard, SEATTLE -----5IP, 2H, 1ER, 3BB, 5K

Tim Wakefield retires 12 consecutive Mariners to lead Sox to the 11-3 victory


Tim Wakefield retires 12 consecutive Mariners to lead Sox to the 11-3 victory

(June 7, 2008) – On a hazy, hot and humid June day in Boston, the Seattle Mariners had more to deal with than the 92 degree heat. They also had to deal with Tim Wakefield’s fluttering knuckleball that baffled Seattle batters for seven innings. Wakefield provided Red Sox fans with another excellent outing, allowing just two runs on four hits while striking out six to pick up his fourth win of the season in the Sox’s 11-3 win. After the Mariners tied the score in the second, the 41-year-old veteran set down 13 of the next 15 Seattle batters, including retiring 12 in a row before catcher Kenji Johjima blooped a single in front of Coco Crisp in the seventh.

If J.D. Drew keeps hitting the way he is in the number three slot in the order, David Ortiz might have a hard time getting his spot back. Drew continued his red-hot hitting with a two-out rocket just past the outstretched glove of center fielder Ichiro Suzuki. As the ball rolled to the base of the wall, the Sox right fielder kicked it into another gear as he rounded second base and slide into third, safely with a triple. He knocked his seventh homerun just to the right of yellow line on the Green Monster off Seattle reliever, knuckleballer R.A. Dickey in the sixth. In his last eight games, no Red Sox starter has a higher batting average than Drew with a .542 average, three doubles, one triple, three homeruns and eight RBIs.

Manny Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 12 games by hitting his fourth homerun in three games with a monster shot over everything in left. His 14 round-tripper of the season scored Drew from third to give the Sox the early 2-0 lead and the RBI Man’s 46th and 47th RBIs of the season.

After Wakefield retired the side in order in, with a ground out to shortstop by Wladimir Balentien sandwiched between strike outs to Richie Sexson and Kenji Johjima, the Mariners came back to tie the game in the third. In the top of the inning, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt led off the inning with a base hit into left and was followed by a dribbler down the third baseline by Suzuki, for his second hit of the game. Third baseman Adrian Beltre would drive in Betancourt and Suzuki with a ground rule double down the first base line after Jose Lopez advanced the runners with a ground out to third. But the game was not tied for long, as the Red Sox re-took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth.

After Kevin Youkilis grounded out to shortstop to begin the Sox half of the fourth, rookie Brandon Moss walked and motored around from first on Alex Cora’s double to left center. Cora would also come around to score Boston’s fourth run of the game on Coco Crisp’s second hit of the game. Not only did Crisp reach bases twice in the game but he kept the Seattle defense on their toes, stealing his 9th and 10th bags of season.

Revenge is sweet, when you are on the giving end of it instead of the receiving end of it. Just as the Mariners blew out the Sox in Friday night’s 8-0 shut out, the Sox returned the favor today after batting around in the bottom of the eighth inning. Cora led of the inning with a base hit into right field. Julio Lugo would advance Cora to second with his only base of the game into right as well. Drew was a double shy of being the first Sox player since John Valentin after he drove in Cora and Lugo with another single to right. Ramirez received the hat trick of the game when he walked for the third time in the eighth inning to move Drew up to second and then was pinch ran for by Jacoby Ellsbury. Coming in as a defensive replacement in top of the inning, Mike Lowell lined a double down the third base line to drive in Drew and send Ellsbury to third. After Lowell’s base hit the game was over for reliever Mark Lowe but his line score was not. Not having an RBI all game, Youkilis did not want to feel left out and lined an RBI double to left to plate Ellsbury and Lowell against Ryan Rowland-Smith, who relieved Lowe. In just a third of an inning, Lowe allowed all five runs on four hits and one walk.

There has been a last minute change of starting pitchers for Seattle in tomorrow afternoon’s series finale against the Red Sox. Instead of right hander Jarrod Washburn getting the start against the 23-year-old Justin Masterson, the Mariners will opt for the left handed Erik Bedard. After an outstanding seven inning performance of two hit ball with eight strikes against Wakefield and the Sox on May, 28, Bedard failed to get out of the fourth inning in his next start against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In just 3.1 innings of work versus the Halos, the left hander allowed five runs – four earned – on seven hits while walking three and striking out one.

Making his 12 career start against Boston, Bedard will be opposed by Masterson, who is making the first start of his career against the Mariners. The former Aztec is 2-0 in his three starts this season with a 2.95 ERA, 14 strike outs, 9 walks, a 1.09 WHIP and a .175 opponent’s batting average. Masterson is coming off a 7-4 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays on June 3 where he went six innings allowing four runs on six hits while striking out five and walking two. Since being recalled for the third time this season on June 3, it marks the first time Masterson has stayed in the big leagues for more than a cup of coffee.

WIN: Tim Wakefield (4-4)

LOSS: Miguel Batista (3-7)


Game Notes:

Going 0-for-12 on this current home stand, Dustin Pedroia got the day game after the night game off. Today will provide for a good mental health day for the sophomore second baseman.

Jonathan Papelbon came on to pitch the ninth inning to get some work in since he had not pitched since June 3.

Kevin Youkilis 233 consecutive games without an error has come to end when he dropped an easy throw from Alex Cora at second in the top of the ninth on a ground ball by pinch hitter Willie Bloomquist.

The 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. Tim Wakefield, BOSTON ---- 7IP, 4H, 2R, 2BB, 6K
  1. J.D. Drew, BOSTON ---- 3-5 3B, HR, RBI, 2 Runs-scored
  1. Manny Ramirez, BOSTON ---- 1-2 HR, 3 BB, 2 RBIs, 2 Runs-scored

Seattle ends the Sox 13 home game winning streak behind Richie Sexson’s 3-for-4 night


Seattle ends the Sox 13 home game winning streak behind Richie Sexson’s 3-for-4 night

(June 6, 2008) – It was a night when anything that could go wrong, would go wrong for the Red Sox. They could not re-group from three errors in the game and the Mariners took advantage of that. In the words of Tiger Woods, “[the Sox] just did not have their ‘A game’” in the field during a 6-0 loss to the Seattle Mariners. Sox starter Bartolo Colon did not help his own cause with two errors in five innings leading to three unearned runs.

After struggling against Colon in Seattle, the Mariners showed no ill effects to their 5-3 loss last Monday. Second baseman Jose Lopez got Seattle started out on the right foot when he lined a one-out single into center. He would come around to score the Mariner’s first run two batters later when third baseman Adrian Beltre hit a chopper back to the mound. Attempting to start the 1-6-3 double play to get out of the inning, Colon’s throw was just past the reach of shortstop Julio Lugo, scoring Lopez and making Raul Ibanez – who walked – safe at second. It appeared as if there was a miscommunication between Lugo and Dustin Pedroia about who was going to cover the second base bag and less Colon’s fault for the errant throw. Ibanez would come around to score on Jose Vidro’s ground out back to the mound for Seattle’s second run of the game.

Seattle would score again in the top of the third when Ichiro Suzuki reached base on Mike Lowell’s fifth error of the season. Although the error was charged to Lowell, it was not the third baseman’s fault. The ball dropped out of first baseman, Kevin Youkilis’s glove. Lopez would do some more damage with a base hit into left field, sending Suzuki to second. Facing Ibanez for the second time in the game, Colon tried to keep Suzuki close to the second base bag by throwing over but the ball ended up in center for the second time in three innings. Both Suzuki and Lopez advanced on the Sox’s second error of the inning. Colon’s second error of the game would prove to be costly as Beltre lifted a deep sacrifice fly to Coco Crisp in center to drive in Suzuki from third base.

The Red Sox could not piece anything together against neither Seattle right hander Felix Hernandez nor against the Mariners relievers of Sean Green and Ryan Rowland-Smith. In six innings, Hernandez allowed no Sox player to cross the plate while allowing six scattered base hits, including two to J.D. Drew and Sean Casey. In relief of Hernandez, Green retired all six Boston batters he faced while Rowland-Smith retired Jason Varitek, Brandon Moss and Lugo to end the game, after Casey led off the ninth with a double off the wall.

One of the scattered hits Hernandez allowed was a rocket back up the middle that almost took the young 22-year-old’s head off by number three hitter David Jonathan Drew. Hernandez’s short life flashed before his eyes when he saw the 2-0 fastball whistled past his left ear off the bat of the Sox right fielder.

The Red Sox clearly could not get down too many runs in a game with the Seattle ace on the mound. There are not going to be too many scoring opportunities in the game so when you get the chance to score you take advantage of them because there will not be too many. When the Mariners are threatening to take the lead or pad a lead, you have to quell the threat and not make frivolous errors that could and should have been avoided.

But it did not happen. The Sox really put themselves in a hole after the third inning and started to dig, as Christine Malkiewicz likes to say. The Mariners added five more crooked numbers in the fourth, fifth and the seventh innings against Colon and Sox reliever David Aardsma. In the fourth Richie Sexson recorded his first base hit of the game with a base hit to left. He would be sent to third on shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt’s two-out ground rule double down the first base line. Suzuki would drive in both with his only base hit of the game down the left field line. With two outs Betancourt was off with the pitch and was barely safe at the plate and narrowing escaping Varitek’s tag from Moss in right.

The next inning, Sexson would rive in his first run of the game with another two-out RBI by sending a Colon offering into center field to drive in Ibanez, who led off the inning with a single. Mariners first baseman would get his second RBI of the game in the seventh when he would get his third hit of the game – off Aardsma – with a base hit into center to drive in Beltre. In the top of the seventh, Ibanez led of the inning with a double to left and was followed by a walk to Beltre. Seattle designated hitter Jose Vidro would single to drive in Ibanez from third before being wiped out on a 6-4-3 double play by pinch-hitter Wladmir Balentien before Sexson added the eighth and final Mariner run.

Tim Wakefield gets the nod for tomorrow’s late afternoon match on national television against the Mariners. Seattle will send right hander Miguel Batista to oppose Wakefield in game two of the three game series. Batista is coming off a no-decision against Detroit where he pitched 5.1 innings allowing three runs on five hits while striking out two and walking one in the Mariners 7-5 loss to the Tigers. On the season, Batista is 3-6 with a 5.90 ERA, 39 strike outs 38 walks and a 1.85 WHIP but against the Red Sox this year, he held the Red Sox to five runs – only four earned – on seven hits in seven innings of work on May 27.

Wakefield is coming off two outstanding performances where he went seven plus innings in both starts but has not been rewarded with the victory. In his last start against the Orioles in Baltimore, Wakefield went a strong seven innings allowing two runs on five hits while striking out three and walking four. He left the game with an excellent chance of pick up his fourth win of the season but Hideki Okajima came on in the eighth and gave up four earned runs on four hits in just two-thirds of an innings to lose the game for Wakefield. Against the Mariners this year, the Sox knuckleballer went the distance but was not rewarded with the victory due to the lack of production from the Boston bats. In the game the deciding run was a homerun off the bat of shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt in the third inning. Wakefield would hold the Mariners to just the one run on five hits while striking out eight batters.

WIN: Felix Hernandez(4-5)

LOSS: Bartolo Colon (3-1)


Game Notes:

Sox first-year outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is not in the starting line up tonight but he was available to pinch-run, according to manager Terry Francona. Earlier in the day the rookie had an MRI on his right wrist that came back negative. He is currently day-to-day with a strained right wrist.

Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis are moving on from their dispute, regarding Youkilis’s anger issues after a poor at-bat, between the fourth and fifth innings of Thursday night’s game against the Rays.

Coco Crisp, Jon Lester and Sean Casey have been suspended for a combined 15 games for their involvement in yesterday’s brawl. Crisp received the most number of games with seven while Lester received a five game suspension – which basically means his next start is pushed back one day – and Casey is suspended for three games. Lester was suspended for throwing at Ray batters after warnings were issued to both benches.

The Sox optioned Chris Carter back down to Pawtucket and re-called Brandon Moss, who is coming of an appendectomy back in April. Moss was in the starting line up on Friday night for the Sox.

The 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. Felix Hernandez, SEATTLE ---- 6IP, 6H, 0ER, 1BB, 5K
  1. Richie Sexson, SEATTLE ---- 3-4, 3 Singles, 2 RBIs, Run-Scored
  1. Sean Casey, BOSTON ----- 3-4 2 Singles, Double

Despite rift with Youkilis, Manny Ramirez drives in 5 of 7 Sox runs as Boston sweeps Tampa Bay


Despite rift with Youkilis, Manny Ramirez drives in 5 of 7 Sox runs as Boston sweeps Tampa Bay

(June 5, 2008) – A new chapter has been added to the Red Sox-Rays rivalry as the Sox completed the three game sweep against Tampa Bay with a 7-1 win. Coco Crisp wrote the next edition of the eight year rivalry last night when he took out Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura on a stolen base attempt in the bottom of the eighth inning. The play last night had Tampa Bay manager, Joe Maddon, miffed and sparked a cross-field argument between Crisp and Maddon in the top of the ninth.

With Maddon outwardly upset at the Sox centerfielder’s actions in the previous night’s game, it comes as no surprise the Rays would seek revenge against Crisp in the future. But it is intriguing starter James Shields decided to hit Crisp in the side of the left leg with one down the bottom of the first. Instead of walking down to first base, Coco became enraged after being hit and charged the mound with Dioner Navarro charging behind him like Benjamin Watson chasing down Broncos safety Champ Bailey in the 2006 AFC Division Game in Denver.

Navarro took down the Sox center fielder like Mike Vrabel dropping Peyton Manning for a 10-yard loss, but not before Crisp got one swing at Shields. As soon as Crisp was down for the count, designated hitter Jonny Gomes and left fielder Carl Crawford decided to get in on the action with a few sucker punches of their own. Crisp and Shields were ejected from the game immediately following the dugout emptying brawl while Gomes was gone not too long afterward. There will be major suspensions to Crisp, Shields, Gomes and possibly Crawford, handed down by the Commish in days to come.

Down two runs in the second inning, it was not the time for the Rays to go after Crisp and send Shields, one of their best pitchers, to the showers just two innings into the game. Tampa Bay will see the Red Sox later on during the year; they should have been patient in their retaliation efforts against Boston and not struck so quick. When you have the upper hand in a scrum, you want to send the message that you may strike at any time. But tonight just showed the inexperience of the Rays.

After Crisp was ejected from the game, Jacoby Ellsbury moved from left field to center while recent Pawtucket call-up Chris Carter went into left. Getting another opportunity to play at the major league level, Carter finally received his first big league base hit with a single into center field off Grant Balfour, who replaced Shields after he was ejected in the second.

The Sox outfield started the game with Ellsbury, Crisp and J.D. Drew (left to right) but finished with Carter, Drew and Kevin Youkilis. In the top of the fourth, Ellsbury recorded the first out of the inning with a diving catch off the bat of fellow rookie Evan Longoria, whose liner was sure to drop for extra bases. But the rookie would not get up right away. After making the catch, the Oregonian turned his wrist over and was taken out of the game for precautionary reasons. Drew shifted over to center while Youkilis entered the game in right field.

Lost in the game was another outstanding performance by the Sox young left hander, Jon Lester. In 6.1 innings, the lefty allowed just one earned on eight hits while walking no opposing batters –for the first time this year – and striking out five Tampa Bay hitters. Also lost was Manny Ramirez’s 2-for-3 night which included his 13th homerun of the season in the bottom of the first to put him tied with teammate David Ortiz and Seattle’s Adrian Beltre for third place for the AL lead in homeruns. Ramirez’s 503rd career homerun drove in Dustin Pedroia, who was hit on the elbow by a Shields’s inside pitch, and Drew, who doubled to left center, sending Pedroia to third.

Ramirez would drive in five of the Red Sox seven runs in the game but it still would not matter to Youkilis who got in the face of the Sox’s eccentric left fielder between the fourth and fifth innings. Is there trouble in paradise for the typically mild-mannered Sox clubhouse or is it just “intra-family issues?” Neither Ramirez nor Youkilis wanted to comment on the situation so speculation welcome from either side. Radio broadcaster Joe Castiglione commented that maybe Youkilis was tweaked because Ramirez was one the last people out of the dugout during the brawl in the second. But why should the Sox hot-tempered first baseman care, because as the day’s designated hitter Ramirez was not due up until sixth that inning (should the Sox go that far) could have been in the clubhouse watching tapes. Note to Youkilis: do not get into a pissing match with the man who produces the majority of the runs for the team!

The Red Sox will take on the Seattle Mariners for a weekend three game series on Friday night with Bartolo Colon (3-0) getting the start against Felix Hernandez (3-5). Colon will be followed by Tim Wakefield (3-4) and Miguel Batista (3-6) on Saturday and Justin Masterson (2-0) and Jarrod Washburn (2-7) on Sunday.

WIN: Jon Lester (4-3)

LOSS: James Shields (4-4)


Game Notes:

Dustin Pedroia hit a sacrifice fly to center field in the bottom of the second, to drive in Chris Carter – pinch running for Coco Crisp – off reliever Grant Balfour with one out in the inning for the Sox’s fourth run of the game.

J.D. Drew drove in the fifth run of the game for Boston with a bases loaded walk in the fourth before Manny Ramirez drove in his fourth and fifth RBIs of the game with single into left field. After Jason Varitek grounded out to second to begin the inning, Carter and Julio Lugo followed with back-to-back base hits. Relieving Balfour, J.P. Howell got Kevin Youkilis to fly out to center to advance Carter to third before walking Pedroia to load the bases.

The 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. Manny Ramirez, BOSTON ---- 2-3, Homerun, 5 RBIs
  1. Jon Lester, BOSTON --- 6.1IP, 8H, 1ER, 0BB, 5K
  1. Chris Carter, BOSTON --- 2-3 2 Singles, 2 Runs-scored

J.D. Drew’s third inning RBI double put Sox back in the driver’s seat of the AL East


J.D. Drew’s third inning RBI double put Sox back in the driver’s seat of the AL East

(June 4, 2008) – The Red Sox bounced back into first place with the 5-1 victory behind J.D. Drew’s RBI double to right in the third. Josh Beckett earned his sixth win on the season by pitching six innings allowing one earned run on seven hits while walking none and striking out five Tampa Bay hitters.

Rays starter Edwin Jackson had not allowed a hit until the first batter in the bottom of third and that is when it all unraveled for the Tampa Bay right hander. Center fielder Coco Crisp led off the inning with a base hit back up the middle into center. Rookie Jacoby Ellsbury hit squibbler with one-out to drive Crisp home from second. With Ellsbury on first, Jackson caught the Sox young outfielder getting cocky, leaning too far to second and decided to check him back to the bag. But the Rays first baseman, Eric Hinske could scope Jackson’s low throw and the ball escaped to the fence along the Sox dugout allowing Ellsbury to advance to second. He would score on Drew’s two-out ground rule double that bounced into the stands in right field. Manny Ramirez followed Drew’s double with a single of his own into center to score the Sox right fielder from second.

The lone Rays run came in the top of the fourth when third baseman, Evan Longoria lined a one-out double to deep center field. After catcher Dioner Navarro grounded out to shortstop, forcing Longoria to third, former Sox outfielder and first baseman Eric Hinske drove in the Tampa Bay rookie with a base hit into center field. But those would be all the runs the south western Florida team would record all game.

Crisp would gain that run back for the Sox by driving in first baseman Kevin Youkilis with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning. After Youkilis and catcher Jason Varitek with back-to-back base hits to lead of the fourth, the Sox true center fielder lifted a fly ball to center fielder B.J. Upton to plate Youkilis for the fourth Boston run. Youkilis would add the fifth run in the seventh by driving in Drew – for the second time – with a two-out single to left field.

The Sox will send Jon Lester to the mound against, no not fellow Southpaw Scott Kazmir but Rays right hander James Shields to complete try to complete the three game sweep of Tampa Bay. Lester is 3-3 on the season with a 3.67 ERA, 49 strike outs and a 1.38 WHIP. He is coming of a no-decision against the Baltimore Orioles on May 31 where he went five innings allowing three runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out four. After being the Rays ace for the first month of the season with Kazmir on the disabled list, Shields is 4-3 on the season with a 3.24 ERA, 58 strike outs and a 1.15 WHIP. He is coming of a 2-1 win against the Chicago White Sox on May 30 where he pitched six innings allowing one run on seven hits while walking one and striking six.

WIN: Josh Beckett (6-4)

LOSS: Edwin Jackson (3-5)


The 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. J.D. Drew, BOSTON ---- 2-3 Double, RBI
  1. Coco Crisp, BOSTON --- 2-2
  1. Evan Longoria, TAMPA BAY --- 2-3 Double, Run-scored

Manny Ramirez and Mike Lowell’s back-to-back homeruns lead Sox to 9-4 win over Baltimore


Manny Ramirez and Mike Lowell’s back-to-back homeruns lead Sox to 9-4 win over Baltimore

(June 1, 2008) – The Boston bats woke up earlier on the first day of June on the back of right fielder J.D. Drew and put a three spot up on the scoreboard in the third and fourth innings, giving the Sox the 9-4 win. Bartolo Colon picked up his third win of the season with the Sox victory.

The Red Sox version of the Game Theory, today’s center fielder, Jacoby Ellsbury started the Sox out on the right foot with a base hit into center in the first inning. After Dustin Pedroia flew out to right field to for the first out of the inning, Ellsbury had the glimmer in his eye that he was going to attempt his 27th stolen base of the season. The Sox rookie would not wait around long into Kevin Youkilis’s at-bat and took off on the 0-1 pitch but the young outfielder would be thrown out trying to swipe second. For the third time this season, Ellsbury had been thrown out attempting to pad his stats. The only thing that makes it worse is, Orioles catcher Guillermo Quiroz is 3-for-16 in throwing out base runners. The young Ellsbury is starting to get a bit too cocky when he is on the base paths. Now sounds like a good time to quote former Patriots linebacker Rosevelt Colvin “calm down” little guy.

Although Youkilis lined a base hit into left field, the latest member of the 500 homerun club, would fly out to the deep center to end the inning. But Mike Lowell would put the Sox on the board in the top of the second. The third baseman blooped a base hit over Kevin Millar’s head and into right field. Normally a on a bloop hit like Lowell’s, Youkilis or David Ortiz would still be standing at third but the 2007 World Series MVP was hustling out the batter’s box and cruised into second with the double. Lowell advanced to third on catcher Jason Varitek’s single to right field and scored on J.D. Drew’s sacrifice fly to deep left that prompted Oriole left fielder Jay Payton to back up allowing Lowell to score.

The Orioles would come back to tie the game in the bottom of the second when Red Sox killer Luke Scott doubled off the scoreboard in right. Payton would sacrifice Scott to third with a bunt to make way for Adam Jones one-out single to right to plate Scott and tie the game at one. But that would be the last time Baltimore would be in the game.

Pedroia would lead off the fourth inning with his only base hit of the game into center field while Youkilis followed the second baseman’s lead with his second single to left, moving Pedroia to third. After getting the 500 homerun monkey off his back yesterday, Ramirez put a nice fluid swing on the first offering he saw from Brian Burress and lined double to left to drive in Pedroia. But the Sox offense would not go away quietly. Lowell would drive in Youkilis for his 23rd RBI of the season with a sacrifice fly to deep right, Ramirez also tagged on the play and went to third. After Varitek lined out to Aubrey Huff at third, Drew drove in his second RBI of the game and 24th of the season with a single to right before Burres retired Lugo two batters later to end the third.

The Sox put up another three spot on back-to-back two out homeruns by Ramirez and Lowell. The day after Ramirez hit his 500th homerun, he came back to hit his 501st to the same general location – right field – to give the Sox the 6-1 lead. It is hard to follow a Ramirez home run if you are the next better in the line but Lowell has been doing it for the past two years and this time he drove a line drive into the front row of the bleachers in left field for his seventh homerun and 25th RBI. Drew also added his fifth homerun of the year in seventh in the form of solo shot with one out.

Tim Wakefield makes his 32nd career start against Baltimore tomorrow night and will try to complete the four game sweep. It will be the first time since September 20-23, 2002 they have swept the Orioles in a four game series in Maryland. Wakefield is coming of a 1-0 complete game loss to the Seattle Mariners, where the only run of the game came on a third inning homerun to Yuniesky Betancourt. The knuckleballer’s outstanding five hit, eight strike out and no walks performance fell victim to the Sox offense who were “Powerless in Seattle.”

The 41-year-old Sox veteran will be opposed by the Orioles right hander Jeremy Guthrie who is 2-6 on the season with a 3.64 ERA, 48 strike outs, 23 walks and a 1.21 WHIP. He is coming off a 4-2 loss to the New York Yankees where he went seven innings allowing three runs on six hits while striking out four.

WIN: Bartolo Colon (3-0)

LOSS: Brian Burres (4-5)


The 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. J.D. Drew, BOSTON ---- 2-3 Homerun, 3 RBIs
  1. Manny Ramirez, BOSTON ---- 3-5 Double, Homerun, 3 RBIs
  1. Mike Lowell, BOSTON ---- 2-4 Double, Homerun, 2 RBIs