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

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