Tim Wakefield produced another quality start, turning in another solid, (yet not overwhelming), 6 innings. Except for that 1 inning (HBP, single, single, double, double), Wake was looking good again: 6 IP, 6 hits, 4 ER’s, 1 BB, 99 pitches.
Cliff Lee was good, but not good enough, as he was most likely due for another loss before the season was over: 9 hits, 5 ER’s, 3 BB’s, 8 K’s, and another Youk HR (his 27th this season) into the Monster seats.
Masterson, Okajima, and Lopez decided the game wasn’t over yet with the Sox ahead 5-4 in the 8th inning getting two outs but loading the bases in the process to pave the way for Papelbon’s early entrance. Pap got Jamey Carroll out on 1 pitch.
Lee would not go the distance as relief came in the form of….. Brendan Donnelly! That firey Irishman who was in the Sox ‘pen in 2007, he of the 8.00+ ERA entering the game. Alex Cora worked him for 10 pitches before getting a free pass, one that was nullified moments later when he was caught stealing.
Pap comes back out for the 9th inning, but which Pap? The overwhelming Pap of 2006, or the just slightly super-human Pap who’s been keeping us guessing this season? He started off with 2 straight balls to Choo. Who? Choo. And then he struck him out. Struck out Peralta, too. Martinez popped up on the 1st pitch he saw. It took Pap 10 pitches to garner the last 4 outs and his 41st save of the season.
Offensive stars of the game for the Sox were Pedroia (2-4, 2 RBI’s), and Youk (HR, 3 BB’s.)
On to NYY, TOR, and TBY: NYY beat TOR 3-1, leaving the Yanks in 3rd place, and 3 games up on the Jay’s. The Ray’s are losing to the O’s, 4-1 in the 6th, after taking the 1st game of their double header, 5-2. Chad Bradford was on the mound for TBY, starter Talbot getting pulled in the 5th inning.