First To 13
The Oakland A's brought out the welcome mat for the Red Sox, and the Red Sox clobbered them over the head with it. Backed by home runs by Alex Gonzales, Manny Ramirez, and Bip Papi David Ortiz, Josh Beckett became the first pitcher in the AL to reach the 13 win plateau. Through 6, it was 7-0. Gonzo ripped a third inning single run homer, and Manny hit a 3 run job to make it 4-0 after 3. Papi's homer was a leadoff one in the 5th. Beckett was gone after 6, giving way to a nervous 7th by Hansen, who escaped a bases loaded jam to remain unscored on, and a similarly tense 8th by Mike Timlin, who surely will have the night off tonight, also escaping a bases loaded threat unscored on. And then it was as if we all had forgotten how easy a half inning can be when in the hands of a master. Papelbon came in and, with no need to do anything but come right at them, he, well, he came right at them. In the span of one minute 58 seconds (I timed it!!) and 11 pitches, game over!
With the Yankees winning, the lead is still 2 1/2. We play tonight at 10.
One other thing. As I mentioned in yesterday's, post, 5th starter Kason Gabbard willl be skipped because of the off day Thursday, leaving Lester, Beckett and Curt Schilling to pitch the 3 game weekend set against the Angels. I'm sure Curt is happy. He'll be pitching on Sunday night in the ESPN national game. We have work to do before that. 2 more in Oakland, and then home.