Thursday, September 04, 2008

Finally, A Red Sox Sweep...Boston Red Sox 5 Baltimore Orioles 4

The Boston Red Sox did what they hadn't done in a long time...complete a three game sweep of an opponent. The game was a major league tying 544th straight Fenway Park sellout. The final score was Boston 5 Baltimore 4, and the Orioles are as hapless and helpless as they've been in a long, long time. The Birds were ahead of the Sox 4-0 through six innings before Boston came to life with a bang, actually a few bangs and two bings. Two runs in the seventh, two more in the eighth and the winning run in the ninth were all Boston needed to get out of town on a winning note. Dustin "Pedey" Pedroia had another inspired and productive day, going 3-4 with a HUGE home run in the seventh inning. Pedey's stats over the past few games are astounding. Mark Kotsay had a two run triple in the eighth, the inning that the Red Sox tied it, and then there came the ninth. Javy Lopez and Justin Masterson held the fort in relief of an erratic and pitch heavy Daisuke Matsuzaka, who clearly did not have his "A" game going. His pitch count after only two innings hit 50! But the 'pen let the Boston bats do the talking and the walking, and an Alex Cora line single and two bunts in the ninth inning won the game. The first bunt, by Coco Crisp, looked like it was going to roll foul but "hit a pebble" or something, which forced the ball to stay in fair territory. That lucky bounce enabled Coco to get to first and moved Cora into scoring position at second. And then it was up to Jacoby Ellsbury, who made a highlight reel catch earlier in the game. He bunted, a ball that was just wide of the pitcher Miller. Miller fielded the bunt and tried to nail Cora as he approached third base, but his errant throw went wide and into the outfield. The winning run scored and an improbable comeback was in the books. Here's what one of the hitting heros had to say at game's end, and a comment from Jacoby Ellsbury...

“This is a pennant race and we know we’re going to have to grind through,” said Kotsay, who has six extra-base hits in six games since coming over from Atlanta. “Now we’re going into Texas against a team that has nothing to lose, so we can’t let our guard down.”

"It's the first walkoff bunt I've had, yeah," Ellsbury said with a broad smile.

So after a day off Thursday, the Red Sox play a team with nothing to lose...the Texas Rangers. After the Yankees' defeat of first place Tampa Bay, the Sox are only three games behind in the AL East and they have a nice five game cushion over the Twins in the wild card race. So things are looking good with 23 games to go, most of them at Fenway. If you'd like, simply click on the title of this post for more on yesterday's game and all you needed to know about that team we love to love. Face it, they make it easy to love them! And as always, BE WELL.

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