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April 28, 2007
PawSox lose in 11 innings, 10-7
Luis Rivas bases-loaded walk with two out in the 11th snapped a 7-7 game and propelled the Bisons to a 10-7 victory, Saturday afternoon in Pawtucket. Ben Francisco added a two-run single to ensure the Herd their first extra-inning win of 2007.
The victory was also Buffalo's first in four games against Pawtucket this season.
After battling back from a 7-4 deficit to force extra frames, the Bisons looked like they were going to let a golden opportunity slip for a win slip away. Joe Inglett and Ryan Mulhern opened the 11th with singles and Trent Durrington also reached with a hit when he beat out his sacrifice bunt attempt. But Pawtucket reliever Travis Hughes responded by striking out Mike Rose and inducing Franklin Gutierrez to pop out on the infield.
With two outs, Rivas turned the tides back in favor of the Bisons by drawing a five-pitch walk to force in the go-ahead run. Three pitches later, Francisco stung a pitch to left field to plate two more runs.
Edward Mujica preserved the win by retiring the PawSox 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 11th inning for his sixth save of the season.
It was a see-saw battle through the first nine innings of play. Buffalo struck first with home runs from Gutierrez and Hector Luna in a three-run first and added a fourth run on triple from Mulhern and an RBI-ground out from Durrington.
The next seven runs, however, were scored by Pawtucket. Kevin Cash went deep and David Murphy doubled home a run to cut the Bisons advantage in half in the third inning. Brandon Moss' two-run homer in the sixth tied the game at four. Ed Roger's home run in the seventh capped a three-run rally that put the Paw Sox ahead, 7-4.
Buffalo tied the game at seven with three runs in the eighth inning. Three consecutive singles by Gutierrez, Rivas and Francisco made it 7-5 Pawtucket. Luna then picked up his second big hit of the game with a two-out, two-run single to tie the game.
The win for the Bisons went to Sean Smith (1-1). Smith came on in the bottom of the eighth inning a quieted the Pawtucket offense with three shutout innings. He allowed just two hits and struck out four to earn his first career Triple-A win.
Posted by Chris Venditto at 5:44 PM to PawSox
The Lester Plan
Boston manager Terry Francona said he had gotten sterling reports about Jon Lester's rehabilitation start in Pawtucket Friday night.
He said the left-hander, whose 2006 season was cut short by anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, pitched consistently at 91 miles an hour with great command.
The plan calls for Lester to pitch again for the PawSox on Wednesday, at home against indianapolis. But Francona downplayed the media's suggestion this afternoon that Lester might jump from there to Boston's rotation for the start after that.
"That might be getting a little ahead (of things), jumping the gun a little bit," said Francona.
It seems more likely, from what Francona was inferring, that once Lester's rehab stint ends on May 4, he might be optioned to Pawtucket to continue getting stronger.
-- Steven Krasner
Posted by Steven Krasner at 2:25 PM | Permalink
Johnny Damon is in the Yankee starting lineup, but he is by no means close to 100 percent.
In fact, his back is bothering him so much that New York is using him as its designated hitter this afternoon. That way he'll be able to get treatment between at-bats to keep his ailing back loose.
Damon, who has played through considrable pain over his career, not to mention a concussion he suffered in the playoffs in 2003, is going to see a chiropractor near his home in Orlando on the Yanks' off day on Monday.
Jason Giambi generally serves as New York's DH, but yesterday he startedat first base in place of slumping Doug Mientkiewicz (.140).
-- Steven Krasner
Posted by Steven Krasner at 2:22 PM | Permalink
Torre on the Hot Seat
The New York media has been abuzz the last couple of days about the prospect that should the Red Sox sweep this series, venerable and respected Yankee manager Joe Torre will be fired.
Torre is on the final year of his contract. Owner George Steinbrenner, who, according to reports, would have fired Torre after the Yanks' Division Series wipeout to Detroit last year had it not been for general manager Brian Cashman's intervention, can't be happy with the seven-game losing streak.
Torre, as is his custom, answered any and every question about his seemingly shaky job status with class and thoughtfulness a few minutes ago in his daily media conference.
"Hey, I've got a job to do. I certainly don't go out there to manage just to try to keep my job. I manage to try to win ballgames. I've been doing that for 20 years," said Torre evenly.
"I'm not comfortable with the fact we're losing. But I can't concern myself with what might happen. I have to concern myself with what goes on on the field. I talked to George about three or four days ago. He wasn't happy. He's got every right not to be happy. We're not happy either," he said.
The injuries that have decimated the starting rotation this month are no excuse for the team's slide, said Torre.
"This is my responsibility," he said. "I'm in charge. I'm not going to push this off that it's not my fault. We have to deal with this. We have to find a way to win. That's my responsibility. I do the best I can to please (George) and make him proud of the ballclub. I've got to continue to do what I do and hopefully it will satisfy everybody."
The fact it has been the Red Sox that have started and contributed to this slide can't help but raise Steinbrenner's blood. Boston is 4-0 against New York this year.
"That magnifies everything," said Torre.
Torre reportedly had a brief closed-door meeting with his team after Friday night's loss, not as intense as some he has conducted over the years, but more of a meeting to say "enough is enough, let's get going," in so many words, according to reports.
-- Steven Krasner
Posted by Steven Krasner at 2:08 PM | Permalink
Starting Lineups -- April 28
-- Steven Krasner
Posted by Steven Krasner at 2:06 PM | Permalink