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August 4, 2007
PawSox fall in 10 innings
Whoever said baseball is a game of inches wasn’t too far off with their statement.
The Pawtucket Red Sox came very close on a couple of occasions last night, but fell just a bit short and lost to the Rochester Red Wings, 2-1, in 10 innings Saturday night at McCoy Stadium.
Both starting pitchers provided solid performances for their clubs as the PawSox’ Mike Burns and the Red Wings’ Dave Gassner each worked eight scoreless innings and allowed four hits apiece.
It’s been an interesting season for Burns, who replaced Kason Gabbard in the rotation after Gabbard was promoted to Boston on June 26. Burns has made eight starts since and is 3-3, but it’s been his last two outings that have stood out. Despite the no-decision last night, he’s only allowed only one run in his last 14 innings of work.
“He was outstanding,” said Pawtucket manager Ron Johnson. “He did an absolutely outstanding job. Mike was really fantastic, but you have to score; that’s what it’s all about.”
After both pitching staffs pitchers put up a pair of zeros through the first eight innings, the Red Wings scored a run in the top of the ninth. for the marginal lead. After PawSox reliever Craig Breslow issued a lead-off walk to Denard Span and a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second. With two outs, the Red Wings’ Garrett Jones provided an RBI-single, hitting a 3-0 changeup.
But Pawtucket wouldn’t go quietly.
Jed Lowrie led off the bottom of the ninth with a single and, with two outs, reached third on a Brandon Moss single to the right side. With runners on the corners, Joe McEwing drove a hard liner down the first-base line and into the corner in right field, scoring Lowrie for the game-tying run. Moss was on his horse when Johnson sent him home, attempting to push across the would-be winning run. But, the throw arrived in plenty of time, 9-4-2, to get him and send the game into extra innings.
“I sent Moss because, it was weird because it was twilight, and I saw (the right fielder) laying on the ground out there and then I was hoping the ball was thrown away. But, it was a nice try by Brandon. Like I’ve said before, they play hard. We got after it and our pitching was good, but it’s tough to win a 1-0 ballgame.”
Despite allowing two runners on with two outs in the top of the 10th inning, Breslow was in control. On two different pitches to Span, the PawSox left-hander thought he had strike three. But home-plate umpire Andy Vincent called back-to-back both pitches balls. Span then provided the game-winning hit, a RBI-single to right field.
“I thought they were strikes,” said Breslow. “I don’t think I could have made better pitches. The first one was close; it could have gone either way. The second one was better. They were obviously two very big pitches. If the umpire saw them as balls, then so be it.”
Johnson replaced Breslow with Bryan Corey and when Breslow was walking off the mound he had words with the umpire.
“I though Breslow’s stuff was good,” said Johnson. “There were a couple of close calls there.”
Pawtucket went down in order in the bottom of the inning and Breslow suffered the loss.
Posted by Corey Bourassa at 11:03 PM to PawSox
Sox Streakers for August 4
-Dustin Pedroia is 25 for 66 (.379) in his last 15 games.
-David Ortiz has three homers in his last four games, and is 27 for 75 (.360) over his last 18 games.
-The Mariners are 18-5 at home since June 23.
-The Red Sox have lost nine straight games in Seattle.
-Mike Lowell is 3 for his last 19.
-J.D. Drew is 4 for his last 29, and has not homered since June 20.
-The Red Sox have scored two runs or fewer in 10 of Daisuke Matsuzaka's last 12 starts.
Red Sox vs. Jarrod Washburn
-Alex Cora, 2 for 3 (.667)
-Coco Crisp, 10 for 18 (.556), 1 HR
-Kevin Youkilis, 3 for 7 (.429)
-Julio Lugo, 5 for 15 (.333)
-Doug Mirabelli, 1 for 3 (.333)
-Manny Ramirez, 6 for 19 (.316), 1 HR
-David Ortiz, 4 for 14 (.286)
-Jason Varitek, 5 for 22 (.227)
-Wily Mo Pena, 0 for 2
-Eric Hinske, 0 for 3
-J.D. Drew, 0 for 6
-Mike Lowell, 0 for 9
-Washburn is 3-3 with a 4.66 E.R.A. in 10 career starts against Boston.
Mariners vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka
-Jose Guillen, 4 for 8 (.500)
-Kenji Johjima, 2 for 6 (.333)
-Jamie Burke, 1 for 3 (.333)
-Yuniesky Betancourt, 2 for 8 (.250)
-Jose Vidro, 2 for 8 (.250)
-Jose Lopez, 2 for 9 (.222)
-Adrian Beltre, 1 for 8 (.125)
-Richie Sexson, 1 for 8 (.125)
-Ichiro Suzuki, 1 for 8 (.125)
-Ben Broussard, 0 for 3
-Raul Ibanez, 0 for 5
-Matsuzaka is 0-1 with a 4.95 E.R.A. in three starts this season against Seattle.
-All-time series: Boston 193, Seattle 144. At Safeco Field: Seattle 26, Boston 15.
-David Ortiz now ranks fifth all time in number of home runs by a designated hitter. His homer last night was his 209th, moving him past Jose Canseco. Next on the list is Don Baylor, with 219.
-The Red Sox are 19-37 when scoring four runs or less, and 47-6 when scoring at least five runs.
-Julio Lugo has 20 infield hits, third-most in the American League.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 7:53 PM to Projo Sox Streakers
Red Sox sign Spivey
The Red Sox have signed veteran major-league infielder Junior Spivey as a free agent and assigned him to Pawtucket.
Spivey, who has spent five seasons in the bigs with Arizona, Milwaukee and Washington, was recently playing independent ball for the Bridgeport Blue Fish.
"I'm just excited," he said when he arrived at McCoy Stadium today. "I feel like a little kid again. I feel like a rookie again. I'm excited to be back in organized ball with an organization like this. I've got a chance to win, compete and I want to make the most of it."
He's leading off and playing center field for the PawSox tonight against. Rochester.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 5:27 PM | Permalink
Same old story in Seattle
By SEAN McADAM
Journal Sports Writer
SEATTLE – Yesterday afternoon, Red Sox manager Terry Francona was asked to explain the Red Sox’ lack of success – eight straight losses, dating back to 2006 – at Safeco Field, the site of his team’s West Coast road opener last night.
Almost immediately, Francona cited the Seattle Mariners’ bullpen as a chief factor.
How prophetic. The Sox losing streak here grew to nine games last night, chiefly because the Sox’ lineup could do little damage against a parade of Mariners’ relief pitchers.
Five different Seattle relievers blanked the Sox for five innings, allowing just one hit along the way, extending the Sox’ run of poor play here with a 7-4 defeat. J.J. Putz finished off the Sox in the ninth with his 32nd save in 34 tries.
While the Mariners’ bullpen was operating at top efficiency, Mike Timlin turned a tie game into a Mariners’ victory in the course of nine hitters. Taking over prodigal pitcher Jon Lester (four runs in five innings) in the sixth, Timlin committed a costly throwing error on a pickoff attempt, then made a second poor throw attempting to cut down a lead baserunner following a bunt by Jose Lopez with Adam Jones at second.
``We had a chance at third base,’’ recounted Timlin, ``but my feet weren’t set. I should have gone for the easy out (at first base).’’
He compounded things the next inning when he served up a two-run homer to left to Seattle catcher Kenji Johjima.
It was Timlin’s first appearance in a game in 10 days, following a prescribed shutdown because of shoulder soreness.
``It’s my job to be ready,’’ said Timlin. ``I don’t see (the layoff) as an excuse. I felt like I was fairly prepared – I just didn’t get the job done.’’
It was just the second loss pinned on the Boston bullpen since June 27.
Lester, who grew up nearby, couldn’t hold a 3-0 lead, surrendering a run-scoring single to Adrian Beltre in the third and a three-run belt to No. 9 hitter Yuniesky Betancourt in the fourth.
At the conclusion of the fifth, with his pitch count at 99, Lester was through, making for a bittersweet homecoming.
``Definitely,’’ agreed Lester. ``Five innings pitched, eight hits and four runs is not something you want to do.’’
In his last 5 2/3 innings, Lester has given up three homers.
The Sox scored a run in each of the first three innings off Seattle starter Horacio Ramirez, but should have had more.
They loaded the bases with one out with sharp singles to center from Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis and Manny Ramirez.
But on a fourth single up the middle – this one from Mike Lowell -- a foolish baserunning error by Ramirez saw him get thrown out at third, and when Jason Varitek followed with a groundout to third, the Sox had just one run to show for their four hits.
It was more of the same in the second when the Sox filled the bases again – this time with no outs.
But Pedroia grounded into a double play (scoring Wily Mo Pena) and Youkilis ended the inning with another groundout.
In two innings, the Sox had collected seven baserunners (six hits, one hit batsman) but found a way to score just twice.
``We had our chances earlier,’’ said Francona, ``and we could have spread it out more. (Failing to do so) made it a lot more difficult later in the game.’’
David Ortiz slammed a homer to right to lead off the third, but the Sox managed just one run the rest of the way.
That came in the fifth when singles by Pedroia, Youkilis and Ortiz resulted in a run. But once more, the Sox took themselves out of a potential big inning when Ramirez grounded into a double play.
Posted by Sean McAdam at 2:14 AM | Permalink
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