PHOENIX -- When Josh Byrnes, formerly Theo Epstein's chief lieutenant, became general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, he inherited a team loaded with young talent. Byrnes has since added 43-year-old Randy Johnson, who tonight faces Daisuke Matsuzaka, but the Diamondbacks are the fourth-youngest team in the majors (average age: 27.6 years ). They're cheap, too. Byrnes's Opening Day payroll was just over $52 million, almost two-thirds less than the $143 million-plus payroll of Team Theo, which checks in as the 28th-oldest team (average age: 31).
The contrast is personified in the Brothers Drew, who so far have made the Red Sox' first regular-season visit to the desert a family affair. Arizona rookie Stephen Drew, who turned 24 in March, is being paid $1.5 million this season (not including a prorated $1 million in signing bonus). Big brother J.D., who turns 32 in November, is drawing $14 million this season from the Red Sox. It was J.D. who suggested that sibling rivalry may have played a part in his breakout, two-homer, seven-RBI game Friday night, and last night, it was Stephen's turn to answer.
But while little brother cracked a two-run home run last night, big brother wasn't quite ready to cede the stage, and neither were some other members of the graying set. J.D. Drew had three more hits, scored twice, and was in the middle of the 10th-inning rally that gave the Sox a 4-3 win over the Diamondbacks before 49,826, the largest crowd to see a baseball game in Arizona.
David Ortiz scored the winning run on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Mike Lowell off Juan Cruz. Ortiz had walked and advanced on singles by Kevin Youkilis and Drew. Cruz struck out Jason Varitek, but Lowell followed with a fly ball to right hit deep enough to allow Ortiz to score standing up.
Lowell revealed after the game that he was playing with a sprained ligament in his left thumb, an injury incurred when he was hit by a pitch by the Yankees' Chien-Ming Wang on June 1.
"It's just nagging," Lowell said. "Sprained ligament. It's taking a while to get better. I just don't feel crisp." Lowell was hitless in his previous 12 at-bats and 2 for 21 in his last six games before hitting his sacrifice fly.
Jonathan Papelbon, who had not pitched in six days, pitched the 10th and recorded the save, his 14th of the season but first since May 28. The win went to Hideki Okajima, one week to the day of his first, after he pitched two scoreless innings. The Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit to win their third straight game and second in two nights here.
The Sox played without outfielder Manny Ramirez. Before the game, manager Terry Francona said that Ramirez, who had been hit by a pitch the night before in the left hand, was just being given the night off but was available to pinch hit. But when asked why Ramirez didn't hit for Eric Hinske in the eighth, when the Sox had runners on second and third in a tie game, Francona said: "Manny actually was sore before the game. He actually kind of came in and they worked on him and he hit a little bit. "I think if he had kept going, we had him available. That was part of the reason I took David out [in the bottom of the 10th] because we had Manny to hit in that three spot, but he was pretty sore before the game."
Asked if Ramirez's availability was in question today, Francona said: "I hope not. We're certainly going to take BP and we'll check it, but it would be kind of silly not to [check]. But having his bat tomorrow is huge."
Varitek hit a two-run home run off rookie Micah Owings in the sixth, and doubled home J.D. Drew with the tying run in the eighth off former Sox reliever Brandon Lyon. Youkilis had opened the inning with a walk and was forced by Drew, who had singled twice, his broken-bat hit preceding Varitek's home run.
Like big brother, Stephen Drew had been slumping. He came into the game with just two hits in his last 20 at-bats, and had homered just once in his previous 147 plate appearances. An indication that the brothers are cut from the same cloth came in the first month of the season, when Stephen Drew hit a walkoff home run off Trevor Hoffman, presumably a huge moment for any young player.
The next day, J.D. was asked if he'd seen the replay of the home run, which was shown constantly on TV. "No, I missed it," he said.
Well, had Stephen called? "No," big brother said. "We talk about once a week, but it usually isn't about baseball. It's usually family, other stuff."
Stephen Drew's home run last night , which carried over his brother's head, came on an 0-and-2 pitch from Tavarez in the fourth, and followed a double by Mark Reynolds, a 23-year-old third baseman who was called up from Double A Mobile to replace injured young star Chad Tracy and in 22 games has been the Diamondbacks' leading hitter, taking a .329 average into the game.
Incredibly, Drew's home run was the third this week off a Red Sox pitcher on an 0-and-2 pitch. Alex Rodriguez beat Papelbon last Sunday night in Boston, and Eric Chavez took Matsuzaka deep on an 0-and-2 pitch Tuesday night in Oakland, Calif . After Chavez's, the fifth allowed by Sox pitchers this season (Sox hitters have yet to hit an 0-and-2 homer), manager Terry Francona said the Sox had addressed the need to be more efficient when holding that kind of advantage over hitters.
Tavarez left after six, accomplishing what Sox starters had done in each of the previous five games. He held the opposition to three runs or fewer. Tavarez was touched for a run in the second on an infield hit by Stephen Drew, a force out, and a double by Miguel Montero, another 23-year-old.
Gordon Edes can be reached at email@example.com.