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A's-Red Sox

Posted by Mike Whitmer, Globe Staff  July 30, 2009 01:45 PM

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Two more runs for the Sox, pushing the lead to 8-5 heading into the ninth. J.D. Drew and Jason Varitek opened with doubles, with Drew scoring on Varitek's third hit of the game. After Jed Lowrie advanced Varitek to third with a groundout to second, Ellsbury scored him with a sacrifice fly. Here comes Jonathan Papelbon.

He might have placed himself under a cloud of suspicion with today's earlier report linking him to performance-enhancing drugs, but David Ortiz just sent a 2-1 pitch from Craig Breslow into the stands in right-center for a three-run home run, turning a 5-3 deficit into a 6-5 Sox lead. Ortiz's 14th homer of the season scored Youkilis, who doubled, and Bay, who walked. The crowd at Fenway stood and cheered for Ortiz after the homer, wanting a curtain call. With Lowell up, Ortiz finally obliged.

SOX CUT INTO LEAD (3:53, END 6, 4-3 A'S)
After giving up the lead and falling three runs behind, the Sox scored twice in the sixth to cut the deficit to 4-3. Ortiz worked a one-out walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored when Lowell sent a ground-rule double into the stands beyond first base. Lowell moved to third on a fly to center by Drew, and scored on Varitek's single. Adam LaRoche, pinch-hitting for Green, popped out to short.

A'S TAKE LEAD (3:35, MID 6, 4-1 A'S)
Oakland batted around in the sixth inning, sending 10 batters to the plate, chasing Lester from the game, and scoring four times to take the lead. Lester left after walking Sweeney, his third walk of the inning. He threw 37 pitches in the inning, and all four runs were earned and charged to him. Cabrera reached on a one-out walk, then went to third when Garciaparra singled. Cust walked to load the bases, then Everidge hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Cabrera. The A's took the lead on a double by Crosby, a hard-hit liner that barely eluded Green at short. A softly hit ball by Davis scored Cust and Crosby. When Sweeney followed with a walk, Lester's day was done. Manny Delcarmen came in, and after giving up a walk to Powell, Kennedy grounded to Pedroia, who tagged Powell for the final out. Kennedy, who has blistered Sox pitching this series, made two outs in the inning.

PITCHERS DUEL (3:03, END 5, 1-0 SOX)
For only the second time in the game, an Oakland batter reached second base. Ryan Sweeney doubled when Bay couldn't handle a strange spinning hop near the left-field line, giving the A's a two-out threat. But Lester wiggled his way out of the jam by striking Powell out looking. Lester wanted a 2-2 pitch to end the inning, but home plate umpire Jim Wolf called it a ball, running the count full. Lester earned his strike on the next pitch, ending the frame. Ellsbury walked leading off the Boston fifth, but was picked off first base by Gonzalez, and tagged out when Everidge threw from first to second. Pedroia flew out to left-center, and Youkilis struck out swinging.

Garciaparra reached on an infield single leading off Oakland's fourth, but Jack Cust struck out and Lester got Everidge to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. Drew gave the Sox a baserunner with a sharp one-out single to right, but was stranded when Varitek flew out to left and Green struck out for the second time.

SOX STILL LEAD (2:28, END 3, 1-0 SOX)
The A's got their first two hits, but couldn't score. Youkilis singled for Boston's third hit of the game, a one-out bullet under Cabrera's glove at short. But Gonzalez got Bay to strike out, then retired Ortiz on a slow roller to first.

Lester worked himself out of a jam in the top of the third. After getting Rajai Davis and Ryan Sweeney on flyouts, catcher Landon Powell doubled down the line in left, giving Oakland its first baserunner after Lester had retired the first eight batters. A single to right by Kennedy sent Powell to third, but Pedroia made a nifty defensive play for the third out. Cabrera hit a Lester pitch back through the pitcher's legs, but Pedroia went well to his right and reached the ball behind second base, then changed directions and used his speed to reach second base and get the forceout.

RED SOX LEAD (2:02, END 2, 1-0 SOX)
The Sox wasted a chance at a big inning, scoring only one run and leaving the bases loaded. After Bay walked and Ortiz doubled, Mike Lowell struck out, and Drew walked to load the bases with one out. Jason Varitek sent a sharp single to right, scoring Bay. With the bases still loaded, Gonzalez struck out Nick Green and Ellsbury to end the inning.

David Ortiz wasted little time turning the focus, at least for a few minutes, back on the field, hitting the first pitch he saw from Gonzalez off the Monster for a double. A New York Times report surfaced roughly an hour before today's game that Ortiz failed a test for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003. When he made his way to the batter's box in the bottom of the second inning, he was greeted by mostly applause from the crowd at Fenway. His double sent Jason Bay to third.

NO NOISE YET (1:46, END 1, 0-0)
Both starting pitchers had easy first innings. Jon Lester retired Oakland in order, getting Adam Kennedy on a bouncer to second, Orlando Cabrera on a grounder to short, and Nomar Garciaparra on a soft liner to second. He threw only 10 pitches.

Gio Gonzalez also needed only 10 pitches to retire the Sox in order. Jacoby Ellsbury lined out to third, Dustin Pedroia grounded to short, and Kevin Youkilis grounded to third. No ball has left the infield yet.

What kind of reaction will David Ortiz get next inning?

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