Sox win 15-9
A 3:44 minute marathon is done with the Sox getting roller coaster win. The score won't suggest a pitcher played a role in the 'W' But John Smoltz was as sharp as he's been in four starts picking up the win.
Sox add insurance (End 8, 10:49, 15-9)
Kevin Youkilis shipped a solo home run over the Wall for his second long ball of the night. Aaron Baites' first career hit scored Jacoby Ellsbury and Jason Varitek scored when J.D. Drew was hit by a pitch. Rains starting to come down as the Sox try to close it out.
21-run salute (Mid 8, 10:31, 12-9)
It's been a shootout and the Royals were able to get a couple runs back.with just a frame left to make up a three-run deficit. Billy Butler doubled to score Ryan Freel, who reached on an error, and Jose Guillen drove in Butler with a sacrifice.
Sox stretch lead out again (End 7, 10:22, 12-7 Sox)
The Sox got the runs they needed. A Royals blunder gave it to them. With the bases loaded (David Ortiz on with a walk, Jason Bay with a double, and Jacoby Ellsbury on with an intentional pass), Jason Varitek bounced a ground ball to right that looked like it would start a 3-2-3 double play. Billy Butler came through on the front end, gunning down Ortiz at the plate, but when it came time to whip it back around Butler, who had Varitek running at him, couldn't reel in the throw from Miguel Olivo. Bay would easily as the ball skipped into foul territory, making it 10-7. Wright's inning would get longer after intentionally walking Mark Kotsay. Nick Green single that scored Ellsbury and Varitek to make it 12-7. Wright would then walk J.D. Drew to load the bases before being yanked in favor of Roman Colon, who struck out Dustin Pedroia to end the inning. *EJECTION: Somehow Trey Hillman was tossedbetween innings. He and home plate umpire Todd Tichenor were face to face near the plate, then he gave third base umpire Derryl Cousins an earful before making his exit.
Bard stops the bleeding (Mid 7, 9:55, 9-7)
Jose Guillen launched a Hideki Okajima pitch to the Wall seats, cutting the lead to 9-7 and getting another Sox pitcher -- Daniel Bard -- up in the bullpen. He wound up being the tourniquet. Mike Jacobs' Murphy's Law single made things uglier for Okajima. The play started out as a loud and tall pop up that looked to be in foul territory behind first base but it got a gust of wind that pushed it it fair and it bounced between a completely twisted Mark Kotsay and an out-of-reach Dustin Pedroia for a bloop single. After Alberto Callaspo ran a single through second and first, Sox manager Terry Francona turned to Bard, who got three straight outs (strikeout, strikeout, groundout) to end the inning with the homer as the only damage.
Sox go down 1-2-3 (End 6, 9:34, 9-6)
Nick Green, J.D. Drew and Dustin Pedroia went down in order, and the complexion of the game has essentially flipped: the Royals pitching Ron Mahay's settled down and allowed the Royals to climb back in, while the Sox bullpen has been out of control, letting an eight-run lead slip away.
Smoltz's work is done, win not in the bag (Mid 6, 9-6)
Four outings into his Sox career, John Smoltz appeared to be in line for his first win with the team. Three batters into the sixth inning, the win didn't look like such a sure thing.
Justin Masterson came on for Smoltz in the sixth after Smoltz had gone five innigns, allowing just one earned run on four hits, striking out seven in his sharpest start thus far. After fanning Mark Teahen to start the inning, Masterson found himself getting knocked around -- first a Jose Guillen single, then a Mike Jacobs scud to right center that made it 9-3. Masterson walked Alberto Callaspo, then Miguel Olivo singled to make it first and third with one out. Tony Pena's RBI single brought out the boos from the crowd as the lead shrank to 9-4.
Having seen enough, Sox manager Terry Francona called on Manny Delcarmen to clean it up, but he couldn't. Delcarmen walked David Dejesus to loaded the bases, and then got a huge bailout from J.D. Drew, gunned Miguel Olivo down from right field for a forceout at the plate on a 9-2 force out play. But he then gave up a two-run single to Billy Butler that made the score 9-6. Hideki Okajima came on to strike Mark Teahan out looking. But when all the commotion settled the Sox were in a three-run game.
Quick and quiet (End 5, 9:01, 9-1)
Ron Mahay got a 1-2-3 inning fanning Ellsbury on a debatable strike-three, getting a flyball out of Jason Varitek and bouncing Mark Kotsay to first.
Royals put one up, Smoltz stil cruising (Mid 5, 8:55, 9-1 Sox)
Smoltz got a nice snare from Kevin Youkilis at third on a liner from Miguel Olivo, then caught Tony Pena waving at a slider. He clipped David DeJesus with a first-pitch fastball -- Dejesus broke up Smoltz's hitless streak with a third-inning single -- and it came back to haunt him a batter later when Ryan Freel fought Smotlz for eight pitches and ripped a double to the gap in left-center to score DeJesus. A ground-ball out from Billy Butler got Smoltz out of the inning. *UPDATE: Lower-left side back spasms contributed to Gil Meche's woes tonight. The Royals just announced the spasms as the reason for his departure.
Early night for Meche (End 4, 8:42, 9-0 Sox)
Seeing Gil Meche go from a 1-2 count with two outs to walking Kevin Youkilis on seven pitches, Royals manager Trey Hillman gave him the hook after 3.2 innings (6 hits, eight runs, six earned, two homers). He went with lefty Ron Mahay to try to pitch to David Ortiz with hopes of ending the inning. Instead, Ortiz blasted his 12th home run of the year deep over the Sox bullpen in center (it was his 1,000 hit with the Red Sox). The two-run homer gave the Sox six runs with two outs.
Smoltz survives small jam no problem (Mid 4, 8:26, 7-0)
Smoltz found himself in a tight spot after giving up consecutive singles to Billy Butler and Mark Teahen. Faced with first-and-third with no outs, he looked poised working his way through it, popping up Jose Guillen, fanning Mike Jacobs for the second time tonight, and getting a long fly ball out of Alberto Callaspo to keep his clean slate in tact.
'Tek tacks one on (End 3, 7-0)
After striking out looking in his first at-bat, Jason Varitek smacked an 0-1 slider over the fence in right field to give him his 13th homer of the season and also give the Sox a 7-0 lead. After seeing their pitcher then walk Mark Kotsay, the Royals circled Gil Meche at the mound -- unlikely to be congratulating him on fanning Jason Bay to start the inning for his 1,000 career K -- he was then able to get Nick Green striking out for the second time this afternoon.
Smoltz shreds through Royals (Mid 3, 8:04, 6-0 Sox)
Smoltz added Miguel Olivo, Tony Pena and Ryan Freel to his list of victims, sending a slider by Olivo for a five-pitch strikeout, then running a 92-mph fastball in on a buckling Tony Pena. Smoltz fed Ryan Freel the same medicine, this time at a 01-mph dosage, and Freel froze just the same, throwing his bat down in disgust as Smoltz fifth K and also the final out of the inning.
Two-out flurry doubles lead (End 2, 7:52, Sox 6-0)
What looked like a light inning for Royals pitcher Gil Meche turned into a mess. He got a ground ball out of Mark Kotsay and a check-swing strikeout from Nick Green, then came the trouble. J.D. Drew sent an 0-2 pitch to the gap in left-center. Dustin Pedroia switched places with him, shooting a liner the same way to make it 4-0. Kevin Youkilis didn't waste any time jumping on Meche's first pitch, ripping a 94-mph fastball high and deep over the Wall to make it 6-0 while giving him his second big hit of the night to go with his three RBIs.
Smoltz squeaky clean (Mid 2, 7:40, 3-0 Sox)
After getting a gorgeous sliding stop from Nick Green at short, John Smoltz used the splitter to get Mike Jacobs whiffing then pumped in a 92-mph fastball that Alberto Callaspo couldn't catch up to, ending the inning with consecutive strikeouts and another clean frame.
Sox apply early pressure (End 1, 7:33, 3-0 Sox)
The Sox forced the issue early and jumped ahead 3-0. After J.D. Drew fanned on a 2-2 slider away, Dustin Pedroia let a first pitch slider go by, then whacked a 95 mph fastball to left center off the Monster for a triple. Kevin Youkilis stroked a 1-1 curveball through an infield drawn halfway in to score the games first run. Royals short stop Tony Pena looked to have s surefire inning-ending double play on a Jason Bay ground ball, but he threw it into right field, allowing Youkilis to score and David Ortiz to move to third. Ortiz would come in on a sacrifice fly to left by Jacoby Ellsbury. With two outs, Bay made a run for second base. He would have been in easy enough, but Miguel Olivo made it easier, throwing the ball into center field, allowing Bay third for good measure. Bay would be left stranded after Jason Varitek stared at a fastball low and middle, but the early damage was done. Two of the three runs were unearned.
Smoltz hangs a '0' up early (Mid 1, 7:18, 0-0)
Smoltz got ahead of David DeJesus 1-and-2 and got him on a ground ball to short three pitches later. He came off the mound to snare a bunt gone bad Ryan Freel as it was still hanging in the air. He worked the count full to Bill Butler, letting him get buy with a pitch that missed completely outside. A 2-2 slider to Mark Teahan turned into a inning-ending fly-out to center.