Game over: Pirates 6, Red Sox 4
The Red Sox have lost four straight games following their loss at PNC Park tonight.
The Red Sox used pinch-hitter David Ortiz in the ninth but he grounded out to first on a 3-2 pitch. After Jacoby Ellsbury flew out to left field, Dustin Pedroia kept things alive with a double off the wall in right.
The post-game entertainment began prematurely early as fireworks went off as the operator must have thought right fielder Garrett Jones caught Pedroia's drive. Oops.
Adrian Gonzalez took a called third strike against Joel Hanrahan to end it.
Time of the game was 2:53 before 39,483, the laregst crowd ever at PNC Park.
Bottom 8th: Pirates 6, Red Sox 4
Daniel Bard labored, putting two on with a pair of walks, but struck out d'Arnaud to send it into the ninth.
Top 8th: Pirates 6, Red Sox 4
Red Sox had two on, but couldn't score. Kevin Youkilis reached on an error by Overbay who dropped a throw at first base on a groundball. Lefty Tony Watson got two outs on Drew and Saltalamacchia before Reddick singled to right. But Scutaro flied out to center.
Bottom 7th: Pirates 6, Red Sox 4
Matt Albers came on to pitch after Darnell McDonald pinch-hit for Wakefield in the top of the inning. Albers surrendered a solo homer to Garrett Jones on the first pitch with one out to right field to extend the Pirate lead. It was the first homer allowed by Albers in 29 innings this season and 77 innings dating back to June 8 of last year..
Top 7th: Pirates 5, Red Sox 4
Josh Reddick and Jacoby Ellsbury connected for home runs to cut the Pirate lead to one. Reddick connected on a hanging breaking ball from Karstens for a home run to right field and Ellsbury hit a 3-1 fastball to the top of the bleachers in right. It was Ellsbury's ninth homer, tying his single-season high (2008).
That was the end for Karstens.
Righty Daniel McCutchen came on. He was greeted with a double by Dustin Pedroia, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a drive to the wall in rightcenter. Manager Clint Hurdle immediately went to lefty Daniel Moskos with Adrian Gonzalez up. He induced a grounder to second base into the shift to end the inning.
Bottom 6th: Pirates 5, Red Sox 2
Wakefield has settled down, waiting for his offense to pose a challenge to Karstens.
Top 6th: Pirates 5, Red Sox 2
Interesting infield shifting by the Pirates. They switched to a shift on Gonzalez on a 2-1 count and then shifted on Saltamacchia (had never seen a shift on Salty) on a 1-1 count. Drew finally got a hit after smacking the ball hard twice.
Bobby Jenks' rehab line for Portland: 1 inning, 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 walks, 1 strikeout. Thirteen pitches, 8 strikes.
Bottom 5th: Pirates 5, Red Sox 2
The Pirates scored again when Pedroia Bucknered McCutcheon's ground ball, scoring d'Arnaud, who started the rally by beating out a grounder to shortstop. After Jones doubled to the gap in rightcenter, sending d'Arnaud to third, Pedroia made the error. Wakefield escaped further damage with a fly ball out by Walker, an intentional walk to the dangerous Overbay and Cedeno grounded into a 6-3 double-play.
Top 5th: Pirates 4, Red Sox 2
Sox go down in order as momentum shifts completely over to Pirates. Neil Walker makes a nice play at second to rob Ellsbury of a hit.
Bottom 4th: Pirates 4, Red Sox 2
Huge four-run inning for the Bucs.
An infield hit (McCutchen), stolen base (by McCutchen) and a walk (Walker of course) set the stage with one out for Lyle Overbay. The big first baseman blasted Wakefield's 67 mph knuckleball into the right field bleachers giving the Pirates the lead.
Cedeno doubled to the left field corner, but McKenry popped out to the catcher.
With two outs, pitcher Jeff Karstens singled up the middle for his first major league RBI.
Top 4th: Red Sox 2, Pirates 0
J.D. Drew has two balls hard and far, but both for outs. Salty singled to right, his second hit, and advanced to second base on Reddick's walk. Scutaro knocked into a 5-4-3 DP to end the threat.
Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 2, Pirates 0
Wakefield dodged one here when he tossed a pair of wild pitches that allowed Ronny Cedeno to get to third base. But Wakefield got Tabata to line out to left to end the threat.
Top 3rd: Red Sox 2, Pirates 0
Adrian Gonzalez stroked his 16th homer, a shot to leftcenter that cleared the leftcenter fence on a 2-0 pitch from Karstens. Gonzalez has knocked in both runs.
Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 1, Pirates 0
Wakefield has retired six straight. Threw Lyle Overbay a fastball which he lined to right for the final out.
Top 2nd: Red Sox 1, Pirates 0
Sox strand a runner at third base. Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled to left to lead off the inning. He advanced to third on Josh Reddick's ground out, but Marco Scutaro (6-3) and Wakefield (strike out) couldn't get the run in against Karstens.
Just thinking: How funny would it be if Karstens had thrown Wakefield a knuckleball?
Bottom 1st: Red Sox 1, Pirates 0
Tim Wakefield returned to Pittsburgh, where he started his major league career. He pitched for the last winning team here in 1992. Ironically, he's facing a Pirates team that started the night 38-37.
Wakefield retired the Pirates in order.
Top 1st: Red Sox 1, Pirates 0
Dustin Pedroia was the make-it-happen guy on the basepaths when he walked, stole second, and advanced to third on catcher Mike McKenry's throw which hit Pedroia and went into short left field. Adrian Gonzalez' grounder to shortstop got Pedroia in, his 70th RBI.
After Kevin Youkils walked, J.D. Drew, who spent a lot of time before the game watching video of Karstens, flew out deep to center field.
Nice night here. PNC Park is filled with Red Sox fans.