Game over: Red Sox 4, Pirates 2
Papelbon finished it off for his 14th save. That was an ugly win but the Red Sox will take it and go to Philadelphia.
The game drew 39,511, the largest crowd in PNC Park history. The three-game series drew a record 118,324.
Back with more later.
Middle of the 9th: Red Sox 4, Pirates 2
The Sox loaded the bases with two outs thanks to a single by Ellsbury, an intentional walk of Gonzalez and an error by d'Arnaud at third base. That's four error for the Pirates.
McDonald grounded out to end the inning. He is 2 for 25 since coming off the DL and if the Sox made a change soon, it would not a surprise. The question is whether there's an OF in Pawtucket worthy of coming up.
Papelbon will inherit a two-run lead.
Top of the 9th: Red Sox 4, Pirates 2
1-2-3 inning for Bard. He has not allowed a run in his last 13 innings. The Sox will hand a lead to Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth. Unless they score a bunch of runs here.
Middle of the 8th: Red Sox 4, Pirates 2
1-2-3 inning for McCutchen. Bard now pitching for the Sox.
Top of the 8th: Red Sox 4, Pirates 2
1-2-3 inning for the ever valuable Aceves. Dan McCutchen now pitching for Pittsburgh. I'm starting to think Clint Hurdle gets a $200 bonus for every pitching change.
Middle of the 7th: Red Sox 4, Pirates 2
Once this game is over, all concerned should make a pact to move on and never speak of it again.
Tim Wood started the inning for the Pirates and walked Scutaro. Daniel Moskos came in and walked David Ortiz, who pinch hit for Miller. Ellsbury then bunted the runners over and was safe on an error by Moskos.
In came another pitcher, Chris Resop. Pedroia grounded to shortstop to drive in a run. Gonzalez was intentionally walked to load the bases again. Youkilis flied to right and Ortiz came down the line like a runaway truck. He slid awkwardly but got his right foot on the plate ahead of the tag,
McDonald had a chance to add to the lead but popped up. Alfredo Aceves on for the Sox.
Top of the 7th: Red Sox 2, Pirates 2
Miller tried to hit Frye (in retaliation or McDonald dusting Pedroia in the 5th inning, surely) and missed. Umpire Greg Gibson warned both teams. Frye walked, but pinch hitter Brandon Wood flied to center to end the inning.
McDonald finishes with 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K.
Miller is done, too, as his spot is coming up. His line: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Middle of the 6th: Red Sox 2, Pirates 2
This video of this game should be burned so ensure nobody ever sees it again. Youkilis walked to start the inning. McDonald then bunted too hard back to the pitcher. But James McDonald threw the ball into center field and Youkilis went to third.
Salty struck out, but Reddick delivered a sacrifice fly. With Scutaro up, Darnell McDonald was caught stealing. McDonald is 5 for 44 this season. That's .114.
Top of the 6th: Pirates 2, Red Sox 1
Miller, whose command has been excellent all game, walked McDonald. Jones followed with a single to right. d'Arnaud then bunted for a single that loaded the bases.
Miller got ahead of McCutchen 1-2 but could not put him away as he grounded a slider into left field for an RBI single. Jones around around third and was tagged out when Youkilis intercepted the throw to the plate by Reddick.
Walker struck out looking on three pitches before Diaz flied to right.
Middle of the 5th: Red Sox 1, Pirates 1
Gonzalez flied to deep left, the ball caught at the wall by Diaz. The Sox are being shut down by James McDonald. Of course, given the way they've hit of late, Ronald McDonald or Old McDonald could be doing that, too.
Top of the 5th: Red Sox 1, Pirates 1
If you have Little Leaguers at home, make them go outside. They should not be watching this game.
Miller hit Walker. He then got Diaz to ground to short but the ball took a bad hop and went past Scutaro into center field. He was charged with an error. Cedeno drove in the run with a sinking liner to center. It looked like Walker left third base early but umpire Gerry Davis did not grant the appeal play.
Fryer hit a grounder up the middle that Miller kicked aside like Timmy Thomas. The ball to to Gonzalez and Miller beat the runner to the bag for the rare 1-3-1 play.
Middle of the 4th: Red Sox 1, Pirates 0
What an ugly game this has been. Salty doubled to start the inning. When Reddick hit a fly ball to center, he tagged up and took off for third. McCutchen's throw was over everything and when d'Arnaud went back to try and catch it, it deflected off his glove and into the stands.
That gave Salty the plate and the Red Sox the lead.
Salty is 30 of 106 since May 1, by the way. He is really coming into his own as a hitter.
Top of the 4th: Red Sox 0, Pirates 0
Miller whiffed two before getting d'Arnaud to hit a lazy fly ball to left. But Reddick was more lazy, playing the ball casually and dropping it. He then overthrew second base, but Gonzalez was backing up the throw.
Miller got McCutchen to ground to second to end the inning.
Middle of the 3rd: Red Sox 0, Pirates 0
Drew left the game with a left eye bruised. It happened in batting practice when he fouled a ball off his face.
Meanwhile, Gonzo and Youkilis had two out singles before McDonald struck out facing his cousin, McDonald. It was the first time the two had faced each other. D-Mac is 2 for 22 sine he came off the disabled list.
What does it say for Mike Cameron when a guy who is 5 for 42 on the season is playing ahead of him?
Top of the 3rd: Red Sox 0, Pirates 0
Cedeno singled up but that was it for the Pirates.
Middle of the 2nd: Red Sox 0, Pirates 0
Saltalamacchia drew a leadoff walk but that was it. Drew has left the game and was replaced by Darnell McDonald. No word yet on what is wrong.
Top of the 2nd: Red Sox 0, Pirates 0
That was quite a mess. Tabata bunted for a single and appeared to severely injure his left leg after he crossed first base. He had to be taken off the field on a stretcher.
At the same time, Terry Francona and Sox athletic trainer Mike Reinold came on the field to check out Miller and Youkilis. But they both stayed in the game.
Miller set down three straight after the single. Reddick tracked down a drive in teh gap by d'Arbaud before McCutchen struck out and Walker lined to right.
Middle of the 1st: Red Sox 0, Pirates 0
Discouraging start for the Sox. Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single to left field and stole second. Gonzalez then reached on an infield single, moving Pedroia to third.
But Youkilis lined softly to third before Drew struck out. Youkilis is 3 for 19 with a runner on second and less than two outs this season. Drew is 10 for 50 with runners in scoring position.
Pre-game: Good afternoon from PNC Park, where it's a little overcast and there's a possibility of rain. The Red Sox will be trying to avoid being swept by the Pirates and I can't believe I just wrote those words.
Hang out here for updates all game and, as always, feel free to leave your comments.