Game over: Red Sox 6, Athletics 5: The Red Sox take the series as Bailey picks up his fifth save in six chances. He looked very good, setting down the side in order on swinging strikeouts. This game was a grind but the Sox found a way.
The Sox are 4-2 in one-run games and improve to 7-5 at Fenway. It was played before 29,274.
Top of the 9th: Red Sox 6, Athletics 5: Young hit his second homer in the eighth inning off Koji Uehara. The Sox drew two walks off Grant Balfour before Pedroia grounded into a force to end the inning.
Andrew Bailey in to try and end this lengthy game.
Top of the 8th: Red Sox 6, Athletics 4: Lowrie (3 for 4) doubled off Tazawa with two outs before Donaldson singled him in. Andrew Miller then came in and struck out Moss.
The Sox went quietly in the bottom of the inning outside of Nava's single. You get the feeling they may need an insurance run or two.
Top of the 7th: Red Sox 6, Athletics 3: Lester loaded the bases on a double, a walk and a single. Tazawa then came in and got Crisp to fly to left to end the inning.
Lester allowed three runs on six hits and six walks, one shy of his career high. He struck out five. There were two home plate umpires in the game and Lester didn’t seem to like the strike zone either of them had. Jerry Layne had the first four innings before a foul tip off his left hand caused him to leave the game. Mike Estabrook replaced him. Lester threw 115 pitches, 74 for strikes.
The Sox went in order. Victorino barely jogged to first when he grounded out and then left the game. He was working with therapist Dan Dyrek before the game on his lower back and that is the likely culprit. Victorino missed two games over the weekend.
Top of the 6th: Red Sox 6, Athletics 3: Lester worked around a walk, his fifth of the game He had four in 26 innings coming in.
Then the Sox worked over Anderson. Ellsbury singled and stole second. He scored on a double by Victorino. It was a fine at-bat by Victorino, who fouled off three two-strikes pitches to the left side before driving the ball down the line in left.
Pedroia singled, as did Ortiz to drive in a run.That was it for Anderson as Chris Resop came in. His first pitch hit Napoli. Daniel Nava hit for Gomes against the RHP and grounded a RBI single through the hole into right field.
Middlebrooks popped to shallow left. Lefty Jerry Blevins came in to face Drew and struck him out. Ross then popped to right.
The Sox took the lead but also missed a chance to do serious damage. Now Lester, at 95 pitches, needs to persevere for another inning.
Top of the 5th: A's 3, Red Sox 3: Well that was a full inning. With a runner on first and one out, Moss singled up the middle. Drew could have made the play but the ball went off his glove. Young then homered to left.
The Red Sox quickly tied it up. Ortiz doubled to left with one out, turning on the jets (so to speak) and sliding in safely. When Napoli doubled to left, Ortiz misread the ball and retreated to second before making his way around to home.
After Gomes walked, Middlebrooks (5 of his last 52) grounded into a force. Gomes rolled into the shortstop like he was trying to drive him into left field to break up the double play. Drew then delivered a two-run triple to right. He had been hitless in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Ross had a chance for more but struck out.
Top of the 4th: A's 0, Red Sox 0: Lester retired the side in order but needed 21 pitches to do it. He's at 65 already. Anderson, meanwhile, has retired six in a row.
Top of the 3rd: A's 0, Red Sox 0: Lester worked around a one-out walk by getting Wellsley's own Nate Frieman on a fly ball to deep center. He then fanned Parrino. The Sox got a leadoff walk by Napoli. But a trio of struggling hitters — Gomes, Middlebrooks and Drew — went down from there.
Top of the 2nd: A's 0, Sox 0: Lester walked two and allowed a single in the first inning. But two groundballs, one a double play, saved him from any damage. Pedroia doubled with two outs in the bottom of the inning — only his third extra-base hit of the season — before Ortiz struck out.
The Fenway shadows will help the pitchers for another inning or two. The ball is coming out of the sun and into a shadow that's about 25 feet in front of the plate.
Pre-game: Good afternoon from Fenway Park, where it's a beautiful day for baseball for a change. The Sox will have Jon Lester on the mound as they try to earn a series victory.
We'll have updates all game. Feel free to chime in with comments.