SOX BLOW IT OPEN, TARP ON (2:49, BOT 7, 10-1 SOX)
The game is being delayed by rain midway through the seventh, during which the Sox have scored four runs to blow it open. Ortiz led off with a double off the Wall, and Youkilis, Drew, and Bay walked consecutively to plate one run. Lowell singled in a run and Kottaras scored Drew with a sacrifice fly. Nick Green hit a bloop, ground-rule double down the right-field line.
After Bay scored, the grounds crew rolled the tarp over the infield.
LUGO UPDATE (2:36, BOT 7, 6-1 SOX)
Lugo is finished in Pawtucket. He went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts and a walk. Meanwhile, here in Boston, Bay is batting with the bases loaded and no outs.
STRETCH IT OUT (2:28, MID 7, 6-1 SOX)
Span roped a one-out, ground-rule double to right, but he never advanced. Casilla and Morneau popped to the infield. The rain is starting to come down harder.
HERE COMES RAIN (2:24, TOP 7, 6-1 SOX)
After Gomez struck out to lead off, the rain started coming down for the first time today. We’ll try to keep you updated.
CRAZY 8s (2:13, MID 6, 6-1 SOX)
Wakefield faced three batters, and Crede, Redmond, and Punto all flied to Ellsbury in center. Wakefield has thrown 85 pitches, so he sould have an inning or two left in him. Wakefield’s efficiency could pay dividends for the bullpen in the second game. The sky is looking more and more ominous.
BAKER COOKED (2:06, END 5, 6-1 SOX)
The Sox chased Baker with two outs in the fifth. Kevin Youkilis flied to center, J.D. Drew singled to center, his third hit of the day. Jason Bay struck out, and Lowell doubled into the left-field corner. Craig Breslow came on to face Kottaras with two men in scoring position, and Kottaras lined the first pitch he saw to center for an out.
TWINS ON THE BOARD (1:52, TOP 5, 6-1 SOX)
Carlos Gomez started a rally with a one-out double into the left-field corner. Wakefield hit Span. Casilla grounded up the middle, and Wakefield nicked the bouncer with his glove. Pedroia fielded the ball and flipped to Green, who dropped the ball as he tried too quickly to transfer the ball and throw to first. With the bases loaded, Morneau singled to right. With one out and the bases loaded, Kubel popped to first. Cuddyer came up and, on the first pitch, also popped to first. Wakefield did well to get out of that with one run.
QUIET FOURTH (1:44, TOP 5, 6-0 SOX)
Dustin Pedroia singled hard off the Wall, but Ortiz flied to left to end the inning. No two-run homers.
The seats are starting to fill in here as the sky starts to darken. Also, the fact that the park was so empty doesn’t necesarily mean the sellout streak is in jeopardy. All the tickets sold to last night’s game were valid today, but the empty seats were more a result of people not being able to make the game for various reasons.
Wakefield led off the fifth by striking out Punto.
DOWN IN PAWTUCKET (1:36, BOT 4, 6-0 SOX)
Wth the Red Sox in command here, a quick check on two important players in Pawtucket. Julio Lugo has struck out three times in three at-bats in the first game of his rehab assignment. Clay Buchholz went five innings and exited with the score tied, 2-2. Buchholz allowed three hits and two walks while striking out two.
To lead off the fourth, Green and Ellsbury both grounded to second.
SOX DOMINATING (1:32, MID 4, 6-0 SOX)
The Twins put two men on base, but it led to another scoreless inning. Kubel led off with a sinlge. After Cuddyer struck out, Kubel scooted to second on a wild pitch, which was not a knuckleball, but a 2-1 curveball to Crede that Wakefield released too late. Crede eventually walked, but Wakefield extricated himself by inducing as 6-4-3 double play from Redmond.
TRIPLE TWOS (1:23, END 3, 6-0 SOX)
Mike Lowell became the third Red Sox hitter to nail a two-run homer. He rocked the first pitch he saw into the first row of seats above the Monster, scoring J.D. Drew, who doubled for the second time. Jason Bay would have been on base if not for a ridiculous play by right fielder Michael Cuddyer, who sprinted into the right-center gap and made a diving, backhanded play fully stretched out. Kottaras grounded out to end the inning.
WAKEFIELD ZEROS IN (1:17, MID 3, 4-0 SOX)
After Wakefield hit Casilla with a pitch, Morneau ended the inning by grounding out to Youkilis, who made a backhanded, diving stop to his right and then flipped to Wakefield.
FIRST HIT FOR TWINS (1:12, TOP 3, 4-0 SOX)
Nick Punto doubled to lead off the third, so Wakefield won’t be making a run at a no-hitter again. Carlos Gomez followed by popping foul to Youkilis, and Span flied to Bay in left.
ELLSBURY STRANDED (1:10, END 2, 4-0 SOX)
Jacoby Ellsbury singled, stole second, and went to third on a sacrifice fly by Dustin Pedroia. But Ortiz ended the inning by flying out to left.
GREEN SAYS GOODBYE (1:04, BOT 2, 4-0 SOX)
Nick Green blasted a home run over the Green Monster and completely out of Fenway Park, his first homer of the season. George Kottatas, who had walked, scored on the one-out rocket. It’s only right that Green would homer on Earth Day.That’s Green’s 10th career home run, first since 2006.
WAKEFIELD CRUISING (12:58, MID 2, 2-0 SOX)
The Twins got their first base runner with two outs, when Nick Green made a nice play in the hole but bounced a throw to Youkilis, who couldn’t make the scoop. Joe Crede’s ball was ruled an error on Green, and Wakefield got Mike Redmond to ground to third. Wakefield, who also got fly balls from Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer, whose fly went to the warning track in center, has thrown 18 strikes in 24 pitches
YOUKILIS STAYS HOT (12:49, END 1, 2-0 SOX)
The Red Sox struck with a two-out rally against Scott Baker. David Ortiz started it by fisting one down the third-base line. It landed on the infield dirt, but he easily reached first thanks to the shift. Youkilis followed with a fly down the right-field line that hooked around Pesky’s Pole and into the second row, a home run that traveled no more than 315 feet. J.D. Drew followed with a double to right, but Jason Bay ended the threat with a chopper to third.
WAKE STARTS STRONG (12:39, MID 1, 0-0)
Tim Wakefield picked up where he left off from his complete-game, four-hitter in Oakland. Denard Span flied weakly to right, Alexi Casilla struck out, and Justin Morenau popped to short. Wakefield is always at his best when the knuckleball flutters into the strike zone, and he threw seven strikes in nine pitches.
EMPTY SEATS (12:31, PRE 1, 0-0)
The Red Sox are getting ready to take the field, and there aren’t a whole lot of folks here to watch them. Fenway Park is not half full; the press box attendance estimate is 11,629. After seeing the park packed day after day, this looks strange.
In Pawtucket, Julio Lugo struck out in his first at-bat, and Clay Buchholz retired the first six batters he faced.