(9:45, Sox win 3-1) The adventures of Jonathan Papelbon have culminated in his fifth save. He stranded two runners after Mark DeRosa’s single scored Shin Soo Choo with the only Indians run. Papelbon really labored, allowing hits to Choo and Garko before DeRosa got the RBI single. Papelbon got Ben Francisco to pop to Kevin Youkilis at first to end the drama. Manny Delcarmen gets the win, Kerry Wood the loss.There were 18,652 on hand here at Progressive Field.
(9:25, top 9th, 3-0 Boston) Wow. Jason Bay hit a 99 mph fastball from Kerry Wood right down the middle of the plate 408 feet to center to give the Sox a 3-0 lead. Wood was relieving Cliff Lee who pitched eight scoreless innings. Dustin Pedoria drew a walk and David Ortiz hit a broken bat single to center before Youkilis had his bat sawed off with a fly to right. That brought up Bay, who had singled twice in the game and he delivered his fifth homer and has now knocked in 19 runs. MIke Lowell folllowed with a triple to center. Grady Sizemore dove for the ball running in and couldn’t come up with the catch and had it go by him. Lowell, very slow because of his hip injury, made it to third on what easily could have been an inside-the-park homer. Of course, Sizemore may not have attempted such a risky catch with a faster runner.
(9:11, top 9th, 0-0)
Wakefield went seven innings, allowed no runs, one hit, walked four, and struck out five. He’s allowed runs in only four of his 29 innings. Manny Delcarmen has just retired the Tribe in order in the eighth. We head to the ninth and it looks as is Cliff Lee’s night is over with Kerry Wood coming on. Lee went eight innings, no runs, five hits, fve strikeouts, no walks and 106 pitches.
(9:00, bottom 7th, 0-0) Travis Hafner pinch hit in the seventh for Trevor Crowe with a runner on second and popped to Mike Lowell. Hafner is now 0-for-10 against Wakefield. Wakefield walked Mark DeRosa in that inning and Kottaras committed his second passed ball, advancing the runner to second. But Wakefield continues to be unhittable. He’s up to 112 pitches after seven and it would appear he’s pitched his last inning.
(8:50, top 7th, 0-0)
A thought while Mike Lowell knocks into a 4-6-3 DP in the seventh, his sixth of the season: It’s interesting that Daisuke Matsuzaka will likely pitch in a rehab start sometime around May 6. The feeling is Dice-K would make one start and then come off the DL in time for a May 12 start in Anaheim. That would mean he would have missed about a month of playing time with a strained shoulder. What do the Sox do then? If Justin Masterson continues to put forth dominating performances as a starter, do the Sox shift him back to the bullpen?
(8:43, top 7th, 0-0)
Through six – Wakefield has thrown 96 pitches; Lee 87. Heck of a pitchers duel with nice defense by the respective CFs Sizemore and Ellsbury. Youkilis has hit the ball hard his last two times up with nothing to show for it. Wakefield escaped a first and third in the sixth after he issued a pair of walks, a stolen base, and a wild pitch. Manny Delcarmen was warming up for Boston during the inning so we’ll see if Wake comes out for the seventh.
(8:11, top fifth, 0-0) Wakefield got two quick outs then struggled to get out of a jam, but he managed to strand runners at second and third by retiring Jhonny Peralta on a long fly to right. Shin Soo Choo was hit with a pitch, stole second, and after Ryan Garko walked, George Kottaras committed a passed ball to advance the runners before Wakefield closed it out.
(8:02, Bottom fourth, 0-0) Eric Wedge was ejected for the 24th time in his career after arguing with plate umpire CB Bucknor that a nubber to third base should have been a fair ball and the third out of the inning in the top of the fourth. It was the second time Wedge had argued a call in the inning. He also argued catcher Kelley Shoppach had held on to a foul tip for strike three on Mike Lowell, but umpires ruled the ball had hit the ground first. Lowell wound up striking out to end the inning anyway. The Sox had runners at first and second as a result of singles by David Ortiz (who went the other way again) and Jason Bay (single to center). Grady Sizemore keeps showing why he’s one the best – a great diving catch diving on the warning track in right-center to rob Kevin Youkilis of extra bases.
(7:41, Top fourth, 0-0) Another strong inning for Wakefield, who through three innings has allowed only a first-inning Victor Martinez single. The only Indians player who really hits Wake well is Martinez (6 for 12). Before the game Indians players weren’t too thrilled about having to face Wakefield, believing he could put the whole team into a major slump if he’s on. After three innings, he seems to be on.
(7:39, Bottom third, 0-0)
Nick Green singled in the top of the third against Cliff Lee with two outs. Green could be making his last start at SS for a while tonight with Julio Lugo in the house and active. With a 10-game winning streak and Green certainly a part of it, the journeyman infielder keeps making a case to keep the job. Of course, Lugo makes $9 million a year and if the Sox stand any chance of moving him in a trade he has to play and show he’s healthy.
(7:34, Top third, 0-0) If you’re wondering why Travis Hafner isn’t in the Indians lineup it’s because he’s 0 for 9 against Wakefield and manager Eric Wedge didn’t want Hafner, who is hitting well with a .293 average with 4 homers and 8 RBIs, to get messed up. Wakefield struck out the side in the second and looks nasty once again. He’s pitched two complete games and seems to have it working again.
(7:26, Bottom second, 0-0)
Both pitchers – Cliff Lee and Tim Wakefield – had decent first innings here at Progressive Field on a perfect summery night. The ball is carrying to right field where Jason Bay just sent one to the wall for the second out of the second inning against Lee, the reigning Cy Young Award winner in the American League. The Sox have gone six up and six down over the first two innings, but Bay and Mike Lowell (liner to left) hit the ball hard in the second. Lee: 1-3, 5.25 ERA. Lee already has equaled his loss total from last season when he went 22-3. Despite a 2-0 loss to the Royals last time out, he pitched well – 8 innings, 9 hits, 2 ER, 1 walk, five strikeouts and whopping 122 pitches. We’ll see if he’s affected by the high pitch count tonight.