9:40 Red Sox win 8-2. Bard pitches a scoreless ninth. Wakefield is now 9-3. The nine wins are the second-highest victory total in baseball.
9:33: Daniel Bard, who many consider to be a candidate to be sent down when John Smoltz joins or Jed Lowrie returns to the club, will get a chance to close it out. He’ll face the heart of the Marlins order, starting with Hanley Ramirez.
9:30: After Youkilis’ two-out double, Mike Lowell is the only remaining Red Sox starter without a hit tonight. Pedroia, Ortiz, Ellsbury, Green and Kottaras each have two of the Sox’ 13 hits.
9:18: Wakefield is now certainly in All-Star contention, but is he in Cy Young contention? The numbers probably point to at least Halladay and Greinke ahead of him.
Wakefield (BOS) – 8-3, 4.39 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 47 K, 35 BB
Roy Halladay (TOR) – 10-1, 2.53 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 88 K, 12 BB
Zack Greinke (KC) – 8-2, 1.72 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 97 K, 16 BB
Kevin Slowey (MIN) – 9-2, 4.23 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 61 K, 10 BB
9:12: Despite the strikeout, Nick Green is still 2-for-4 on the night and, at .292., is a few hits away from .300. If Lowrie comes back within the next two-to-four weeks, as scheduled, where does that leave Green? The lineup otherwise boasts only two other .300 hitters.
9:05 Wakefield departs after giving up two runs on six hits and a walk. He’s in line to win his ninth game of the year, which would tie him for second in the majors, at 42 years old.
8:58: Ortiz walks (barely — on a close pitch and half-swing) to first. He’s still two-for-three on what might be his defining night.
8:32: Fifteen-minute fantasy baseball superstar Emilio Bonifacio now has a double to go along with his steal and run tonight. Might there be two resurgences tonight?
8:24: Bay walks on five pitches to load the bases for Ortiz. He pulls a single up the middle — an old fashioned gap single through the shift — to score two more. Could this be the defining Big Papi Slumpbuster Fiesta? He has three RBIs on two hits. 8-1, Sox.
8:16: Volstad won’t make it through the fourth. Burke Badenhop, a late-April Marlins recall from Triple-A New Orleans, will enter.
8:14: Volstad’s slow motion and Chris Baker’s weak arm are allowing Dustin Pedroia to take four-to-five-step leads off of second base.
8:12: George Kottaras continues to swing the bat well. After this single, he’s batting .500 with three doubles in the past seven days. He picks up his seventh RBI of the season. 5-1, Sox.
8:10: The Sox are taking total advantage of Ellsbury’s stolen bases. His 27th steal of the season this time turned up an RBI from a Nick Green double to the corner. 4-1, Sox.
8:04: Ortiz is making Francona’s circumstantial batting order look smart. Ortiz hit his fifth home run of the season. It was his first home run of the season pulled to deep right, too, which may be a sign that he has his aggressiveness almost completely back. 3-1, Boston.
7:36 Jacoby Ellsbury’s straight steal of second was his 26th of the year. He’s second in the majors to Carl Crawford’s 36. Nick Green took advantage immediately. Well, he took advantage of the Marlins, driving a soft nubber in between second and short. Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla both ran past the ball and Ellsbury ran home from second.
The Florida Marlins’ fielding percentage is second-worst in the majors at .978.
7:12: Tim Wakefield struck out the first two batters (Chris Coghlan, Ross Gload) in six pitches to start the game. Hanley Ramirez flied out before he could get to three, but here’s a nifty graph of every nine-pitch, three-strikeout inning in the history of baseball.
Shortstop Jed Lowrie will fly to Florida tomorrow to begin rehabilitation on his surgically repaired left wrist.
“He’s a little rusty, but he’s doing really well,” said manager Terry Francona.
He’ll play a game or two in extended spring training before making his way back up, most likely with a rehab assignment in Pawtucket. But no more than that, and for good reason.
“After one or two games, people will start throwing at your shoulders,” said Francona. “He’s gonna want to get out of there.”
Francona said to expect Lowrie back in a week would be a “little quick.”
Ortiz’s lefty bat breaks up the Youkilis-Bay-Lowell righty contingent in the middle of the lineup to counteract Marlins righthander Chris Volstad.
“Once he comes back, hopefully there’s no turning back and he pitches deep into October,” Francona said.