FINAL: SOX 1, BRAVES 0
Jonathan Papelbon gives up a two-out double to Garret Anderson, but gets Casey Kotchman to ground out to second to end the game. Tim Wakefield improves to 10-3 after allowing three hits over six shutout innings. Kotsay, giving Jason Bay just his second day off of the season, drives in the game’s lone run.
SOX LEAD THRU EIGHT (6:35 p.m., END 8, SOX 1-0)
Manny Delcarmen and Justin Masterson have given the Red sox two scoreless innings of relief as we head to the bottom of the ninth with the Sox holding a 1-0 edge. Jonathan Papelbon will be on to close.
WAKEFIELD DONE (5:58 p.m., MID 7, SOX 1-0)
Mike Lowell just hit for Tim Wakefield to end the top of the seventh, leaving Wakefield in position for his 10th win given the Sox’ 1-0 lead. Manny Delcarmen is entering the game for Wakefield. Remember that the Red Sox are 37-1 this season when leading after six innings.
ONE FOR THE RESCUE SQUAD (5:45 p.m., MID 6, SOX 1-0)
Along with Rocco Baldelli, Mark Kotsay had t-shirts made for members of the Red Sox bench and bullpen this season. Thus, the “rescue squad” was born.
With two outs and two on, Kotsay’s single just gave the Sox a 1-0 edge over the Braves in what is a pitchers’ duel at Turner Field. Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz drew two-out walks before Kotsay’s hit.
Unofficially, Tim Wakefield is ay 71 pitches entering the bottom of the sixth. Vazquez is at 99 and is likely to take the mound for the seventh.
HALFWAY THROUGH (5:20 p.m., MID 5, NO SCORE)
The Red Sox went down 1-2-3 in an easy, rocking-chair fifth for Vazquez, who retired the Nos. 7-8-9 hitters on nine pitches, ending with a strikeout of Tim Wakefield. Wakefield has singled earlier in the game, but with Julio Lugo, George Kottaras and Wakefield in the bottom three spots of the order, Red Sox followers are getting a good look today at what is truly an NL-style lineup.
Translation: no pop.
STILL SCORELESS (5:15 p.m., END 4, NO SCORE)
The Red Sox are outhitting the Braves, 4-1, but we’re still scoreless here at Turner Field. The Red Sox have stranded three runners, but neither team really had a good scoring opportunity. Only one runner (Brian McCann with two outs in the second) has advanced as far as second base. Wakefield has thrown 57 pitches. Vazquez has thrown 64.
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McCANN WALKS, STEALS, STOPS (4:47 p.m., END 2, NO SCORE)
Like Kotsay, Brain McCann drew a leadoff walk … and failed to score. McCann actually stole second with two outs, but Jeff Francoeur flied out to center to end the inning. Wakefield is at 29 pitches through two.
SOX STRAND ANOTHER (4:39 p.m., MID 2, NO SCORE)
The Red Sox got a leadoff walk from Mark Kotsay, but he remained at first as Vaquez retired the next three batters to end the inning. Julio Lugo hit a fly to the warning track in left with Kotsay on the move, nearly making Terry Francona look like a genius for inserting him in the lineup. Unofficially, Vazquez is up to 43 pitches. The Sox are making him work.
EASY AS 1-2-3 for WAKE (4:27 p.m., END 1, NO SCORE)
Three up, three down for Tim Wakefield, who got two groundouts and a flyout on 13 pitches. He even sneaked a 74-mph fastball past Chipper Jones (looking) on a 2-1 pitch, then came back to get him on a groundout with a knuckler on the 2-2 offering.
TWO HITS, NO RUNS (4:21 p.m., MID 1, NO SCORE)
The Red Sox managed two hits in their first three at-bats against Javier Vazquez today, but they advanced no farther than first base. Why, you ask? Because Dustin Pedroia was thrown out stealing with J.D. Drew at the plate before a two-out single by Kevin Youkilis, who similarly died at first. Tim Wakefield now heads to the mound for the Sox. Vazquez threw 22 pitches.