End 11, 11:27. 9-8: Pedroia flies out to deep right and strands Kottaras, the tying run, at third. A’s win 9-8.
11:24. 9-8: Jacoby Ellsbury dribbles a high bouncer to Everidge at first and scores Lowrie. With two down, Dustin Pedroia can tie it.
Bottom 11, 11:23. 9-7: The bottom of the Sox’ order is rallying. Mike Lowell and George Kottaras each single up the gut. Lowrie pinch runs for Lowell and Nick Green lays down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move them over.
Middle 11, 11:17. 9-7: George Kottaras catches Kennedy trying to take second to end the inning, but the Sox have a lot of work to do to prevent your radio from screaming at you all day tomorrow.
11:14. 9-7: Adam Kennedy, he of a new career-high five hits, scores Davis from second on a single. 9-7, A’s, and it’s looking grim for a Sox win tonight.
Kennedy didn’t even have five hits that time he hit three home runs in a playoff game.
11:05. 8-7: Mark Ellis makes a note to avoid defense entirely and doubles to left. Rajai Davis’ single to the right of Dustin Pedroia brings in the A’s golden run. 8-7, A’s, and Takashi Saito will enter.
11:03. 7-7: Web Gem #22755 of the night: Dustin Pedroia paws an ungodly hop, slides and nabs Everidge at first from his knees.
Top 11, 11:01. 7-7: Web Gem #22754 of the night: Mike Lowell slows into enemy territory and cherry picks a fly ball about three steps deep into the A’s dugout. Delcarmen trudges on.
End of 10, 10:57. 7-7: JD Drew gives some sagging heads in the press box a jolt, booming a ball to the warning track in front of the Sox bullpen, but it’s caught and we’ll see an 11th inning tonight.
10:50, 7-7: Jason Bay, without exaggeration, saves the game for the Red Sox on a full-extension running swan dive that would have been a Kurt Suzuki base hit and an Oakland lead. It’s still tied at seven going into the bottom of the inning.
10:49, 7-7: Nomar takes a wide open third base — Mike Lowell was about ten feet behind the bag — with two down. It’s his first of the year.
Top 10, 10:47. 7-7: Nomar cranks a double off the top of the WB Mason sign on the Monster and Delcarmen is letting up some pretty hearty foul balls to Jack Cust so far.
Bottom 9, 10:40. 7-7: The Sox wrangle nothing from the top of the order. Manny Delcarmen will take over in the bottom of the inning.
Middle 9, 10:32. 7-7: Papelbon strikes out Adam Kennedy on a fastball. The Sox will try to get the lead back in the bottom of the inning.
10:30. 7-7: It’s no longer a disaster save. A Rajai Davis shot deep into the hole at short forces Green to overcompensate. Youkilis can’t catch up to the throw, strong left of the base, his glove lost behind Davis overrunning the bag, Ellis scores and Davis takes third. 7-7, and Adam Kennedy, he of four hits already, is up next.
Top 9, 10:26 7-6 Papelbon’s modern art showcase on disaster saves is back on exhibition. Tommy Everidge’s first major league hit is a double off the Monster to score Jack Cust. Mark Ellis’ infield single is compounded by a Nick Green throw into the dugout. This scores Everidge. 7-6, Sox.
Bottom 8, 10:18. 7-4: The Sox tag on an insurance run from a JD Drew sac fly. Jason Bay, who reached on a double, tried to take home on Drew’s double, but was pegged easily at the plate. 7-4, Sox, and Papelbon will enter.
10:07, 6-4: Bard gives up another single to Orlando Cabrera, but it’s for naught. Nomar grounds into a double play the next at-bat and the Sox are out of the inning.
This is hard to explain, but anytime someone makes anything but center-of-the-bat contact with a Bard fastball, it sounds like the bat is being dropped from a tall building and landing on something dense.
10:01, 6-4: Adam Kennedy grooves a single between Youkilis and Pedroia and scores Ellis from second. Kennedy has four hits tonight.
Yep, Adam Kennedy. 6-4, Sox. Bard enters.
Top 8, 9:54. 6-3: Okajima allows another double to Mark Ellis. Daniel Bard will warm, surprisingly, after pitching the eighth yesterday.
9:35. 6-3: Sweeney cranks a full-count fastball to center for a weighty base hit. This scores Cust from second and formally ends the Red Sox bullpen’s 23-2/3-inning shutout streak since the All-Star Break, inherited run or not.
Ellsbury made the unconscionable mistake of hitting Cust on the foot on his throw’s third hop to the plate, so he was charged with an error. The ball scooted to Okajima at the backstop and Sweeney advances to second.
Top 7, 9:30. 6-2: Ramirez gets two outs, gives up a double to Jack Cust, and departs for a lefty-lefty Hideki Okajima-Ryan Sweeney matchup. Bard aside, this is probably a preview of how the bullpen is going to operate come playoff time.
While we’re changing pitchers, note that Jacoby Ellsbury’s mini-hot streak and 2-for-3 night has him hitting .300 again. He’ll lead off the bottom of the inning.
Middle 6, 9:17. 5-2: Buchholz lets Adam Kennedy rock a double to right and Terry Francona is quick out of the dugout to call on Ramon Ramirez. Ramirez gets a groundout immediately because he’s a member of the Red Sox bullpen and it’s after the All-Star Break.
Buchholz’s line makes it look like a solid start with a lot of sprayed singles. This is what it was, of course. It just looks ugly when it starts that way. So, commentariat, are you willing to make Friday a HallaDay?
The line: 5 2/3 9 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5K. 107 pitches, 67 strikes.
Top 5, 8:54, 5-2: Buchholz has settled down completely. He’s allowed eight hits and two walks and hasn’t had a 1-2-3 inning, but the fourth and fifth he only had to work out of a walk and a base knock. Terry Francona implied that Buchholz was still a jitter factory, even in his 23rd career start. That may explain the rough beginning.
8:33, 5-2: JD Drew doubled in Jason Bay. The shot was to the trap corner in right, so he was able to advance to third on the throw home. He was stranded by Lowell, but the offense has been able to beat up on this young pitching two nights in a row.
8:30, 4-2: Because tonight didn’t have nearly enough things going on, Bob Geren gets thrown out for arguing a called ball that might have actually been a ball. This might be the night Kevin Youkilis’ beard finally catches on fire when he argues a strike call.
8:27, 4-2: The Sox break out completely, unload the bases and make Vin Mazzaro look like Vin Mazzaro. Youkilis drives home two on a double, Ortiz grounds out to second and scores Pedroia, and Jason Bay drives home Youkilis on an infield single. 4-2, Sox, and they don’t look like they’re stopping soon.
Bottom 3, 8:20. 2-0: The Sox are stringing singles together. Ellsbury’s second hit of the night gives him his fifth straight multi-hit game, and the bases are loaded for Kevin Youkilis with one out.
Bottom 2, 8:10. 2-0: Mazzaro cruises through Bay, Drew and Lowell without much trouble. Mazarro, despite, the 2-7 record, is having somewhere close to a mediocre year. He was criminally unsupported for while, lost a couple of games where his offense didn’t score literally any runs behind him, and was a solid start. He wasn’t Kevin Brown, but he was all right.
Recently, though? If you see him in a bar, please try this expected pickup line on him.
You: Did it hurt?
Vin Mazzaro: Did it hurt when I fell from Heaven?
You: No, did it hurt when you fell off the wagon and shattered your career?
He’s 0-4 with an 8.35 ERA this month.
7:54 Adam Kennedy scores Ellis. There haven’t been many hard-hit balls. But with these many well-placed singles, it’s not luck anymore. 2-0, A’s.
Top 2, 7:50. 1-0. Buchholz’s shakiness is not subsiding. His two-single first is followed up by a Ryan Sweeney double and an Mark Ellis base hit that scored Sweeney. Oakland might make it back to the top of the order by the end of the second and Buchholz isn’t fooling anybody right now. 1-0, A’s.
End 1, 7:40. 0-0: Jacoby Ellsbury steals his 45th base of the year after a leadoff single, but this turned up nothing. Of course, this is if you know that a game is even going on right now. Jim Rice is everywhere — in the press conference room, on your TV with Tom Menino, kindling the buzz in Fenway tonight. It’s straight up noisier than it usually is, and it’s because of the Red Sox’ newest Hall of Famer.