SOX WIN (9:57, END 9, 3-0 SOX)
So, the Sox will not lose 10 in a row to end the regular season. Papelbon closed out the victory with a 1-2-3 inning, striking out Brantley and Carroll and getting a grounder to third from Peralta.
Jon Lester put to rest any worries about his right quadriceps, shutting out the Indians over 6 1/3 innings while allowing two hits and a walk and facing two batters over the minimum. The Sox snapped a six-game losing streak, but that is secondary to the promising start they got from their likely Game 1 starter.
PAP GETS SOME WORK (9:51, MID 9, 3-0 SOX)
Jonathan Papelbon, who last pitched Tuesday, has come on to close it out. This is likely to be the 38th save of his season. Before he started warming up, someone from the crowd fired a tennis ball on to the field. Interesting.
WAGNER IMPRESSIVE (9:36, MID 8, 3-0 SOX)
Wagner looked very sharp. He got a fly to left, a strikeout, and a groundout to shortstop. Quick inning. He got last night off after pitching Tuesday.
WAGNER TIME (9:32, END 7, 3-0 SOX)
Billy Wagner gets an inning tonight, replacing Bard.
DOUBLE VISION (9:22, MID 7, 3-0 SOX)
Bard had a rough start, giving up a double to Matt LaPorta and hitting Shin-Soo Choo with a pitch. He got out of the inning because Alex Gonzalez has some of the best hands in the game. Marte hit a hard ground ball to Gonzalez’s right. He knelt on one knee, made a backhand play, and started a gorgeous 6-4-3 double play. Give Pedroia credit for making a strong throw in the air. The play kept alive Lester’s shutout.
LESTER DONE (9:16, TOP 7, 3-0 SOX)
And Jon Lester’s regular season is finished. He walked Peralta with one out in the seventh, and with his pitch count at 84 Terry Francona came and got him. Lester faced only one batter over the minimum, allowing two hits and a walk. Lester received a loud ovation on his way off the mound. It’s possible those were the last pitches he’ll throw at Fenway Park until 2010.
Bard is on.
ONE MORE FOR LESTER (9:10, END 6, 3-0 SOX)
Lester is back out for the seventh after the Sox couldn’t score in the seventh. Daniel Bard is already up in the bullpen, so Lester may not last the full inning. He is sitting on 77 pitches.
LESTER STILL STRONG (9:00, MID 6, 3-0 SOX)
Lester allowed his second hit, a bloop double down the rightfield line by Lou Marson. He also recorded his sixth and seventh strikeouts of the night. He has surpassed the 200-inning mark for the season for the second consecutive year. Having thrown 77 pitches, he may be done for the night.
LESTER: DOING JUST FINE (8:39, MID 5, 3-0 SOX)
The Indians still have just that one hit through five innings. Lester strcuk out all three batters he faced in the fifth, getting LaPorta, Shoppach, and Marte swinging. There’s no reason for the Red Sox to pitch Lester deep tonight, but he’s still probably got a couple more innings in him. Next stop: Game 1 of the ALDS.
CATCHING UP (8:17, BOT 4, 3-0 SOX)
The Sox added on in the third inning with two runs on hits by Victor Martinez, Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, and Jason Bay. Jon Lester allowed his first hit to lead off the fourth, a single by Brantley.
The Sox knocked out Carlos Carrasco is a somewhat spooky way. Ellsbury drilled a line drive off the inside of right knee, and he limped off the field with help from his teammates. Lester, tonight’s starter, was hit by a line drive by the other team’s centerfielder in his last start.
Jensen Lewis is on for Cleveland.
LOWELL HURT? (7:38, BOT 2, 1-0 SOX)
Mike Lowell, playing for the first time this homestand after a Synvisc injection in his hip, fouled a pitch off his left ankle. He stayed in the game and will finish the at-bat after athletic trainer Paul Lessard checked him out.
THREE UP, THREE DOWN (7:34, MID 2, 1-0 SOX)
Lester has retired the first six batters of the game on fly outs. Matt LaPorta and Kelly Shoppach both flied to Joey Gathright in right, and Andy Marte popped up to second base, Lester has needed 21 pitches, 11 of which have been strikes.
SOX ON THE BOARD (7:28, END 1, 1-0 SOX)
The Sox are playing the varsity tonight, and maybe they won’t end the year on a 10-game losing streak. Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a walk and stole second. He moved to third on a fielder’s choice by Victor Martinez, and Kevin Youkilis drove him in with a deep sacrifice fly to right. David Ortiz flied to shallow left to end the inning.
LESTER LOOKING GOOD (7:19, MID 1, 0-0)
No reason to be nervous about Jon Lester’s bruised quadriceps so far. He retired Cleveland in order in the first ining on three flies to the outfield by Micahel Brantley, Jamey Carroll, and Jhonny Peralta.