Game over: Red Sox 6, D-backs 2
Ramirez walked Montero and Upton singled off the wall before Ryal flied to center and pinch hitter Stephen Drew popped to left.
With two outs, Terry Francona emerged from the dugout and went to Jonathan Papelbon. He got Johnson to fly to left.
Because the tying run was on deck, Papelbon picked up the save. That’s No. 15.
The Yankees and Rays are losing, so the Sox could be three games out by the end of the evening. Back later with more.
Top of the ninth: Red Sox 6, D-backs 2
The Sox went in order against Denel. Now Ramon Ramirez will be entrusted with the ninth inning and a four-run lead.
Middle of the 8th: Red Sox 6, D-backs 2
Bard struck out Reynolds before LaRoche singled just inside the bag at first base, But Young rolled into a 5-4-3 double play as Beltre cut the ball off and Pedroia made a nice turn. Two double plays today as the Red Sox continue to play strong defense.
Sam Denal about to make his MLB debut. He’s the pitcher Arizona got for Conor Jackson the other day.
Top of the 8th: Red Sox 6, D-backs 2
The Sox added some passing to their lead. Ortiz beat the shift for a single before Youkilis blasted his 14th homer, a blast to left. Now Bard has replaced Lester.
Middle of the 7th: Red Sox 4, D-backs 2
Lester, who has had control issues all night, hit Ryal to start the inning. But he struck out Snyder and Johnson before Abreu tapped into a force play. Lester has thrown 103 pitches and that could be it for him tonight as Daniel Bard was warming up before and the Spox generally do not warm him up without bringing him in.
Top of the 7th: Red Sox 4, D-backs 2
Cameron and Nava each hit rockets to center field. But Young was able to track them down. Lopez has given up six hits and there have been at least five balls that were hit very hard and turned into outs.
Middle of the 6th: Red Sox 4, D-backs 2
Lester retired the side in order, striking out Young before Montero and Upton popped out. He has retired eight of the last nine batters he has faced.
Top of the 6th: Red Sox 4, D-backs 2
Rodrigo Lopez had given up a lot of hard-hit balls. But he has survived five innings and has his team in the game as the Sox went in order there.
Middle of the 5th: Red Sox 4, D-backs 2
Lester walked Johnson on four pitches to start the inning. But he worked out of it quickly. Abreu popped to right. Reynolds then shattered his bat on a liner to shortstop but Scutaro made a terrific diving catch. LaRoche fanned to end the inning.
Top of the 5th: Red Sox 4, D-backs 2
Nava started the inning with a grounder to first base. The ball hit the glove of LaRoche and rolled away. Somehow it was called a base hit. They must have checked with his dad. The Scutaro lined a single into center.
But Pedroia fouled out. Ortiz then went the other way with a fly ball into the corner in left. Ryal made a nice catch and … what is Nava doing around third? The rookie apparently thought there were two outs and kept running. He was doubled off to end the inning. Bad mistake with Youkilis coming to the plate.
Middle of the 4th: Red Sox 4, D-backs 2
Lester loaded the bases with one out as Young walked, Montero singled and Upton walked. But the lefty struck out Ryal and got Snyder to fly to center field. Lester is throwing a lot change-ups tonight that seem to be baffling the Diamondbacks. His swing-and-misses are coming primarily off that pitch.
Top of the 4th: Red Sox 4, D-backs 2
Pedroia singled and stole second before Ortiz walked. Youkilis struck out. Martinez followed with a line drive to center. Young tracked the ball all the way to wall and made a leaping catch to save a run.
But Drew followed with an RBI double to the gap in left. Beltre then broke his bat and sent a squibbler (is that word? why not) to third base. Reynolds made a throw but it was too late and Ortiz scored.
Cameron popped to center to end the inning.
Middle of the 3rd: D-backs 2, Red Sox 2
Lester retired the side in order, striking out Johnson and Reynolds.
Top of the 3rd: D-backs 2, Red Sox 2
Beltre crushed a ball off the wall to lead off the inning. But so hard that he had to stay at first base and put on the brakes waving his arms like Shemp as he rounded first.
But Cameron flied to left and Nava to center before Scutaro grounded out.
Sox sign Vitek, Brentz and eight others
This release from the Sox:
The Boston Red Sox today signed the club’s top selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, infielder Kolbrin Vitek out of Ball State University. The club also signed its second overall selection, outfielder Bryce Brentz of Middle Tennessee State University.
The announcement was made by Red Sox Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein and Director of Amateur Scouting Amiel Sawdaye.
Both Vitek and Brentz have been assigned to the Short-Season A Lowell Spinners.
The 20th overall selection in the draft, Vitek was named 2010 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound infielder led the league with 73 runs, tied for second with 17 homers and ranked third with 68 RBI and 161 total bases. The junior also earned Louisville Slugger First-Team All-American honors, pacing the Cardinals with a .361 (84-for-233) batting average, .691 slugging percentage, 20 doubles and three triples (tied) in 58 games. He stole 16 bases in 20 attempts and walked 33 times with a .445 on-base percentage. The 21-year-old also made 17 pitching appearances, including 13 starts, and finished second in the MAC with a 3.28 ERA (29 ER/79.2 IP). He was 3-4 with three saves, 60 strikeouts and just 20 walks. Vitek was rated by Baseball America as the top second baseman in this year’s draft as well as the third-best pure hitter among college players.
Brentz, 21, was selected 36th overall in the supplemental first round after hitting .348 (64-for-184) with 51 runs, eight doubles, 15 homers and 49 RBI in 46 games as a junior for the Blue Raiders this season. He posted a .636 slugging percentage and walked 29 times with a .440 on-base percentage. In 2009, the right-handed hitter was the NCAA leader in batting average (.465), home runs (28), slugging (.930) and total bases (214) and was named Sun Belt Player of the Year. He also hit .366 (26-for-71) in 23 games during the 2009 Team USA season. The 6-foot-0, 200-pound native of Knoxville, Tennessee was rated by Baseball America as the third-best power hitter among college players in this year’s draft. He was selected out of high school by Cleveland in the 30th round of the 2007 draft but did not sign.
Also agreeing to terms with the club were 12th-round selection, right-handed pitcher Garrett Rau from California Baptist University; 13th-round selection, right-handed pitcher Keith Couch from Adelphi University; 34th-round selection, right-handed pitcher Michael Gleason from California State University-Chico; 39th-round selection, shortstop Nick Robinson from North Central College; 40th-round selection, outfielder Luke Yoder from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo; 41st-round selection, catcher Jayson Hernandez from Rutgers University; 45th-round selection, shortstop James Kang from Pomona-Pitzer College; and 49th-round selection, first baseman Trygg Larsson-Danforth from Yale University.
Rau, Couch, Robinson and Hernandez have been assigned to Lowell while Gleason, Yoder, Kang and Larsson-Danforth have been assigned to the Rookie-Level Gulf Coast League Red Sox.
Middle of the 2nd: D-backs 2, Red Sox 2
Lester got tagged that inning. Young belted a double off the wall then scored on a long home run to left by Upton, his 11th of the season. There’s a reason he’s one of the few Diamondbacks untouchable via trade.
Ryan singled to left with one out but Snyder grounded into a 1-4-3 double play to end the inning. Lester has now allowed eight runs in his last eight innings.
Top of the 2nd: Red Sox 2, D-backs 0
Ortiz walked after the Pedroia homer. But Youkilis grounded into a force before Martinez flied to left and Drew grounded to second.
Bottom of the first: Red Sox 2, D-backs 0
And so it begins. Scutaro, a day after getting a “nerve root” shot in his neck, cracked a single to center. Then it was the Laser Show with a rocket off the top if the wall in left. Over/under on Lopez is 3.2 innings.
Middle of the 1st: D-backs 0, Red Sox 0
Lester hit Reynolds in the foot with a pitch with two outs and he hobbled down to first base. LaRoche hit a ball hard up the middle but Pedroia stopped it with a dice, scrambled to his feet and made the throw to first to end the inning.
Now comes the start of what could be a savage beating of Rodrigo Lopez. This is not a good matchup for Arizona.
Top of the 1st: D-backs 0, Red Sox 0
We’re about to get underway here at Fenway. It has turned into a nice night. Jim Joyce is behind the plate. Jim Wolf is at first, Derryl Cousins at second and Marvin Hudson is over at third.
Hope you enjoy the game and, please, feel free to leave your comments.