Game over: Red Sox 7, Phillies 5: Hunter Pence reached on a bunt single, but he was doubled off first on a liner from Carlos Ruiz to Mike Aviles, making life easier for Alfredo Aceves, who earned his ninth save. Aceves also allowed a single to Ty Wigginton after the double, but he struck out Hector Luna to end the game. There were 45,656 on hand.
Top 9th: Red Sox 7, Phillies 5: Sox unable to add on to their lead and will hand it over to Aceves, seeking his ninth save.
Bottom 8th: Red Sox 7, Phillies 5: Just as the night was tough for Jon Lester, it was tedious for Vicente Padilla as well. He allowed two hitters to reach in the seventh and two more in the eighth.
Ty Wigginton reached on an infield hit and Hector Luna singled. Freddy Galvis hit a long fly ball to center on which both runners advanced. That brought Bobby Valentine out to get Padilla and on came lefty specialist Rich Hill to face pinch-hitter Juan Pierre. Hill induced a grounder to Ortiz at first with the runners holding put. Hill did his job and Valentine opted for Alfredo Aceves with Jimmy Rollins coming up.
Aceves battled Rollins to 3-2 and then induced a slow ground ball to shortstop. Aviles tried to hurry, but the speedy Rollins beat it out allowing the run to score. Aceves walked John Mayberry on four pitches to load the bases, but Shane Victorino showed no patience by swinging at the first pitch, popping out to Aviles in short left field..
Top 8th: Red Sox 7, Phillies 4: The Red Sox got a big run cut down at the plate when Jimmy Rollins made an outstanding play on Daniel Nava’s grounder and gunned Salty at the plate. Salty hit a righthanded double to left center to start the inning. He was advanced to third on Ryan Sweeney’s sac bunt. After the Nava play, Padilla flew out deep to center to end the inning.
Bottom 7th: Red Sox 7, Phillies 4: Credit the save to Ryan Sweeney. You won’t see a better play in center field than he made to rob Carlos Ruiz of extra bases. It was an all-out running, diving, face-to-the grass catch at the warning track in right center. Even Philly fans applauded.
Jon Lester departed after six. He didn’t have his best stuff but had the three-run lead. Vicente Padilla came on and allowed a one-out infield single to John Mayberry and a pop single to Shane Victorino. But he struck out Hunter Pence on a slow curve and then Ruiz got robbed.
Top 7th: Red Sox 7, Phillies 4: The meat of the Sox order – Ortiz, Gonzalez and Middlebrooks – go down.
Bottom 6th: Red Sox 7, Phillies 4: Lester put two more batters on base, but Dustin Pedroia turned a tremendous double-play after he received a slow feed from Mike Aviles and then took a hit from the runner and still made a strong throw to first.
Top 6th: Red Sox 7, Phillies 4: Sox can’t add to the lead.
Bottom 5th: Red Sox 7, Phillies 4: Lester doesn’t make it easy on himself. Mayberry and Victorino singled and a double-play ball by Hunter Pence helped Lester escape. He struck out Ruiz to end the inning.
Top 5th: Red Sox 7, Phillies 4: David Ortiz couldn’t have hit a ball harder and farther than the two-run blast to center, his ninth homer. Dustin Pedroia, who was in a 3-for-15 funk on this road trip, led off the inning with a single to center. Will Middlebrooks singled with one out and that sent Charlie Manuel out to get Blanton.
Lefty reliever Raul Valdes stopped the bleeding by retiring Salty and Ryan Sweeney (strikeout). Blanton’s line: 4.1 innings, 9H, 7R, 6ER, 4SO, 4HR.
Bottom 4th: Red Sox 5, Phillies 4: As quickly as he finds it sometimes, he can lose it. Jon Lester hit Carlos Ruiz with a pitch to lead off the inning. After retiring Ty Wigginton with a ground ball out to third base, Hector Luna singled him in. Freddy Galvis followed with a two-run homer. Lester collected himself to retire the next two batters.
Top 4th: Red Sox 5, Phillies 1: Will Middlebrooks was having an awful 1-for-11 trip and the decision to replace him with Kevin Youkilis next week was getting easier. But Middlebrooks tends to pull you back into his corner. Nice piece of hitting drilling a Joe Blanton fastball on the outside part of the plate into the bleachers in right for his fifth homer.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia then crushed a ball deep into the rightcenter bleachers. Blanton has fielded like he has two left feet, making his second error when he couldn’t handle Ryan Sweeney’s roller to the right side of the plate. He rebounded by striking out Daniel Nava. You’ll recall, Blanton was the pitcher Nava hit his first major league at-bat grand slam against. It was actually on the first major league pitch of his career back on June 12, 2010 vs. the Phillies,
Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 3, Phillies 1: Lester lost some concentration after two quick outs. John Mayberry singled and Shane Victorino barely missed a home run with a double off the left field wall, scoring the run. Pence then sent a ball to the right field corner on which Gonzalez made a nice catch near the railing on his knees.
Top 3rd: Red Sox 3, Phillies 0: OK, the Red Sox gripe too much about balls and strikes, but Adrian Gonzalez had a gripe about the called third strike Gary Darling called to ring him up. Joe Blanton’s curve ball was at his ankles. The Sox went down as Blanton struck out Dustin Pedroia and got David Ortiz to ground out to short rightfield into the shift. Scary moment when Ortiz took a tumble when he tried to leg out a hit and tripped over Blanton who was covering.
Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 3, Phillies 0: Lester got his swagger back. Ty Wigginton fouled out to right field and Hector Luna and Freddy Galvis grounded out. Lester made a nice play on Galvis’ slow roller, turned and made a hard throw to Ortiz at first. Big Papi cheated a little off the bag to to get the throw in the mitt quicker.
Top 2nd: Red Sox 3, Phillies 0: Joe Blanton has had an excellent season for the Phillies – 4-3 with a 2.96 ERA coming in – but he’s been batting practice for Sox hitters in his last eight starts against Boston.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled and Ryan Sweeney doubled him to third. Blanton then missed a throw after a nice stop at second base by Freddy Galvis, allowing Salty to score. Lester then knocked into a double-play scoring the second run of the inning.
Bottom 1st: Red Sox 1, Phillies 0: John Mayberry Jr. reached on a throwing error by Jon Lester with one out. with two outs, Lester walked Hunter Pence, but managed to retire Carlos Ruiz on a grounder to shortstop. Lester didn’t look as crisp in this first inning as he did in a complete-game 6-1 win over Seattle his last time out. Lester didn’t walk a batter and struck out eight and threw 119 pitches.
Top 1st: Red Sox 1, Philadelphia 0: Mike Aviles started the game with a home run off Joe Blanton. Aviles also homered last night. He’s hit seven on the season. Aviles is now 6-for-12 on this road trip.