In one of the craziest 9th innings in recent memory (up there with the Mother's Day Miracle and Game 5 of the 2008 ALCS), the Red Sox scored 6 runs off of Texas closer Frank Francisco, giving them an 8-4 lead which Papelbon would hold in the 9th.
|Final - 8.14.2009||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
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|WP: Takashi Saito (3 - 3)
LP: Frank Francisco (2 - 2)
Coming into the 9th down 2-4, David Ortiz (the source of the Sox' other runs on a 2-run homer in the 6th ) turned on a middle-middle fastball for a double to right field. Jason Varitek just barely beat out the throw from Elvis Andrus on what was nearly a great play for the Texas Shorstop to set up 1st and 3rd with none out. Ellsbury singled up the middle, scoring Ortiz. That's when things almost fell apart.
Chris Woodward tried twice to drop down a bunt, taking 2 strikes and then striking out on the 4th pitch of the at bat. Terry Francona then chose to pinch run Clay Buchholz for Jason Varitek. When Dustin Pedroia hit a double off the wall in left, Buchholz made a terrible misread (though understandable, given his limited baserunning experience) and was thrown out at the plate after stumbling around 3rd. With 2 out and runners on 2nd and 3rd, Victor Martinez stepped up to the plate. Martinez fell behind 1-2 and fouled off 3 pitches before lacing a low fastball into right for a game winning double. The Sox would tack on 3 insurance runs on a Jason Bay RBI single and a 2-run J.D. Drew homer.
The pitching was a mixed bag, but mostly positive. Jon Lester gave up 3 runs in 6 innings, striking out an impressive 11 batters. Daniel Bard gave up a run in part thanks to some questionable defensive positioning. Takashi Saito and Jonathan Papelbon both pitched scoreless innings, each giving up a hit and striking out 1 and 2 respectively.
With the win, the Red Sox are 1.5 games up on the Rangers in the AL Wild Card race. Both teams send the back end of the rotation to the mound tomorrow, with Brad Penny taking the mound for the Sox against Derek Holland.
2 games until Kevin Youkilis returns.