A strong start from Jon Lester, a late offensive burst, a five-out save from Koji Uehara, and the Red Sox are 2013 AL East Champions!
The most monumental win of the year did not look so different from the last few games the Red Sox played. Wasted chances? Absolutely. The three outs in the first inning came on a long fly ball, a rocket line drive to short, and David Ortiz running into an out at home. What could have been an early blowout was still just 1-0 after the first. Even with the Red Sox loading the bases in the third and Daniel Nava drawing an RBI walk, they managed to score just one more thanks to a double play. That was one of three the Red Sox grounded into on the night.
And who cares? They won! They're AL East Champions! Jon Lester was wild, and not at his best, and much like Clay Buchholz in his last outing, he just got the job done. The biggest moment came in the fourth, when the Blue Jays loaded the bases with zero outs on a walk, a single, and an error at third by Will Middlebrooks. Lester got ahead of Anthony Gose, getting him to miss on a curveball and sinker, then after a pair of fouls and a ball, came home with 94 MPH heat. Gose topped it off down the line to third, where Middlebrooks made a nice grab, kept right on going across third for one out, and then caught Kevin Pillar in a rundown to pick up a second, making up for his earlier mistake. A devastating changeup got J.P. Arencibia to go down swinging, and the inning was over without any runs in.
Rajai Davis would, of course, score his customary run in the fifth--the only blemish on Lester's night--and the Blue Jays would get to Junichi Tazawa for a pair of runs. They're his kryptonite, to say the least, with now nine earned runs in eight innings of work compared to 13 earned runs in 59 innings against anyone else. But Koji Uehara was ready to come in, finish the job, and start the celebrations.
Koji is high fiving fans on top of the dugout, Jonny Gomes is punting beer cans into the crowd, John Henry may or may not be drunk. The Red Sox are winners, and Fenway is celebrating.
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