For a while, this one looked really bad. John Lackey was in trouble again, the Red Sox were stranding baserunners again. Basically, for the first half of the game, it looked like April!
But then suddenly, in the bottom of the 5th (the halfway point of the game), everything turned around.
With 2 outs, 2 on, and the Red Sox seemingly ready to pull their same old disappearing act, Adrian Beltre turned everything around, launching a Gio Gonzalez curveball up and into the monster seats on a line.
The Sox, now within 1 and smelling blood, wasted no time getting to the bullpen. The Sox put up 2 more runs against wild and ineffective A's relievers, then another in the 7th, and 3 more in the 8th. By the time all was said and done, it was 9-4. Victor Martinez, for his part, went a perfect 5-5 with 4 doubles, while Adrian Beltre had 2 more hits on the night.
It was not a pretty night for John Lackey, who allowed all 4 of the A's runs, or the defense, who didn't exactly give Lackey the best support. But he missed a few more bats than usual, and only gave up a couple of walks--really, it was generally an improvement, and it was enough to keep the Sox in the game. The resurgent Manny Delcarmen combined with Daniel Bard and Joe Nelson to pitch the final 3 innings, allowing only one baserunner.
Also, we're implementing a new feature: The Game Thread Roll Call. How do you rank amongst the top posters in the open threads?
There's your top-5 (non-moderator *cough*) posters for tonight. This'll be a regular addition to the game recap from now on...If I remember to do 'em.