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Papelbon's Ninth Inning Implosion Throws Away Sweep

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The Blue Jays scored four times in the ninth off of John Lackey and Jonathan Papelbon to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Red Sox.

Everything went the Red Sox' way for the first eight frames of the game. John Lackey dodged big innings, only letting two runs score, each on a double play ball. The Sox backed him up with five runs on eleven hits, including homers off the bats of David Ortiz and Jed Lowrie.

But it was not to be. Coming back out to pitch the ninth, Lackey allowed a leadoff homer to Jose Bautista to bring the Jays within two, forcing Terry Francona to go to the bullpen and Jonathan Papelbon, who quickly imploded.

On his first pitch, Papelbon allowed a double. On his second, a single, bringing the Jays within one. On his seventh pitch, the tying run went to third with nobody out on another single--this time off his own foot--and on the ninth pitch, Edwin Encarnacion tied the game with a double.

Daniel Bard, who probably should have been the one trying to lock down the save in the first place, came in to try and work a miracle with the bases loaded, one out, and the tying run at third. But when you can't even allow a flyout, that's a tall order. Fred Lewis pushed a 1-0 fastball to center field, and Ellsbury's throw was not in time, giving the Jays a crushing walkoff win.