Friday, May 20, 2011

Crawford's 3rd Walk Off of May Gives Red Sox 6th Straight

                                                                                           Sports Illustrated

Red Sox 4 Tigers 3
Winning Pitcher: Jonathan Papelbon (2-0)
Losing Pitcher: Al Alburquerque (0-1)

The pitchers' duel did not disappoint between Justin Verlander and Josh Beckett, as the Red Sox squeaked out their sixth straight victory with a 4-3 win thanks to Carl Crawford's third walk off in the month of May. After a pair of 1-2-3 frames in the first, each team was able to get a run in the second, before each pitcher calmed down. The Red Sox took a 2-1 lead when JD Drew hit a solo shot in the 4th. Beckett pitched two more shutout innings before he was pulled. He ended up with six good innings, allowing one run on five hits, two walks and three strike outs. He only threw 83 pitches (52 strikes), but was pulled from the game due to what is being described as neck stiffness. This will definitely be something to watch, especially with Lackey and Dice-K already on the DL. After Matt Albers gave up just a single in the top of the 7th, David Ortiz led off the bottom with a solo homer to give the Sox a 3-1 lead. Daniel Bard came in for the 8th, looking to hold the lead so Papelbon could come in and grab the save. Instead, he gave up back-to-back homers to Brian Boesch and Miguel Cabrera to lead off the inning, and just like that the game was tied. Boston went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning, and Paps came on anyways with a tie game in the 9th. Things got scary for the Red Sox in the inning, as the Tigers were able to load the bases with just one out. Papelbon, however, was able to bear down and strike out Boesch and Cabrera to get out of the inning. In the bottom of the ninth, Youk led off with a walk, and had Iglesias run for him. The Red Sox loaded the bases, and, with one out, Crawford singled to center to give Boston the walk-off win.

News and Notes

  • The Red Sox made a plethora of roster moves during and after the game. They signed Kevin Millwood to a minor league deal. Millwood, the former Braves starter, was on the Yankees Spring Training roster, but opted out once he didn't make their rotation. They also made a trade with the Rockies, acquiring left-handed reliever Franklin Morales for a player to be named later, or cash. To make room on the roster, the Red Sox designated Hideki Okajima for assignment. Okajima's time here was done as he was clearly losing his ability. However, he was a great member of this team for the better part of four years, and will have a positive legacy in Boston because of that. Finally, after the game, the team opted Iglesias back to Pawtucket, being replaced by utility infielder Drew Sutton.

Home Runs
Boston: JD Drew (3), David Ortiz (8)
Detroit: Brian Boesch (3), Miguel Cabrera (8)

The Red Sox (23-20) begin their historic series at Fenway against the Cubs (19-23) (first time they've played here since 1918) tomorrow night at 7:10 PM ET. Boston sends Jon Lester (5-1 3.28) to the mound against Chicago's Doug Davis (0-1 1.80).   

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