The Red Sox' five-game losing streak came to a memorable end last night at Fenway, thanks to the collective efforts of a number of individuals.
Jon Lester was sensational last night. It was the best game he's pitched in his young MLB career (including last year's World Series win), as he went 8 innings and allowed just one hit. He walked four, but they were spread out and he was never in trouble the entire night. He struck out six, but unfortunately came away with just a no-decision.
Roy Halladay was just as good over 8 2/3 innings, allowed just three hits until the rally started. Big Papi walked, Manny Ramirez singled, and Kevin Youkilis sent the faithful home happy with a single that Vernon Wells couldn't handle that allowed the Big Man to score the lone run of the game.
Not to be left out was the events of the top of the inning. Scott Rolen doubled with two outs off Jonathan Papelbon, and Vernon Wells rapped a shot that looked like it was destined for centerfield and the first run of the game. But Dustin Pedroia made a sprawling play at second and threw Wells out at first to keep the game scoreless.
It was the best pitched game of the year, a game the Sox just refused to lose. The offense was again AWOL, but it was also a cold night and one of the AL's premier pitchers was proving why he is such a terrific pitcher. It was also the first time in 28 years the Red Sox won a 1-0 game in the bottom of the ninth.
And it was good to see the return of Mike Lowell, who was just activated off the DL last night. He took the collar at the plate, but handled all of his chances at third flawlessly, like he always does. Good to have you back, Mike.