It was another round of Heart Attack Theater in the ninth last night in Detroit, as Jonathan Papelbon put the first three batters on as the result of hits, and granted none were of the hard variety. But Pap bared down and struck out the final three batters in succession to preserve a 5-1 Red Sox win in Motown. (No save involved, as he came in with a four-run lead and you can't create a save, no matter how determined Pap was to do it.)
Daisuke Matsuzaka got his first win of the season, going five innings for the victory. He threw 96 pitches, walked three and was in trouble in the first allowing just the one run. But he was helped out along the way by three double plays, and the bullpen after that was its usual stellar self.
Jason Bay cracked his 16th home run of the year to put the Red Sox up, 3-1. They added two runs later on a bases loaded walk and a Kevin Youkilis hit batsman right after that.
And congratulations to Terry Francona, who won his 500th game in a Red Sox uniform last night. Tito is without question the best Red Sox manager in my lifetime, and his guidance at the helm of the ship is a welcome relief for all Red Sox fans and never to be taken for granted. He is now third on the all time Red Sox managers list for wins, and with a little luck will be second behind Joe Cronin (1,071) by year's end. He is also the first Sox manager since Cronin to manage the team six straight years.