It was a topsy-turvy night for the Red Sox on Wednesday night. The last of a two-game series with the Oakland A's began at 5 PM (and I could find out no logical reason why the time was moved up two hours). Jon Lester gave up a run in the third inning, but the Sox came back with three of their own to grab a 3-1 lead.
Oakland got three back on a three-run shot by light hitting shortstop Donnie Murphy. The Red Sox got two right back in the bottom of the fourth to get the lead back. But Mike Piazza tied it up once again with a home run into the Monster seats, and that was the night for Lester. He looked sharp at times, and struck out nine, but again his pitch count was high by the fifth. He was making a bid to get a postseason start, but this won't help his cause.
In the sixth the Red Sox broke the tie and went ahead to stay with four runs, the first run scored on a home run by Dustin Pedroia. It was a big night for the soon-to-be AL Rookie of the Year, who went 3-for-5 and scored four runs. Manny Ramirez had three hits and scored two runs, and looks like the Manny of old. It was also a special night for Mike Lowell, as he drove in five runs and became the all-time leader in RBI for a Sox third baseman in a season. The final score was 11-6.
The bullpen did a fine job after Lester departed, as Kyle Snyder, Mike Timlin (the winning pitcher), Javier Lopez, Eric Gagne (with his usual tightrope act) and Julian Tavarez shut the A's down in getting the Red Sox' 94th win of the season. The Yankees won at Tampa Bay, so the Red Sox lead remains at 3 games, with a four-game series with Minnesota left for the Red Sox to finish the regular season.
In our Magic Number Picture, we honor a man beloved by many Red Sox fans the world over for his color commentary on Red Sox games. He was a former Red Sox player from 1978-84 and one-time All Star second baseman. He has gained fame for his affable and self-effacing banter with his broadcast colleague Don Orsillo during Red Sox games on NESN, and was the first president of Red Sox Nation. He's currently running for the office on a permanent basis, and we wish him all the luck in the world on gaining the job.
It's the Remdawg himself, Jerry Remy.