Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sweeping Out the Mariners

It was a long and frustrating day in Seattle for the Red Sox in the finale of the series, as they left runners everywhere and had a game go to 12 innings. But the result was a good one, and the Sox swept the lowly Mariners to gain a split in the road trip, going 3-3, with the 6-3 win.

Mike Lowell (pictured) was the hero, as he turned a terrific round-the-horn double play in the 11th, and broke the tie in the 12th with a two-run single.

Clay Buchholz had his best start since return from Pawtucket, but allowed all three runs in going 5 1/3 innings. He gave up homers to Raul Ibanez and Jose Vidro. But Justin Masterson was outstanding in his relief appearance since coming back from AAA. He came into a two-on, one out situation and struck out the first two hitters, and then retired the next six hitters. He maybe the bridge the Sox need in getting to Jonathan Papelbon.

The bullpen was terrific yesterday, pitching 6 2/3 scoreless innings. Pap got into a mess in the 11th, as Seattle got two on with one out. But he got Kenji Johjima to rap into the 5-4-3 DP, to extend the game one more inning. Craig Hansen had to make it interesting in the 12th, loading the bases with two outs, but he got Jose Vidro to ground out to end the game and get his second career save.

Manny Ramirez missed the game due to a sore knee, but said afterwards he should be OK for the game against the Yankees tomorrow night. David Ortiz completed his rehab at Portland last night, going 0-for-1 with a walk. Next stop is Fenway for Big Papi. Also, there are rumors the Red Sox are in talks with the White Sox on a straight swap of infielders: Alex Cora to Chicago for Juan Uribe. It would reunite Alex with his brother Joey, who is Chicago's bench coach. Uribe is hitting .225 this season with 3 HRs, 18 RBI.

My deepest sympathies to Pedro Martinez, whose dad passed away yesterday in the Dominican Republic of cancer. Pedro returned home last night, and of course, will miss his next scheduled start tomorrow night for the Mets against the Cardinals.

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