If you were looking for a pitcher’s duel, then be glad you didn’t watch tonight’s Red Sox/Blue Jays game. However, if you were looking for a lot of runs scoring, this was the game to watch. In what started as a laugher for the Boston Red Sox, the Blue Jays made their comeback. However it wasn’t enough as the Red Sox fought and clawed for more runs on their way to a 13-10 victory in front of another sellout crowd at the Fens. The win by the Sox puts them 7 games up in the AL East as the Yanks lost this afternoon. The magic number for a playoff spot now stands at 18 games.

The team from North of the border got on the Green Monster scoreboard in the 1st inning. Daisuke Matsuzaka got the inning started by getting Vernon Wells to fly out. Matt Stairs, who it seemed like nobody got out tonight, hit a ground-rule double that bounced into the right field seats. He would come around to score as Alex Rios hit a single to right. Rios ended up going to second as J.D. Drew’s throw went over the cut-off man. Dice-K settled down though as he got Frank Thomas to fly out and Troy Glaus to strikeout swinging ending the inning.

Dice-K had been getting only 4.29 runs of support this season. Well, the Red Sox got 3 runs for him in the 1st inning. Jacoby Ellsbury, making the start in left tonight, led off with a single and went to second on a Dustin Pedroia single. Blue Jays starter Jesse Litsch got David Ortiz to strikeout. Mike Lowell followed that up with a 3-run homer into the Green Monstah seats for a 3-1 Red Sox lead. Litsch got out of the inning as Drew grounded out and Jason Varitek struck out swinging.

In the 3rd, the duo of Ellsbury and Pedroia reached base again to start the inning as they both had single. Ellsbury ended up at third and Pedroia went to second on the throw. Just another case of Ellsbury’s speed paying off. It paid off too as Big Papi hit a sacrifice fly to score Ellsbury easily as the Sox pushed their lead to 4-1. Pedroia tagged up and went to third on the play. Now in something you don’t see too often, Lowell was intentionally walked to face Drew. That moved didn’t work exactly as the Blue Jays planned out as Drew hit a sac fly scoring Pedroia for a 5-1 Sox lead. Litsch got out of the inning as Varitek grounded out to end his second inning of the game.

The 4th inning came for the Red Sox and this inning saw a crooked number put up on the Green Monster. Litsch started the inning retiring Coco on a fly out. He then gave up a double to Eric Hinske and an infield single to Julio Lugo. The single by Lugo chased Litsch from the game as the Jays brought in the lefty Joe Kennedy. Kennedy ended up walking Ellsbury to load up the bases for Pedroia who delivered two runs with a single for a 7-1 lead. Big Papi singled and that loaded up the bases again for Lowell. Kennedy got Lowell to hit a grounder to Glaus at third who did his best Bill Buckner impression as the ball went through his legs, allowing two more runs to score. Even though it was ruled an error, Lowell was given credit for an RBI. Drew brought in the 5th run of the inning with the Sox third sac fly of the night giving the Red Sox a commanding 10-1 lead or so we thought.

Dice-K had been pitching well at this point and he couldn’t complain about run support. However, he seemed to come unglued in the 6th inning. Stair was walked to start the inning and Rios moved him over to third with a single. Thomas brought in Stairs with an infield single with Rios moving to second. Glaus followed that up with an opposite field 3-run homer cutting the Sox lead to 10-5. Lyle Overbay then hit a single before Dice-K finally got the first out as he got Aaron Hill to fly out. Greg Zaun followed the out with a single that chased Dice-K from the game. Javier Lopez came in and faced pinch-hitter Adam Lind. He singled bringing in Overbay. Wells worked a walk Lopez had his night end after he gave up a 2-run double to Stairs. Wells went to third on the play and the double cut the lead to 10-8. Manny Delcarmen came in and got Rios to ground out to second but Wells scored making it an one run game. Delcarmen got some help from Ellsbury for the third out of the inning as Ellsbury made a diving grab of a Thomas liner.

Dice-K went 5 1/3 innings, giving up 7 runs on 10 hits. He walked 1 and struck out 3.

The local nine got three runs back in their half of the 6th. Lowell led off with a single off of Josh Towers and went to third on a Drew double. Varitek chased Towers from the game with run scoring single making it 11-9 good guys. Jason Frasor came in to face Coco and he laid down a bunt that brought in Drew from third. Hinske worked a walk and then Lugo grounded into a fielder’s choice that saw Hinske retired at second. With Ellsbury at the plate, Frasor balked in Varitek from third for a 13-9 Sox lead. Ellsbury ended up grounding out to end the inning.

Glaus started off the 7th with a walk from Delcarmen. Overbay popped out to short for the first out and then hill hit a single that ended the night for Delcarmen. Hideki “Darkman” Okajima was summoned from the bullpen and promptly gave up a double to Zaun which scored Glaus easily cutting the lead to 13-10. Ray Olmedo followed that up with a ground ball to Lowell who threw home to get Hill in a pickle. Hill ended up getting tagged out (Haven’t we seen this already this past weekend). Oki got out of the inning with a strikeout of Wells.

Neither team had any real chances to score the rest of the way. Jonathan Papelbon came in with his guns blazing as he got the first two batters of the 9th to strikeout. Russ Adams fouled out to end the game. The save for Papelbon was his 32nd of the season and his second in two days. Dice-K got the win even with the bad outing.

Tomorrow night brings a pitching matchup of two heavyweights, Josh Beckett and Roy “Doc” Halladay. Gametime is 7:05 PM.

Notes and musings:


Tim Wakefield played catch on Monday and reported no problems. His side session tomorrow will determine whether or not he makes his start on Thursday. If you think about it for a second, had Wakefield not missed his start, the no-hitter by Clay Buchholz might not have happened. Just a thought that’s all.

Wake was also voted Red Sox player of the month.

No new news on Manny Ramirez. According to Terry Francona, he was on the elliptical machine and was feeling better. No word on his return either.

Eric Gagné has been battling a sore shoulder and might not pitch for a few days. This comes at a bad time for Gagné as he was just starting to turn things around.

Since there are no minor league games for the most part (Lowell is still playing), Matt Clement will throw a simulated game at the Fens on Wednesday. In an interview with Tina Cervasio of NESN, Clement said he found his slider again after correcting all his flaws caused from pitching with the shoulder injury.

WBCN 104.1 overnight personality Robby Roadsteamer will be featured on this Wednesday’s Sox Appeal.

Craig Breslow, a Yale graduate, enjoyed a brief stay with the Red Sox as he was sent back down today. He was up just in case Hideki Okajima’s sore hip kept him out of any games.

Kevin Youkilis started the night off on the bench after his first “golden sombrero”. He ended up going in the game in the 8th as a defensive replacement for Eric Hinske.

Doug Mirabelli was away tending to a “family emergency” and it wasn’t known when he’d be back. However, he was back at the game tonight as they showed him in the dugout.

The Red Sox still haven’t announced their plans for Clay Buchholz. They may be waiting to see how Wake responds tomorrow in his side session.

Mike Lowell became the first Red Sox third baseman since Butch Hobson to have over a 100 RBI in a season. Hobson had 112 for the 1977 version of the Red Sox. Will somebody in the Red Sox front office get Lowell a 2008 contract. If you want to go after AROD, fine. Just put him at short for Lugo.

Lowell’s home run in the 1st extended his hitting streak to a MLB best 16 games. It also tied his career high. He is 30 for 60 (.500) during the streak.

Besides getting stuff from Clay Buchholz, the Baseball Hall of Fame called on Mike Timlin so they could get something from him for his 1000th appearance in a MLB uniform. Timlin made that appearance in Friday’s loss to the Orioles.

Tonight’s game featured a few things not seen in a Red Sox game this season. The most runs combined (23), the Red Sox allowing 8 runs in an inning (the most all season), 7 pitchers used in the first 6 innings by both teams and three 1-2-3 innings (top/bottom of the 2nd, and top of the 9th).