Red Sox: Jason Varitek hit a tie-breaking pinch-hit home run in the top of the ninth inning as the Sox once again mustered up some late dramatics and edged the Indians, 5-3, in front of 25,135 in Cleveland, OH. It was the second straight night the Sox won on a tie-breaking homer in the ninth. Manny Ramirez hit a two-run blast off Joe Borowski Monday. Kevin Youkilis added an RBI single later in the ninth for the Sox Tuesday. Jed Lowrie's major league debut was one to remember as he went 1-for-4 with three RBI. Dustin Pedroia and Julio Lugo each had three hits while Youkilis remained red-hot with two hits. Varitek's homer made a winner out of David Aardsma, who retired the only batter he faced in the eighth inning. Hideki Okajima struck out two in a perfect ninth for his first save. The Sox open a two-game series against the Yankees tonight in New York, where Clay Buchholz is scheduled to take the mound.
Triple-A Pawtucket: The PawSox were limited to three hits as they suffered their fourth loss in five games with a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Indianapolis in front of 4,233 in Indianapolis, IN. David Pauley was the hard-luck loser for the PawSox after he allowed one run on four hits and one walk while striking out four in six innings. Pauley, who lowered his ERA to 1.17, retired 10 in a row from the first through the fourth. Joe Thurston, George Kottaras and Dusty Brown all had doubles for the PawSox, who got just one runner to third base against a trio of Indianapolis pitchers. The PawSox continue a four-game series against Indianapolis this afternoon, when Abe Alvarez is scheduled to get the start.
Double-A Portland: Mark Wagner homered in the second and doubled home the tying run in the seventh as the Sea Dogs won their third in a row with a 3-2 victory over Connecticut in front of 3,000 at Hadlock Field in Portland, ME. Jay Johnson delivered the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Sean Danielson had a hit and a stolen base for the Sea Dogs, who had just five hits. Kyle Jackson earned the win in relief by allowing one run on one hit and two walks while striking out one over three innings. Hunter Jones allowed four hits and struck out two in two innings to earn the save. Starter Matt Goodson was impressive in his season debut as he allowed one run on three hits and one walk and whiffed seven over four innings. The Sea Dogs will go for a three-game sweep of Connecticut tonight, when Michael Bowden is scheduled to start.
Single-A Lancaster: The JetHawks' game against Modesto was postponed due to heavy winds in Lancaster, CA. It will be made up as part of a doubleheader tonight.
Single-A Greenville: The Drive received multiple hits from five players and a trio of pitchers combined to whiff 11 batters as the Drive won its seventh in a row with a 7-0 win over Greensboro in front of 3,866. Anthony Rizzo remained scorching as he went 3-for-4 with an RBI to raise his average to .366. It was the sixth straight multi-hit game for Rizzo, who is 13-for-23 in that span. Ty Weeden had two hits, including a solo homer, while Aaron Reza, Josh Reddick and Mike Jones also had two hits apiece. Daniel Bard continued his sterling work out of the bullpen and earned the win by allowing one hit and striking out four in 2 2/3 innings. Bard, who posted a 7.08 ERA with 47 strikeouts and 78 walks between Lancaster and Greenville last year, has yet to allow a run this year in 9 2/3 innings, during which he has whiffed 14 and walked just one. Felix Ventura struck out four in two hitless innings. Starter Chris Province allowed five hits and walked none while striking out three in 4 1/3 innings. The Drive will host Greensboro again this afternoon.
Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at email@example.com. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752.
Organizational One-Stop: 4/16/08
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