Another Day, Another Comeback For Sox

The Red Sox entered the seventh inning Sunday down by five runs and without Manny Ramirez. Turns out the Sox had the Rangers exactly where they wanted them.

The Sox scored twice in the seventh and four times in the eighth to stun the reeling Rangers, 6-5, in front of another sellout crowd of 37,480 at Fenway Park.

"It's just how we drew it up," Terry Francona told reporters afterward. "Again, we didn't have the lead for very long, but we seemed to get it at the right time."

It was the second time in less than 24 hours the Sox took the lead at the right time. On Saturday, the Sox scored three runs in the eighth inning to come back and beat the Rangers, 5-3.

"There's something to be said for just plugging away and not feeling very sorry for yourself," Francona said.

The Sox had plenty of reason for frustration Sunday. Ramirez was ejected for arguing a called third strike call in the second inning and was replaced by recently promoted Joe Thurston, who grounded out with the bases loaded to end the fifth.

And the Sox had plenty of chances against Rangers starter Kevin Millwood, who threw shutout ball through six innings despite allowing eight hits and two walks. But the Sox finally began breaking through in the seventh, when Millwood was chased by Jed Lowrie's leadoff double and David Ortiz' RBI single.

J.D. Drew added an RBI single against Wes Littleton, who retired the first two batters he faced in the eighth before the Sox stormed back against Littleton and Rangers closer C.J. Wilson. Jacoby Ellsbury (single), Lowrie (RBI double), Ortiz (RBI single) and pinch-hitter Dustin Pedroia (RBI double) tied the game in a span of 16 pitches. Littleton then intentionally walked Kevin Youkilis and walked J.D. Drew on a full-count pitch before Sean Casey drew the tie-breaking walk—on a full-count pitch as well—to bring home Pedroia with the winning run.

"I was trying to get Wilson to give me something I could hit," Casey told reporters afterward. "He throws pretty hard. He was kind of nibbling on the corners and up a little bit. I was waiting for a pitch out over the plate. I got to 3-2 and he ended up throwing one high."

The frantic rally made a winner out of Tim Wakefield, who lasted a season-high eight innings and allowed five runs on seven hits and no walks while striking out five. He threw 86 pitches, including an impressive 68 for strikes.

"There was no reason to take him out, in my opinion," Francona said. "That's more strikes than I've ever seen him throw."

Jonathan Papelbon proved to be a strike machine in the ninth inning as well as he needed just seven pitches (five strikes) to retire the side in order for his seventh save in as many chances.

Youkilis had three hits for the Sox while Lowrie, Ortiz, Casey and Jacoby Ellsbury all had two hits each. Ellsbury also added two stolen bases.


Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at diehardmag@yahoo.com. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752.

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