Thursday, August 2, 2007

Sox rally in 7th to beat O's 5-4

I was glad to see KG getting a warm welcome to Boston. This should make sure that even those sports fans who have established a mental block on any information regarding the Celtics are aware that there's a reason to head down to the Garden.

I gotta admit, I was nervous there for a minute. Another loss at home to the O's would have really killed some of the great buzz generated by the recent acquisition of Eric Gagne. Luckily, the O's bullpen gift wrapped another win for the Red Sox. Shuey and Parrish managed to combine for four earned runs, two hits and two walks without recording an out between them. Chad Bradford's record is clean of runs, but all of his inherited runners scored before he could close out the inning. The Sox bullpen performed admirably picking up after a so-so start by Julian Tavarez in the absence of Kason Gabbard. Snyder filled in for 1 2/3 hitless innings, thankfully the two walks he allowed over that span didn't come back to haunt him. Javier Lopez successfully drew a ground ball out from Markakis to close out the inning. Hideki Okajima gave up his third home run of the season to Miguel Tejada, but was otherwise lights out. Johnathan Papelbon successfully bounced back from his blown save in his last appearance against Tampa Bay and looked truly dominant allowing no hits and striking out the last two batters.

I felt that this win was important for the sox. They've established a reputation as a team that has a hard time coming back once they're down. David Ortiz isn't hitting a walkoff homerun every opportunity he gets anymore, but it was nice to see the sox break themselves out of a slump and score some needed runs in the late innings.

Eric Gagne warmed up, but Paps lights out performance kept him from getting into this game. Given that Okajima and Papelbon worked tonight it's likely that we'll see him in the rubber game tomorrow night if the services of a closer are needed.

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