A SAD END TO A RECORD SEASON ...
Mark Loretta has a big day in New York

May 11, 2006 ... Mark Loretta collected four hits through his fifth at-bat, the last of which accounted for the go-ahead runs in the seventh inning, turning a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead. Kevin Youkilis tacked on an RBI single in the ninth off Mariano Rivera, giving the Sox a 5- 3 win that was saved by Jonathan Papelbon, who pitched 1 1/3 innings for his 13th save in 13 chances.

When Loretta came to bat in the top of the seventh last night against Kyle Farnsworth, the Yankees' sixth pitcher of the night, the Sox had two on and two outs. They'd left 13 runners on base and were in danger of threatening the major league record of 20, established in a Sox- Yankees game 50 years ago (Sept. 21, 1956). The Yankees left 20 on base that day.

Loretta had a chance to up the total to 15 when he hit a hard, two-hopper to Derek Jeter's left. Jeter, diving, snared it, and threw off one knee. Miguel Cairo, playing first, had to leave the bag and jump to catch it. He reeled it in but when he went to tag Loretta, the ball popped loose. The play was scored a hit, improving Loretta to 4 for 5 to that point last night and 17 for his last 31 (.548).

The Yankees worked Tim Wakefield thoroughly to begin the night, forcing him to throw 33 pitches in a first inning in which he fanned two, walked two, gave up two singles, and allowed two runs. Johnny Damon led off with a K, looking, though the pitch was probably as high as Damon's facial expression would have led you to believe. Jeter then singled to left, and Jason Giambi followed by flying to center. Wakefield then walked Alex Rodriguez and Bernie Williams, who didn't start but found himself batting fifth after Hideki Matsui fractured his left wrist (he'll have surgery today) in a gruesome attempt to catch a Loretta sinking liner in the top of the inning. That loaded the bases for Jorge Posada, who rapped Wakefield's 29th pitch to center, plating Jeter and A-Rod.

The Sox, meanwhile, were piling up base runners and leaving them on. They left three on in the first, one in the second, one in the third, two in the fourth, three in the fifth, and three more in the sixth. That's 13 left on base through six innings, with only two runs across.

The Red Sox loaded the bases in the first on a Jeter error, the Loretta single to left, and a Trot Nixon walk. But Mike Lowell flied to right, ending the threat. Wily Mo Pena walked leading off the second but did not advance. In the third, the Sox managed a run, cutting it to 2-1 when Loretta led off with a double, advanced on a wild pitch, and scored on a David Ortiz ground out.

In the fourth, the Yankees upped the lead to 3-1 on a Jeter RBI single that scored Bubba Crosby. Crosby had singled and stolen second, the Yankees' third successful steal in as many attempts off Wakefield.

The Sox cut it to 3-2 in an interminable sixth inning in which Joe Torre used four pitchers in a span of four batters (Scott Proctor on Loretta, Mike Myers on Ortiz, Tanyon Sturtze on Manny Ramirez, and Ron Villone on Nixon). The Sox sent seven men to the plate but scored just once. Alex Gonzalez led off with a single to left off Proctor. Kevin Youkilis followed with a single to left. And Loretta singled to left, for his 16th hit in his last 30 at-bats, knocking in Gonzalez to pull the Sox within 3-2.

And then the matchup work began. Myers entered and got Ortiz to sky out to shallow right. Sturtze, who wanted nothing to do with coming over the plate or in on Ramirez, walked him on five pitches. Villone then clutched up. Entering with the bases loaded, he got Nixon to pop to second baseman Robinson Cano in shallow right, not deep enough for Youkilis to tag up. Lowell, up next, grounded to Jeter, who stepped on second for the inning-ending force out. That marked the third time Lowell had ended an inning, with seven left on base by him alone. In all fairness, he easily could have had a two-run homer to his credit, if not for Crosby's leaping grab in the third. If that ball had cleared the fence if would have extended Lowell's streak of hits without a single to 10 (he began the night with eight doubles and a homer accounting for his last nine hits).

Damon also pulled in a ball that was hit deep, though it probably would have come up shy of a home run. With Pena on second in the fourth inning, Mirabelli crushed a ball to dead center. Damon, measuring his paces carefully, leaped at the 408-mark at the ideal time and hauled the ball in.

The Sox took two of three in the series and scored 19 runs in those two wins, though eight of those runs were unearned, including two last night. The Sox have now beaten the Yankees three times in four meetings, including that one-game "series" in Boston played May 1.

 

at Yankee Stadium (New York) ...

R

H

E

BOSTON RED SOX

0

0

1

0

0

1

2

0

1

 

5

13

0

NEW YORK YANKEES

2

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

 

3

8

1

W-Tim Wakefield (3-4)
S-Jonathan Papelbon (13)
L-Ron Villone (0-1)
Attendance 54,956

2B-Loretta (Bost), Pena (Bost), Gonzalez (Bost), Williams (NY)
3B-Crosby (NY)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Kevin Youkilis 1b 5 0 2 .310  

 

Mark Loretta 2b 6 1 4 .280  

 

David Ortiz dh 5 0 0 .269  

 

Manny Ramirez lf 3 0 0 .310  

 

Trot Nixon rf 4 0 1 .308  

 

Mike Lowell 3b 5 0 1 .331  

 

Wily Mo Pena cf 2 0 1 .325  

 

Jason Varitek c 1 0 0 .222  

 

Doug Mirabelli c 4 0 1 .176  

 

Willie Harris pr/cf 1 2 1 .136  

 

Alex Gonzalez ss 5 2 2 .221  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Tim Wakefield 6 6 3 3 9  
  Mike Timlin 1 1 0 0 2  
  Keith Foulke 0.2 1 0 0 0  
  Jon Papelbon 1.1 0 0 1 1  

 

 

         

 

 

 

2006 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX 21 13 -

 

 

New York Yankees 19 13 1

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays 19 15 2

 

 

Baltimore Orioles 15 20 6 1/2

 

 

Tampa Bay Rays 14 21 7 1/2