HR #15

A SAD END TO A RECORD SEASON
The bullpen and A-Gon win this one

May 31, 2006 ... The Sox did manage a win by an 8-6 count, despite the fact that David Pauley, in his major league debut, gave up 11 hits, the most by a Boston starter this season. In the series, Toronto lashed out at Pauley (4 1/3 innings), Josh Beckett (4 2/3), and Matt Clement (3 1/3) for 19 runs on 28 hits.

But, there was a saving grace, not merely in the person of Jonathan Papelbon (club-record 19th consecutive save to begin a season) but in those who join him in the bullpen. Sox relievers limited Toronto to nine hits and two runs, with Keith Foulke and Papelbon pitching only 2 1/3 of those 12 2/3 innings. The pen, for a few nights, did more than could be asked. But, the bullpen doesn't look as good as it did, and Pauley is out of the game even sooner, if not for the work of the infield.

This is how four of Toronto's innings ended last night: 6-3 double play, 1-6-3 double play, 5-4-3 double play, and 6-4-3 double play. The numerical recounting, though, does not do the acts justice. Then again, when has numerical evaluation ever rewarded the "6" in those equations, light-hitting shortstop Alex Gonzalez?

Gonzalez's most imperative turns came in the second and sixth. In the second, with the score tied, 1-1, and the bases loaded on two walks and a hit batsman, Pauley got leadoff batter Frank Catalanotto to bounce up the middle. Pauley realized later that he should have gone home with the ball to begin a 1-2-3 double play. Gonzalez, fortunately, had bolted for the bag, where Pauley's throw arrived, though offline. Gonzalez reached for it, managed to get his feet down, dance around the runner, and relay to nab Catalanotto.

In the sixth, with the Sox ahead, 8-6, one out, and runners on first and second against Manny Delcarmen, Lyle Overbay bounced a ball into the hole to Gonzalez's right. He got to the spot the ball was headed and, across his body, unloaded accurately to Mark Loretta covering second, starting a double play. That helped the Sox limit Toronto to six runs despite 18 base runners.

DAVID PAULEY

The Sox, meanwhile, scored in five of six innings to begin the game, with single runs in the first and sixth and two apiece in the third, fourth, and fifth. Five of the eight runs came on home runs, as the Sox matched a season high with four, including two off noted Sox silencer Ted Lilly (5-3, 3.57 ERA vs. Boston in 17 games before last night). Lilly lasted just four innings, giving up five runs on five hits and four walks.

David Ortiz, homerless in 39 at-bats dating to May 19, cranked a Lilly fastball out in the first inning for a 1-0 lead, giving him 15 homers (10 in April, five in May) and 48 RBIs. Loretta, with Gonzalez (single) on base and two outs in the third, followed Ortiz's approach. He went up hacking, got a fastball up in the zone to begin the at-bat, and deposited it into the Jays bullpen, which came to life with relievers warming just about that time. That homer, only the second of Loretta's season, upped the Sox' lead to 3- 1.

After the Jays got a run in third, the Sox made it 5-2 in the fourth, when Manny Ramirez led off with a walk, reached third on a Kevin Youkilis double (Youkilis batted fifth last night), and scored on a wild pitch. Youkilis came around on Coco Crisp's two-out single to left, though Lowell, who strained his left hamstring rounding third on the play, was thrown out at the plate.

Ramirez, in the fifth, upped the lead to 7-2 with a two-run blast on a 97-m.p.h. Francisco Rosario fastball. Ramirez's 51st career homer against Toronto (most by any opposing player) was also his sixth homer in eight games and his 13th of the year, all of which have come in his past 38 games.

Trot Nixon, who will be playing against lefties such as Lilly routinely now that Wily Mo Pena will miss two months following hand surgery today, came up with a solo homer, his fifth of the year and second in as many nights, in the sixth for an 8-6 lead.

The win? That went to Jermaine Van Buren, who relieved Pauley with Aaron Hill on third base after Hill's two-run triple bounced Pauley in the fifth. With one out, a runner on third, and the Sox ahead, 7-6, Van Buren got Edgardo Alfonzo to bounce back to the mound and Catalanotto to ground to second. Delcarmen (1 2/3 innings, 1 walk, 1 strikeout) followed. Van Buren in the series: 3 1/3 scoreless. Delcarmen: 3 scoreless.

Jason Varitek got the night off in favor of Mirabelli, whose numbers against Lilly (6 for 15, 3 HRs) helped get him a start.

Nixon's homer tied him with Mike Greenwell for 18th on the club's all-time list with 130.  Manny Ramirez , with his 448th homer, moved one behind Jeff Bagwell for 31st all-time.

Jonathan Papelbon , since taking the loss to Toronto May 3, has not allowed a run in 11 games. His 19 consecutive saves to begin a season are a Sox record.

 

at Rogers Centre (Toronto) ...

R

H

E

BOSTON RED SOX

1

0

2

2

2

1

0

0

0

 

8

9

2

TORONTO BLUE JAYS

0

1

1

0

4

0

0

0

0

 

6

13

0

W-Jermaine Van Buren (1-0)
S-Jonathan Papelbon (19)
L-Ted Lilly (5-5)
Attendance 24,526

2B-Youkilis (Bost), Mirabelli (Bost)
HR-Ortiz (Bost), Loretta (Bost), Ramirez (Bost), Nixon (Bost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Coco Crisp cf 5 0 1 .310  

 

Mark Loretta 2b 5 1 1 .314  

 

Alex Cora 2b 0 0 0 .273  

 

David Ortiz dh 4 2 1 .267  

 

Manny Ramirez lf 4 2 1 .304  

 

Kevin Youkilis 1b/3b 2 1 1 .317  

 

Mike Lowell 3b 2 0 0 .317  

 

J.T. Snow 1b 2 0 0 .233  

 

Doug Mirabelli c 3 0 1 .167  

 

Trot Nixon rf 3 1 1 .296  

 

Alex Gonzalez ss 4 1 2 .229  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  David Pauley 4.1 11 6 3 3  
  Jrm Van Buren 1 1 0 0 0  
  Mny Delcarmen 1.2 0 0 1 1  
  Keith Foulke 1 0 0 0 0  
  Jon Papelbon 1 1 0 0 1  

 

 

         

 

 

 

2006 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX 31 20 -

 

 

New York Yankees 31 20 -

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays 29 23 2 1/2

 

 

Baltimore Orioles 25 28 7

 

 

Tampa Bay Rays 21 32 11