A SAD END TO A RECORD SEASON ...
Kevin Youkilis' 9th inning homer
wins in Detroit

June 2, 2006 ... Kevin Youkilis hit a two-run home run with the Sox one out from losing. Youkilis' homer, which followed a two-out single by gimpy-legged Mike Lowell, came off Todd Jones, the onetime spare part in the Red Sox column who had unexpectedly resurrected his career as a 40-save man last year in Florida and had blown just one save in 17 chances this season.

Youkilis, with his sixth home run this season, succeeded where an inning earlier David Ortiz had come up short in his bid for a go-ahead home run off Detroit's precocious rookie, Joel Zumaya, who challenged Big Papi with a 98-mile-per- hour fastball. In almost any other park in the nation not staffed by the US Park Service, a fan would have had a souvenir. In Boston, they would have been fighting for it in the street. But here in Comerica Park, baseball's version of Yellowstone, Ortiz's ball died in the glove of center fielder Curtis Granderson, roughly 6.2 miles from home plate.

Youkilis's home run salvaged a strong effort by Curt Schilling, who was thwarted in his attempt to become the majors' first nine-game winner. Placido Polanco, one of only two players on the Tigers' roster with more than a handful of at-bats against Schilling, doubled and scored on Marcus Thames' double into the left-field corner in the first, then hit the last of three singles off Schilling in the fifth to score Craig Monroe with the go-ahead run.

The Sox, meanwhile, were mesmerized by 41-year-old Kenny Rogers, who was trying to draw within two wins of the milestone Schilling just achieved, 200 wins. The lefthander allowed the Sox just five hits, all singles, and walked one in seven innings before turning the game over to a bullpen that has been the game's best this season.

The Sox scored their first run in the fourth when Coco Crisp singled, stole second, and scored on Manny Ramirez's line single to left. The first eight innings otherwise was an exercise in frustration, especially for Ramirez, who was called out on strikes twice by plate umpire Larry Vanover, argued in both instances, and flipped his bat and helmet in frustration the second time, when Vanover rung him up on a breaking ball that had tire treads after scraping the ground.

Schilling struck out eight and for the fourth straight start did not walk a batter, but with his pitch count at 109 through six innings, Francona opted for his bullpen, and got a scoreless inning apiece from David Riske and Rudy Seanez.

In April in Cleveland, Francona had sent out Schilling to pitch the seventh even though he'd thrown 110 pitches and allowed four runs. This time, he took the prudent course and was rewarded.

A rare error by Youkilis, who dropped a throw from Lowell with two out in the eighth inning, led to a situation where the Tigers had runners on second and third and a chance to extend their lead, but Seanez induced Craig Shelton to pop to third.

After tapping Jones, the Sox turned the game over to Jonathan Papelbon, who has yet to allow a run on the road this season. Papelbon struck out Monroe and induced a ground ball to short before Ivan Rodriguez was sent up to pinch hit for Vance Wilson. Papelbon whiffed Rodriguez on a 94-m.p.h. fastball that rode in high and tight for his 20th save in 20 tries, extending his club record for save conversions at the start of a season.

 

at Comerica Park (Detroit) ...

R

H

E

BOSTON RED SOX

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

2

 

3

7

1

DETROIT TIGERS

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

 

2

8

1

W-Rudy Seanez (1-0)
S-Jonathan Papelbon (20)
L-Todd Jones (0-3)
Attendance 35,531

2B-Polanco (Det), Thames (Det)
HR-Youkilis (Bost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Coco Crisp cf 3 1 2 .333  

 

Mark Loretta 2b 4 0 0 .308  

 

David Ortiz dh 3 0 0 .263  

 

Manny Ramirez lf 4 0 1 .303  

 

Jason Varitek c 4 0 0 .233  

 

Mike Lowell 3b 4 0 3 .326  

 

Willie Harris pr 0 1 0 .176  

 

J.T. Snow 1b 0 0 0 .233  

 

Kevin Youkilis 1b/3b 4 1 1 .316  

 

Trot Nixon rf 4 0 0 .288  

 

Alex Gonzalez ss 2 0 0 .226  

 

Alex Cora 2b 2 0 0 .261  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Curt Schilling 6 7 2 0 8  
  David Riske 1 0 0 0 1  
  Rudy Seanez 1 1 0 0 1  
  Jon Papelbon 1 0 0 0 2  

 

 

         

 

 

 

2006 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX 32 20 -

 

 

New York Yankees 32 21 1/2

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays 30 23 2 1/2

 

 

Baltimore Orioles 25 30 8 1/2

 

 

Tampa Bay Rays 22 33 11 1/2