“DIARY OF A WINNER”

JACOBY ELLSBURY

A POWERFUL CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM
It was raining runs at Fenway Park

September 11, 2007 ... The Red Sox scored 15 runs over a four-inning stretch (fourth through seventh), to obliterate an 8-1 deficit and leave the stunned Devil Rays on the losing end of a 16-10 decision at Fenway Park. Not only did every Red Sox starter get a hit, but six of them had multiple-hit games by the sixth inning. In all, the Sox pounded out 20 hits, including home runs by Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, and J.D. Drew.  For Drew, it was his first home run at Fenway since April 22, the night four straight Boston batters connected off Yankee pitcher Chase Wright.

The Devil Rays didn't go down without a fight, collecting 18 hits themselves and scoring a run of Eric Gagne in the ninth. As the game went from potential rainout to potential blowout, the Sox smoked through a parade of six Devil Rays pitchers, leaving manager Joe Maddon with little more than a night of extra exercise he got walking to the mound and back.

No matter that Wakefield had come out of last Thursday's game in Baltimore after just 3 2/3 innings in his return from a stiff back. These were the Devil Rays, a team Wakefield had beaten six straight times and against whom he was 19-2 in his career. Except, lately, these had been new Devil Rays, their 13-of-17 winning splurge putting them on the brink of leaping over the Orioles into fourth place in the American League East. And Wakefield couldn't control them, his knuckleballs giving way to 10 hits, on which the Devil Rays scored seven runs - the last two coming on a three-run homer by Carlos Pena given up by reliever Kyle Snyder.

But it wasn't just Wakefield getting hammered. No sooner did the knuckleballer leave than the Red Sox knocked opposing starter Andy Sonnanstine out of the game with a four-run fourth inning that sliced the Devil Rays' 8-1 lead to a much more manageable 8-5. The four runs were scored in a station-to-station rally that consisted of singles by Mike Lowell, Drew (checked swing), Coco Crisp, Julio Lugo (RBI), and Kevin Cash (two RBIs), followed by a walk to Ellsbury, who had already homered in the third, and a sacrifice fly from Pedroia.

Early on, the game shaped up the way Wakefield's last outing had. Against Baltimore, he allowed six runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings. Prompting concern as the playoffs draw near, last night's start was even shorter, marking the first time since April 1999 that he had gone less than four innings in consecutive starts. Wakefield gave up four runs in the second, starting with a solo home run by Brendan Harris. That was followed by singles by Jonny Gomes and Dioner Navarro (RBI), and an RBI double by Josh Wilson. Akinori Iwamura scored another on a single to right. The Devil Rays also scored a run on an Iwamura double in the fourth.

BRYAN COREY

Though Javier Lopez allowed a runner to score in the fifth (inherited from Snyder), the Sox came back with another three runs in the fifth. After Lowell's infield hit and Drew's single to center field, Youkilis walked to load the bases. Runs followed on a sacrifice fly to center from Crisp, a double from Lugo, and another sacrifice fly to right from Cash. That brought the score to 9-8, Devil Rays. Even that didn't last long, with Pedroia making the comeback stick as he sent a pitch from reliever Jon Switzer into the Monster seats to lead off the sixth inning. Tie game.

For the once water-logged semi-full house at Fenway, the game was restarted at 9-9. For a minute or two. Because the deluge was continuing, even though the skies had cleared. And it came from all corners of the Red Sox lineup, including another four-hit game by Lowell, his sixth of the season, most in the major leagues.

Youkilis, the last player in the starting lineup to record a hit, smashed his with perfect timing. With the bases loaded, Youkilis bashed a triple off the base of the wall by the 379-foot sign, bringing the score to 12-9, the first lead of the game for the Red Sox. With the number of games left rapidly shrinking, the importance of each is magnified. And after today's rubber game is in the books, a certain rival returns to town. Rookie Bryan Corey just happened to be the pitcher of record, getting his first win.

J.D. DREW

Jacoby Ellsbury homered in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, every game in which he has played since being promoted from Pawtucket. He now has three home runs in 56 major league at-bats after hitting two in 436 at-bats in the minors this season.

Manny Ramirez did core work with rehabilitation coordinator Scott Waugh yesterday, and was scheduled to hit in the cage before the game. He appeared animated and in a good mood while talking to Julio Lugo during pregame. It's still unknown when Ramirez will return to the lineup from his strained left oblique.   Francona said he believes the goal for Doug Mirabelli is to be ready for Tim Wakefield's next start, calling that "realistic." Kevin Cash started last night.

J.D. Drew heard boos from every corner of Fenway Park after striking out looking to end the first inning, leaving Ortiz on second base and Mike Lowell on first.

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

TAMPA BAY RAYS

0

4

0

4

1

0

0

0

1

 

 

10

18

1

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

0

0

1

4

3

6

2

0

x

 

 

16

20

0

 

 

W-Bryan Corey (1-0)
L-Jon Switzer (0-1)
Attendance - 36,640

 2B-Wilson (TB), Navarro (TB), Iwamura (2)(TB),
 Upton (TB), Lugo (Bost), Crisp (Bost), Youkilis (Bost)

 3B-Youkilis (Bost)

 HR-Harris (TB), Pena (TB), Ellsbury (Bost),
 Pedroia (Bost), Ortiz (Bost), Drew (Bost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Jacoby Ellsbury lf 5 1 2 .373  

 

Dustin Pedroia 2b 5 1 2 .325  

 

David Ortiz dh 4 2 2 .320  

 

Mike Lowell 3b 5 3 4 .326  

 

J.D. Drew rf 4 4 3 .259  

 

Brandon Moss rf 0 0 0 .214  

 

Kevin Youkilis 1b 4 2 2 .289  

 

Coco Crisp cf 4 2 2 .271  

 

Julio Lugo ss 5 1 2 .241  

 

Kevin Cash c 4 0 1 .125  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Tim Wakefield 3 10 7 0 4  
  Kyle Snyder 1.2 1 2 2 3  
  Javier Lopez 0.1 2 0 0 1  
  Bryan Corey 1 0 0 0 1  
  Manny Delcarmen 1 2 0 0 1  
  Mike Timlin 1 1 0 0 1  
  Eric Gagne 1 2 1 0 1  

 

 

         

 

 

 

2007 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX 88 58 -

 

 

New York Yankees 82 62 5

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays 72 72 15

 

 

Baltimore Orioles 61 82 25 1/2

 

 

Tampa Bay Rays 61 84 26 1/2

 

     
 

Number to clinch - 13