THE RAYS and A ONE WAY
TICKET TO "MANNY-WOOD" ...
Fists fly at Fenway Park
It was just another quiet night at Fenway Park.
had been boiling from Wednesday night's confrontations between Crisp and Joe
Maddon, Crisp and Jason Bartlett, Crisp and Akinori Iwamura. Sure enough, the
second pitch to Crisp from Rays starter James Shields in the second inning last
night struck the batter's upper right thigh. For a second, Crisp hesitated. He
dropped his bat.
dropped his helmet and rushed the mound. Crisp's head snapped back,
Matrix-style, as Shields swung and missed with a right. Crisp landed a punch.
The benches then cleared, and in the center of it all, Crisp was at the bottom
of a pig pile. Dioner Navarro wrestled him to the ground, and Jonny Gomes and
Carl Crawford started firing punches, Gomes pounding away from atop Crisp.
Crisp, Gomes, and Shields were ejected.
amid all this, the Red Sox beat the Rays, 7-1, for their sixth win in as many
Fenway meetings with Tampa Bay and their 13th home win in a row. They expanded
their American League East lead over Tampa to 1 1/2 games. Jon Lester got the
win in his first Fenway start since his no-hitter against the Royals May 19. But
those developments were lost among the sideshows.
significant moment came in the fourth. Evan Longoria sent a Lester pitch to
center that was caught by a diving Jacoby Ellsbury, who had moved from left
after Crisp was ejected. His right wrist rolled when it hit the turf, and
Ellsbury left the game in obvious pain. X-rays were negative, and Ellsbury was
diagnosed with a strained right wrist and listed as day to day.
didn't quite settle matters. Lester hit Crawford in the upper arm with a
breaking ball in the fifth. But Crawford trotted peacefully to first, and there
were no more fireworks. At least for the moment. Lester went inside to Cliff
Floyd in the seventh, drawing a glare from Gomes's replacement. He ended his
evening by hitting Iwamura.
That seemed secondary, and it was, though Ramirez got a rousing cheer for
hitting a pitch into a parking lot on Lansdowne Street in the first for his 503d
career home run. It was a three-run shot that followed Pedroia's hit-by-pitch
and a Drew double, and it gave Lester the lead for good.
a run in the second, when pinch runner Carter scored on a sacrifice fly by
Pedroia, and three in the fourth when Carter started things with his first major
league hit, a single. Ramirez's two-run, bases-loaded single was the key blow.
Or maybe not on a night when fists were flying.