With Jason Bay on second and Jason Varitek on third, the Sox were poised to make a comeback against the Indians on Monday night. Instead, a ball that seemed like it was headed for the left field corner bounced off of third-base umpire Gerry Davis. Indians 3B Jamey Carroll made an easy play, and caught the scrambling Sox off guard.
Bay, who had seen Carroll grab the ball and throw to home, headed back to third base. Unfortunately, Varitek was barreling to third with his head down. Bay, with nowhere to go, was tagged out to end the threat.
“At that point, like I said, it was already messed up” Bay said to Ian Browne at MLB.com “It was unfortunate. It’s part of the game. Nobody is trying to do that. We had more opportunities later on to score more runs. You can’t look at that as the only chance.”
The other big chance for the Sox was in the Seventh. Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia had both gotten on with singles. Kevin Youkilis hit a high double to score a run, and Bay worked a walk to load the bases. Facing Indians reliever Rafael Betancourt, Jed Lowrie had a chance to give the sox a lead. Lowrie struck out looking, and Mark Kotsay flew out to end the inning.
Lowrie also had a chance to give the Sox a win in the ninth. With Bay on second and Youkilis at third, it would have only taken a base hit for the Sox to walk off with the win. Lowrie struck out on three pitches to end the game.
Baserunners being stranded was the name of the game Monday. The Sox stranded 12, and only managed two hits with runners in scoring position (both by Youkilis). With Jed Lowrie cooling back off, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz ramping up their offense is important with the Sox knocking on October’s door.
Josh Beckett had a less than stellar outing, going 6 innings and giving up 4 runs on 7 hits, a walk, and uncharacteristic 3 hit batters. Javier Lopez, Justin Masterson, and Hideki Okajima combined for 3 scoreless innings of relief with 1 hit and three strikeouts. The Sox still need just one win (or a Yankees loss) to clinch a playoff spot.
Starting Aces 9/23/08 – Cliff Lee, (CLE 22-2, 2.41) vs Tim Wakefield, (BOS 9-11, 4.18). Game is at 7:05pm ET on NESN/WRKO.