Final, Phillies 3-1: Jonathan Papelbon’s first ninth inning back in Boston ended the way the vast majority of his ninth innings at Fenway Park end — in 1-2-3 fashion.
After striking out Jonny Gomes and getting Dustin Pedroia to ground out to third base (with Michael Young making an great stop on an awkward hop), David Ortiz nearly took his former teammate deep to right field. His fly ball went foul by just a few feet, though, and Big Papi grounded out on the next pitch to end the game.
These teams will be back at it tomorrow in Philadelphia, with game time scheduled for 7:10 p.m.
Mid 9th, Phillies 3-1: Philadelphia tacked on an insurance run in what the Phillies hope to be their final inning at the plate.
Domonic Brown, who homered yesterday, sent the first pitch of the inning from Junichi Tazawa into the Red Sox bullpen, giving the Phillies a 3-1 advantage heading into the bottom of the ninth.
And here he is. Jonathan Papelbon strolls out of the bullpen to make his official return to Fenway Park. He’ll face Jonny Gomes, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz.
End 8th, Phillies 2-1: Jose Iglesias managed to crack Cliff Lee’s armor in the eighth, beating out an infield single with two outs, but the Phillies ace responded by blowing an 0-2 fastball past Jacoby Ellsbury to close out another scoreless frame.
Will Lee, who has now thrown 95 pitches, return for the ninth, or will Red Sox fans get to officially welcome Jonathan Papelbon back to Boston? Pap is now warming in the ‘pen.
Junichi Tazawa will come on to work the ninth for Boston.
Mid 8th, Phillies 2-1: Craig Breslow gets the job in the top of the eighth.
After falling behind Jimmy Rollins 3-0 on three fastballs, the left-handed reliever threw four different pitches to the shortstop, fooling Rollins on a full-count changeup to pick up the strikeout.
Breslow then returned to his fastball to sit down Ryan Howard swinging and got Delmon Young to ground out to shortstop on a first-pitch changeup to retire the side.
The Red Sox will try to solve Cliff Lee, who has retired 20 of his last 21 batters, in their half of the eighth.
End 7th, Phillies 2-1: While fatigue has set in a bit for Ryan Dempster, his Phillies counterpart is still going strong.
Cliff Lee worked yet another 1-2-3 inning in the seventh, retiring David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava in order. Lee has allowed just three hits tonight and has not walked anybody, resulting in a very low pitch count of 80 heading into his eighth inning of work.
Dempster is indeed done for the night, as Craig Breslow will come on to pitch the eighth for the Red Sox. Dempster will unfortunately not be in line for the win after his best start in weeks, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks over seven innings.
Mid 7th, Phillies 2-1: The long ball gave the Phillies their first lead back in the first inning, but it was small ball that put them back ahead in the seventh.
John Mayberry opened the inning with a base hit, advanced to second on a well-placed sacrifice bunt by Freddy Galvis and came in to score on Erik Kratz’s single up the middle. A pair of nice defensive plays by Ryan Dempster and Stephen Drew kept the damage to just the one run, but it may have cost Dempster a chance for the win.
Craig Breslow is warming in the Boston bullpen, and with Dempster’s pitch count at 98, he’s probably done for the night.
End 6th, 1-1: Another three up, another three down for Cliff Lee, who has breezed through the Sox order tonight.
Lee first retired Jacoby Ellsbury on a groundout to second base. Jonny Gomes then hit a line drive sharply to right field, but its trajectory happened to send it straight at John Mayberry, who made the catch for the second out. Dustin Pedroia grounded to short for the inning’s final out, though Jimmy Rollins’ throw just barely beat him to first.
Ryan Dempster will return to the hill for the Sox in the seventh.
Mid 6th, 1-1: The Phillies made Ryan Dempster work through his toughest inning yet — putting two runners on for the first time tonight — but Dempster was able to strand them both.
He first needed seven pitches to retire Michael Young for the first out, then he walked Jimmy Rollins on four pitches and allowed a single up the middle on the second pitch Ryan Howard saw. He settled down after a pair of mound visits from David Ross, though, getting both Delmon Young and Domonic Brown to fly out to right field to end the inning.
End 5th, 1-1: The Red Sox finally got their third hit of the night off of Cliff Lee, breaking a streak of 11 consecutive outs for the the Phillies starter, but Daniel Nava’s leadoff single was followed by three straight outs, keeping this contest knotted up at one run apiece.
After Nava reached, David Ross dropped down a sacrifice bunt, advancing the runner to second. But Stephen Drew popped out to the infield for a second time tonight, and Jose Iglesias struck out swinging on a two-seam fastball, preventing the Sox from doing any damage.
Mid 5th, 1-1: This game is humming right along.
Ryan Dempster issues a two-out walk to Erik Kratz but is otherwise perfect in the fifth, inducing popouts from John Mayberry and Freddy Galvis and a groundout to first from Ben Revere.
Dempster’s pitch count (73 at the moment) remains relatively low, too, at least by his standards. Expect John Farrell not to hesitate about going to his bullpen, though, since Franklin Morales was activated precisely for this reason.
End 4th, 1-1: Ben Revere sees your sliding catch, Jacoby Ellsbury, and he raises you an over-the-shoulder grab in the center-field triangle.
Revere raced back to the deepest part of the park to haul in David Ortiz’s long fly ball, and he managed not to physically injure himself in the process. The center fielder slammed into the grated portion of the wall that houses the Bleacher Bar last night — also to track down an Ortiz fly ball — causing him some visibly significant pain, though not enough to necessitate his exit from the ballgame.
Cliff Lee retired Boston’s other two batters in much simpler fashion (a groundout to the pitcher and his fifth strikeout) to run his streak of consecutive batters retired to 11.
Mid 4th, 1-1: If they gave out MVP awards for random two-game interleague series in late May, Jacoby Ellsbury would certainly be the front-runner for this one.
Ellsbury, who scored the Red Sox’ only run back in the first inning, made his second highlight-reel defensive play in the last two days, charging in and sliding to rob Jimmy Rollins of a bloop single.
Ellsbury’s grab was the first out in what was another solid inning by Ryan Dempster, who sandwiched an infield single between two strikeouts to sit the Phillies down empty-handed in the fourth.
The Sox will need to give him a little more run support, though, as they have not been able to put a runner on against Cliff Lee since the first inning.
End 3rd, 1-1: That’s another spotless inning of work for Cliff Lee, who has now retired eight consecutive batters.
Jose Iglesias and Jacoby Ellsbury both grounded out to second baseman Freddy Galvis and Jonny Gomes struck out swinging — Lee’s fourth K of the night.
Mid 3rd, 1-1: The Red Sox were bailed out by three big double plays last night, and the middle infield came up big with another here in the third.
After Freddy Galvis walked to open the inning, Erik Kratz grounded one to shortstop Stephen Drew in the hole behind second base. Drew shoveled the ball to Dustin Pedroia, who quickly turned and fired to first to complete the twin killing.
Ben Rever followed with a two-out single and a steal of second, but Michael Young — who provided Philly’s only run of the game with a homer in the first — grounded out to third baseman Jose Iglesias to bring the inning to a close.
It’ll be Jose Iglesias then the top of the order coming up first for the Sox in their half of the third.
Also, if you’d like to see some pretty moving footage from Jeff Bauman and Carlos Arredondo’s first-pitch ceremony tonight, you can check it out right here.
End 2nd, 1-1: Three quick outs for Cliff Lee, and the Sox go down in order in the second.
Lee opened the inning with his second and third strikeouts of the night, sitting down both Daniel Nava and David Ross by way of the K. He then got Stephen Drew to pop out to Jimmy Rollins in shallow center field to complete the 1-2-3.
Lee’s pitch count is higher than Dempster’s thus far (28-23), but both settled down after allowing a run in the first.
Mid 2nd, 1-1: Racking up massive pitch counts early in games has doomed Ryan Dempster in the past, making 1-2-3 innings like the one he tossed in the second all the more important.
Dempster got both Delmon Young and reigning NL Player of the Week Domonic Brown both to fly out to right field on four total pitches before striking out John Mayberry looking to end the frame. Since allowing a homer to Michael Young in the first, he has retired five straight batters.
Those watching this game on TV may notice that both teams are sporting a slightly different look tonight. As many teams around the majors are doing this weekend, both the Red Sox and Phillies are wearing their batting practice caps instead of their usual game caps, meaning the Sox are rocking the red brims tonight. Personally, I think it’s a pretty good look.
End 1st, 1-1: John Farrell’s decision to stick with Jacoby Ellsbury in the leadoff spot is looking better every day. Ellsbury came through again in his first at-bat tonight, using a base hit and some skillful baserunning to erase Philadelphia’s early lead.
After Ellsbury singled to lead off the bottom of the first, Jonny Gomes flied out to right field for the inning’s first out. Then, with Dustin Pedroia at the plate, Ellsbury stole second — his 16th steal of the season — which allowed him to easily beat out John Mayberry’s throw to the plate after Dustin Pedroia knocked a base hit of his own.
David Ortiz and Mike Napoli then popped out and struck out to end the inning, but not before Boston foiled the Phillies’ chances of taking a much-needed early lead.
Mid 1st, Phillies 1-0: Michael Young’s first-inning home run made one thing clear: there are way too many Phillies fans in this building right now.
When the third baseman sent Ryan Dempster’s one-out offering over the Green Monster, Fenway Park erupted in cheers much like those seen after a Red Sox homer in Baltimore or Tampa Bay. The Philly supporters clearly do not mind making the roughly five-hour trek from eastern Pennsylvania.
As for the actual game action, Young’s dinger was Dempster’s only blemish in the opening frame. He began the game by getting Ben Revere to ground out to the pitcher. Then, after allowing the homer, Dempster induced a lazy fly ball to center from Jimmy Rollins and struck out Ryan Howard swinging to end the inning.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Jonny Gomes and Dustin Pedroia will get first ups for the Sox against Cliff Lee.
7:13 p.m.: Ryan Dempster’s first pitch is a bit inside to Ben Revere and we are underway from Fenway Park. Revere, Michael Young and Jimmy Rollins are due up first against the veteran righty.
Tonight’s ceremonial first pitches were thrown out by marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman and Carlos Arredondo, whose heroic actions on April 15 helped save Bauman’s life. Arredondo — sporting his now-famous cowboy hat — and Bauman got some pitching tips from Sox great Pedro Martinez in the pregame and received a standing ovation from the Fenway Faithful as the exited the field.
6:35 p.m.: Last night’s victory, coupled with a Yankees loss to the Mets, gave sole possession of first place in the AL East back to the Red Sox for the first time since May 7.
Since their mid-May mini-swoon, during which a sweep in Texas triggered a streak of nine losses in 11 games, the Sox have been one of the hottest teams in baseball. They enter tonight’s tilt having won 10 of their last 3 contests and sit tied with the Rangers for the best record in the American League at 32-20.
Boston will try to extend its current winning streak to five games against a pitcher that many of the Red Sox’ hitters know quite well.
Six of Boston’s starting nine tonight have faced Cliff Lee at least 11 times in their careers, with four posting an average of .273 or better against the 2008 Cy Young winner. Lee has stymied the two men at the top of the Red Sox order, though, as Jacoby Ellsbury and Jonny Gomes are a combined 3-for-41 (.073) lifetime against the lefty.
We’ll be getting started here at Fenway in just about 35 minutes. Stay tuned.
5:20 p.m.: Domonic Brown may not be a very recognizable name for folks in these parts, but the Phillies left fielder has garnered some recognition from the MLB higher-ups.
The league announced earlier today that Brown, who is already within six games of matching his single-season career high, has been named National League Player of the Week. The award was certainly deserved, as Brown has been huge out hitting behind Ryan Howard and Delmon Young in the Phillies’ offensively anemic lineup.
Over the last six games, Brown has gone 8-for-23 with two doubles, one triple, two home runs, seven RBIs and four runs scored, including accounting for two-thirds of Philadelphia’s offense with a two-run homer last night. He’ll start in the No. 6 slot again tonight as the Phillies try to rebound from a 9-3 loss in the finale of this brief two-game series.
Here are the full starting lineups for both teams:
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Jonny Gomes, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, RF
David Ross, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Jose Iglesias, 3B
Ryan Dempster, RHP
Ben Revere, CF
Michael Young, 3B
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Ryan Howard, 1B
Delmon Young, DH
Domonic Brown, LF
John Mayberry, RF
Freddy Galvis, 2B
Erik Kratz, C
Cliff Lee, LHP
The Red Sox also announced a roster move prior to the game, activating starter/long reliever Franklin Morales and optioning Alfredo Aceves back to Pawtucket. Click here for more details on that one.
8 a.m. ET: Tyler Cloyd had no hope of stopping the Red Sox offense Monday night, as Boston chased the Phillies starter after just 2 1/3 innings en route to a 9-3 win. Putting up those kind of numbers against Cliff Lee should be a much more daunting task.
Lee (5-2, 2.48 ERA), who gets the start for Philadelphia on Tuesday at Fenway Park, appears to finally be pitching like, well, Cliff Lee after a frustrating and injury-plagued 2012 campaign. The 2008 AL Cy Young winner has allowed just two runs over his last three outings (23 innings total), including a complete-game shutout last time out against Miami, his first since September 2011.
Tuesday will be grizzled veterans night at the ballpark, as Lee’s opposition will be Ryan Dempster, who looks to rebound after three consecutive underwhelming starts. The two have a combined 26 years of major league experience under their belts. Dempster (2-5, 4.69 ERA) has lost his last three decisions dating back to May 7, with the most recent coming in a 12-3 whitewashing at the hands of the Indians last Thursday.
First pitch from Fenway is scheduled for 7:10 p.m., with coverage beginning on NESN at 6 p.m., but be sure to check back throughout the day for starting lineups and everything else you need to know heading into this interleague tilt.