Final, Red Sox 7-4: Koji Uehara entered, pounded the strike zone and successfully nailed down Game 2.
The Red Sox will head to Tampa Bay with a commanding 2-0 series lead in the ALDS. David Ortiz went deep twice as Boston locked up a 7-4 victory in Game 2.
The Red Sox again received contributions from up and down the order. Mike Napoli was the only Boston starter without a hit, and he walked twice.
Jacoby Ellsbury racked up three hits and three runs, Dustin Pedroia finished with three RBIs and Ortiz drilled the two dingers.
John Lackey earned the victory despite not having his best stuff. The right-hander gave up four runs on seven hits and three runs in 5 1/3 innings of work. He defeated David Price, who gave up seven runs on nine hits over seven innings.
The Red Sox and Rays will now travel to Tampa Bay for Game 3 on Monday. The Sox will send Clay Buchholz to the mound as they look to punch their ticket to the ALCS.
Good night, everyone.
End 8th, Red Sox 7-4: The Red Sox are three outs away from owning a commanding 2-0 series lead.
Koji Uehara will enter with a three-run cushion thanks to David Ortiz’s second homer of the game in the eighth inning.
Ortiz lifted David Price’s second pitch of the eighth down the right field line. It traveled right over Pesky’s Pole for Ortiz’s second long ball of the contest.
The multi-homer game is the first of Ortiz’s postseason career. It’s also the first multi-homer game for a Red Sox player in the playoffs since Dustin Pedroia smacked two dingers in Game 2 of the 2008 ALCS.
Ortiz gave the Fenway Faithful a curtain call after the eighth-inning blast.
8:39 p.m., Red Sox 7-4: We have lift off.
David Ortiz launched a solo homer down the right field line to knock David Price from the game and extend Boston’s lead to 7-4 in the eighth inning.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 6-4: The Red Sox benefited from another inning-ending double play in the eighth.
Delmon Young singled into center field with one out, but Junichi Tazawa made sure that the threat didn’t build. Yunel Escobar grounded to second base for a tailor-made double play.
The Red Sox have ended back-to-back frames with 4-6-3 twin killings.
End 7th, Red Sox 6-4: David Price made it through seven innings.
Price obviously hasn’t been his best. In fact, he hasn’t really been all that good, either. But he has given his team innings.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia went down in order in the seventh inning.
Junichi Tazawa will pitch the eighth inning for Boston. If he gets into any trouble, we could see Koji Uehara, as John Farrell said before the game that he wasn’t opposed to using Uehara for more than three outs if the situation called for it.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 6-4: Craig Breslow, who recorded the final two outs of the sixth inning, got a huge double play to end the top of the seventh.
Breslow hit James Loney and walked Evan Longoria with one out. In other words, the left-hander was in some serious trouble before getting exactly what he needed.
Ben Zobrist hit a chopper to Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia fielded it and spun before tossing to second base, where Stephen Drew converted a successful turn. Drew showed some great footwork around the bag.
Hats off to Breslow, though. Even when he wasn’t at his best, he still got the job done.
End 6th, Red Sox 6-4: David Price has made it through six innings despite being thrown up against the ropes a few times.
Price enjoyed a 1-2-3 sixth. Will Middlebrooks, Stephen Drew and David Ross failed to make any noise against the left-hander.
Middlebrooks popped out, Drew grounded out and Ross struck out looking.
Matt Joyce remained in the game as the new left fielder, while Jose Lobaton took over behind the plate.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 6-4: Craig Breslow has been so reliable for the Red Sox, particularly in the second half.
Breslow took over with a runner on first base and one out in the sixth inning after Yunel Escobar delivered an RBI single. The lefty retired the two hitters he faced.
Matt Joyce, who was announced as a pinch hitter before Breslow entered the game, flied out to center field. Sean Rodriguez then pinch hit for David DeJesus and grounded to short for the inning’s final out.
The book is closed on John Lackey. The veteran gave up four runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked three while throwing 95 pitches (62 strikes).
Lackey wasn’t his sharpest, but he was better than David Price, who is coming back out for another inning.
7:55 p.m., Red Sox 6-4: Here comes the first real test for the Red Sox’ bullpen.
The Rays have already scored one run in the sixth inning, and John Farrell will turn to Craig Breslow after 5 1/3 innings from John Lackey.
Yunel Escobar knocked in the run with an RBI single.
End 5th, Red Sox 6-3: The Red Sox’ offense did a nice job of snagging the momentum right back after the Rays posted two runs in the top of the inning.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off with single into center field. Ellsbury now has three hits atop the Red Sox’ order.
The Boston leadoff man also has three runs, as Dustin Pedroia knocked him in with a one-out double down the left field line. The ball bounced up against the wall, and Ellsbury hustled all the way around from first base.
David Price finally ended the inning with a forceout after David Ortiz struck out and Mike Napoli walked.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 5-3: The Red Sox looked like they were on the verge of blowing this thing open. But the Rays are sticking around.
James Loney hit a double off the wall to score two runs and cut Boston’s lead to 5-3 in the fifth inning.
Yunel Escobar started the fifth with a ground-rule double down the left field line, and the threat elevated when John Lackey plunked David DeJesus with one out.
Escobar advanced to third base when Wil Myers flight out to right field, but it didn’t matter much. Loney knocked in both Escobar and DeJesus with a lined shot off the wall in left-center field.
Evan Longoria walked with two down in the inning to make Lackey work a little longer. The right-hander finally escaped the inning with a big-time pitch to Ben Zobrist. Zobrist worked the count full before Lackey painted the inside corner to pick up the inning-ending strikeout.
End 4th, Red Sox 5-1: The Red Sox’ home-field advantage has been just that — an advantage.
Stephen Drew dented the left field wall with two outs in the fourth inning, and ended up with a triple as Boston tacked on its fifth run of the game.
Mike Napoli led off with a walk, and Jonny Gomes then hit what should have been a double play. But upon receiving Evan Longoria’s throw, Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist delivered a relay throw to first base that almost cleared the Red Sox’ dugout. Gomes was given second base.
Drew drove in Gomes with a fly ball to left field that banged off the Green Monster scoreboard. You could make the case that David DeJesus should have caught it, but he didn’t, and the ball traveled back toward the infield. That allowed Drew to scamper all the way to third base for an RBI triple.
The Monster has caused some problems for the Rays in this series.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 4-1: Evan Longoria singled to lead off the fourth inning. John Lackey took care of business from there.
Lackey first struck out Ben Zobrist looking. Zobrist didn’t offer at a 2-2 curveball right down the pike.
Desmond Jennings then popped out into the middle of the infield, and Delmon Young scorched a line drive to right field that Shane Victorino caught up to.
End 3rd, Red Sox 4-1: The Red Sox produced a pair of runs in the third inning.
David Ross led off with a Fenway double. It was a towering fly ball to left field that scraped the Green Monster on the way down.
Jacoby Ellsbury knocked in Ross with a little flair over Evan Longoria’s head. Longoria was playing in, and the ball landed a couple of feet out in the outfield grass. Ellsbury cruised into second base with a double.
Shane Victorino then singled, which put runners at the corners for Boston. Dustin Pedroia grounded into a fielder’s choice — during which Victorino had a nice takeout slide at second base — and Ellsbury crossed the plate with the Red Sox’ fourth run.
David Ortiz ended the inning with a hot smash to first base that resulted in a double play.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 2-1: John Lackey had trouble locating his fastball in the first two innings. In the third inning, Lackey used a couple of nasty offspeed offerings to pick up two strikeouts.
Lackey struck out David DeJesus to begin the inning and James Loney to end the inning. Both K’s came on curveballs down and out of the zone.
It looked as if Lackey, who missed with an 0-2 curveball to Loney, shook off David Ross before going back to the deuce in a 1-2 count to pick up the second strikeout.
In between the two strikeouts, Lackey made a very nice defensive play. Wil Myers hit a grounder out in front of the plate, and Lackey sprung off the mound to field it. The pitcher made the play with his bare hand and delivered a strong off-balance throw to record the out.
End 2nd, Red Sox 2-1: The Red Sox definitely don’t want to see David Price get into a zone.
Price, who got off to a shaky start, settled down in the second inning. He retired Jonny Gomes, Will Middlebrooks and Stephen Drew in order.
Gomes actually put good wood on the ball and sent it toward the wall in deep center field. Desmond Jennings retreated to make the grab on the warning track.
Middlebrooks smacked a hard ground ball that Yunel Escobar handled at short, and Drew flied out to left field.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 2-1: The Rays grabbed a run in the second inning.
John Lackey is still trying to find a rhythm, as his control has put him into a couple of difficult spots. To his credit, he did minimize the damage in the second inning.
Ben Zobrist opened the frame with a walk, and Desmond Jennings followed with a single into center field that sent Zobrist to third base.
Delmon Young — who Joe Maddon said before the game is playing on “another level” right now — delivered a sacrifice fly to cut Boston’s lead in half.
Lackey retired the next two hitters, although Jennings swiped second base to move up into scoring position. Yunel Escobar flied out to center field, and Jose Molina struck out to end the inning.
End 1st, Red Sox 2-0: The Red Sox’ offense is off and running in Game 2.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off the bottom of the first inning with a bloop single into right field. The ball dropped in front of Wil Myers, who again heard “My-ers! My-ers!” chants as he took the field.
Ellsbury then took off with Shane Victorino batting. Jose Molina’s throw traveled into center field, which allowed Ellsbury to take third base.
Victorino failed to plate Ellsbury, as he bounced out to third base. But Dustin Pedroia demonstrated a nice piece of hitting to get the job done. Pedroia anticipated that David Price would work him outside, and he drove a fly ball the other way that was deep enough to score Ellsbury from third.
David Ortiz made the loudest noise of the inning, though. Ortiz crushed a solo homer that landed just above the Red Sox’ bullpen to make it 2-0 Boston.
Mid 1st, 0-0: John Lackey struggled to find a rhythm in the first inning, but a big double play helped him out.
Lackey walked David DeJesus on five pitches to begin the game, as the the right-hander failed to locate his fastball against the Rays leadoff man.
Lackey bounced back to strike out Wil Myers, who once again heard it from the Fenway crowd. Myers fouled off a couple of 2-2 pitches, but Lackey put him away with a good-looking cutter.
James Loney singled to make it first and second with one out for the always dangerous Evan Longoria. That’s when Lackey received exactly what the doctor ordered.
Longoria bounced to third base, where Will Middlebrooks stepped on the bag and fired across the diamond for the easy 5-3, inning-ending double play.
5:37 p.m.: John Lackey kicks, wheels, deals, the offering…
5:24 p.m.: We’re approaching game time at Fenway Park. It’s going to be interesting to see how John Lackey fares in his Red Sox playoff debut.
Lackey said Friday that this is what you play for, and this is certainly why the Red Sox obtained the veteran prior to the 2010 season.
4:34 p.m.: Joe Maddon was again asked about Wil Myers’ blunder in Game 1, and he said — apparently inadvertently — that Myers “heard” something, which caused the right fielder to back off David Ortiz’s fly ball to right field.
When pressed on the issue, Maddon clarified with this response, which prompted some laughter:
“No, no, no. There’s no chicanery by the Red Sox. Although I would not put it past them.”
Maddon may have been joking in his subtle jab, but there’s definitely a rivalry between these two clubs.
3:40 p.m.: John Farrell used the term “relentless” the day he was introduced as Boston’s manager. He used it again — for about the 1,000th time — with the club up 1-0 in the ALDS. It really is the perfect way to describe this Red Sox team.
“Just the one word that we’ve continually tried to drive home is the word, ‘relentless,'” Farrell said Saturday. “And I think that’s played out whether it’s a given game, a given series, over the course of the 163 that you mentioned. Our guys love the attention to detail. And in some ways, does that give them an edge inside a game to be opportunistic? But it’s that overall relentlessness that I think has become a trait for this group.”
The Red Sox were certainly relentless Friday.
3:14 p.m.: The lineups have been posted.
As expected, David Ross will be behind the plate Saturday. John Farrell noted earlier in the week that Ross would start one of the first two games. The skipper said moments ago that he chose Game 2 because of Ross’ success (in a small sample size) against David Price and the catcher’s previous work (also a small sample) with John Lackey.
“Even though it’s a few number of at-bats against Price, he’s squared them up a couple of times,” Farrell said. “In addition to that, it’s the combination with Lackey. They worked well in the final start here against Baltimore. And the combination of he and Ross, maybe a little bit more adept at controlling the running game. There’s a few things that have gone into this.”
It’s worth noting that Ross didn’t catch in Lackey’s last start against Baltimore on Sept. 19 — Jarrod Saltalamacchia did. His point is still valid, though, in that Ross is a better option at helping to control the running game with Lackey on the hill.
Check out the complete lineups below.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
David Ross, C
John Lackey, RHP (10-13, 3.52 ERA)
David DeJesus, LF
Wil Myers, RF
James Loney, 1B
Evan Longoria, 3B
Ben Zobrist, 2B
Desmond Jennings, CF
Delmon Young, DH
Yunel Escobar, SS
Jose Molina, C
David Price, LHP (10-8, 3.33 ERA)
11:52 a.m.: Jonny Gomes, of course, was a catalyst in Game 1. Did you expect anything less?
Gomes’ personality and off-the-field contributions have been highlighted all season. But he’s been a part of some special moments on the field, too, and the Red Sox seem to feed off his energy.
“One, he’s a smart baseball player,” John Farrell said of Gomes after Friday’s win. “In some ways, with some guys, you can take numbers and put them aside. Jonny is one of those. Whether it’s inside of a rally, which he’s been a big part of late in the game, where he’s had some big hits for us. In that [fourth] inning where, also with the double, the two‑run double off the wall ‑‑ today was the reason why Jonny chose to come to Boston. And he demonstrated why this is where he wants to play. And he fits what we do so well. And the way he goes about the game rubs off on other players in our clubhouse.”
Gomes delivered the game-tying two-run double after Wil Myers’ mishap in the fourth inning. The play that really personified Gomes’ season, however, was when he hustled around from second base to score the go-ahead run on Stephen Drew’s infield single.
Gomes’ aggressive baserunning play was actually quite fitting. He made a similar play on Opening Day in the Bronx, and here he was doing it again in front of the Fenway Faithful in the first playoff game in Boston since 2009.
For Gomes’ reaction to the play and other notes from Friday’s Game 1, check out the link below. There are some interesting tidbits in there.
11:15 a.m.: Wil Myers probably heard “My-ers! My-ers!” chants in his sleep last night. That being said, Myers handled himself well after Friday’s game.
Myers, whose botched play in right field opened the door for five runs in the fourth inning that completely changed the complexion of the game, stood up, answered questions and shouldered the blame for the play-gone-wrong. The rookie vowed to brush it off for Game 2, and you can’t really ask for much more.
There’s a big difference between talking and actually doing, though, and he’ll absolutely be dealing with a tough crowd.
8 a.m.: Just how they drew it up.
The Red Sox blasted the Rays 12-2 in Game 1 of the ALDS on Friday to grab a 1-0 series lead. Boston’s offense compiled 14 hits — each player in the starting lineup had at least one — and Jon Lester was in vintage form. The Sox will look to keep the momentum going against Tampa’s ace on Saturday.
The Rays will send out David Price, who has long been the club’s No. 1 starter. Price is a big reason why the Rays are even in the ALDS, as the left-hander went the distance while guiding Tampa Bay to a win in its one-game tiebreaker in Texas on Monday. Price knows that he’ll need to bring his A-game on Saturday, though.
“Every single year, year in, year out, they are, they’re going to be a postseason team, and you know you’re going to have to come with your best,” Price said Friday. “If you come with your “B” game [or] “B‑plus” game, you have a pretty good chance to lose.”
The Red Sox will counter with John Lackey, who will be pitching in the playoffs for the first time as a member of the Red Sox. Lackey has pitched against the Red Sox in October in Boston, but this marks the first time that he’ll have the Fenway Park crowd in his corner, and he’s ready to roll.
“I’m excited about it,” Lackey said Friday. “It’s been a few years since I’ve been in the postseason, but this is why you play the game. This time of year is what we’re all here for.”
Lackey’s first pitch is scheduled for 5:37 p.m. Tune in to NESN’s Game 2 pregame coverage at 4:30. Then, fasten your seat belt and join the wild ride at NESN.com.