Boston’s Ninth-Inning Collapse Leads to Loss Against A’s


Jul 28, 2009

Boston's Ninth-Inning Collapse Leads to Loss Against A's Jim Rice's No. 14 was hanging on the right field facade. The Boston bats were working again. There was magic in the air.

Then, disaster struck in the ninth inning.

After topping the A's on Monday, Boston's untouchable bullpen inexplicably collapsed following a strong start by Clay Buchholz, resulting in an 11-inning loss for the Red Sox.

Sox had a perfect opportunity to gain a game on the Yankees but wasted
it, casting new doubts about the impenetrability of the bullpen.

Athletics 9, Red Sox 8 (11 innings)
Fenway Park, Boston, Mass.
July 28, 2009

Live Blog | Box Score | Recap

Headliner: The honor would have gone to Buchholz — or to J.D. Drew,
who turned in a 3-for-5 performance with an RBI and two runs scored —
until a ninth-inning debacle resulted in an extra-innings win for
Oakland. Who got it all started for the A's? Rookie Tommy Everidge, who registered his first major league hit in the top of the ninth against Jonathan Papelbon. His RBI double off the Monster ignited Oakland's three-run, game-tying rally.

The Dirt Dog:
Is Buchholz perfect? No. But his quasi-audition for the rest of Major
League Baseball still went well on Tuesday night. He lasted 5 2/3
innings and allowed nine hits, surrendering two runs and fanning five.
He ran into some road blocks in the second inning — road blocks big
enough to make it look like he'd be ceding to Justin Masterson before he hit the fourth inning — but he persevered and lined himself up for his second win of the year before Papelbon and Nick Green took over.

may have his flaws, but he certainly would be an asset for most teams
looking for a young starter with big upside. And in light of everything
that went down with Daisuke Matsuzaka on Tuesday afternoon, he's an asset for Boston, too.

Shout-out to Kevin Youkilis, who went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, including a game-tying, two-run double in the bottom of the third.

Better Luck Next Time: Leading
up to Tuesday's game, Boston's relievers had not allowed a run in nine
games since the All-Star break. During that 24-inning span, they
registered 23 strikeouts and just eight walks. The bullpen was

Enter Ramon Ramirez and Hideki Okajima, who symbolized the beginning of the end for Boston on Tuesday.

The Sox were on top 6-2 in the top of the seventh when Okajima replaced Ramirez and promptly gave up a base hit to Ryan Sweeney, which scored Jack Cust.

Time to start another streak.

Special shout-out to shortstop Green, who made Boston reconsider that Julio Lugo trade when his two ninth-inning errors pretty much cost Boston the game.

Key Moment: The
Red Sox took a 7-4 lead into the ninth inning, and with Papelbon on the
mound, they looked safe.Then, the A's got one run back on a double by
Everidge and tied the game on Green's two consecutive throwing errors
to first.

Two innings later, in the top of the 11th, Rajai Davis' RBI single plated Mark Ellis, and the A's took a two-run lead on Adam Kennedy's RBI single.

On Deck: The good news is, last time out against Baltimore, Brad Penny (7-4,
4.71 ERA) pitched the Red Sox to a much-needed victory in order to halt
a five-game skid. He lasted 6 1/3 innings and allowed just one unearned
run en route to his seventh win of the year, the most he's had since
winning 16 with the Dodgers in 2007. In his last five starts at Fenway,
he has a 1.59 ERA in 28 1/3 innings.

The bad news is, Boston's taking on Brett Anderson
(5-8, 4.32 ERA), who fans may remember from July 6. The lefty threw a
complete game, two-hit shutout against the Sox, and since then, he's
allowed just four earned runs in four starts.

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