Roberts flies out. Two down.
And Pap fans Reimold to end the game. No drama. Just perfection.
Top 9th, 6-5 Red Sox: O's side-armer and former Red Sox Cla Meredith is on the mound. He takes care of pinch-hitter Josh Reddick, then fans Green and gets Ellsbury to fly out toward the warning track.
On comes Pap.
Bottom 8th, 6-5 Red Sox: Hideki Okajima strikes out Markakis looking to start things off, then issues back-to-back walks to Huff and Wigginton. Two on, one out.
Oki gets a big out when Scott sends a foul pop-up to Youkilis, and then Wieters sends a first-pitch checked-swing-ish rocket back to him for the third out.
Top 8th, 6-5 Red Sox: Bay leads off with an in-field single to short. Hooray! Happy anniversary!
Lowell erases him with a 5-4-3 double-play ball, then Varitek flies out to end things.
Bottom 7th, 6-5 Red Sox: Wieters singles on against Ramon Ramirez, and Izturis follows up with a flyout.
Roberts sends a dribbler up the middle, and Ramirez can't field it; he tries to get Wieters at second, but inexplicably lobs the ball into short center. That's an error for him. (Masty would've gotten that.)
Reimold grounds out to third and Lowell gets the lead runner. Jones grounds out to short, and the O's are left with nothing.
Top 7th, 6-5 Red Sox: Green leads off with a checked-swing ground out. Ellsbury singles to left (this is his eighth three-hit game of the season), then Pedroia strikes out for the second time tonight.
And then… Youk goes deep! (I'm waiting for the obligatory, "And it's a Home Run Derby a little late this year!") That chases Guthrie. 6-5 Boston.
Matt Albers takes the mound against Ortiz.
And… Ortiz rockets the ball off the wall in center and gets thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. Ick.
Smoltz is done for the night — he's only thrown 86 pitches, but Francona saw enough. (And yet, he still refuses to admit that the John Smoltz Project just isn't working.)
Wonder if Nasty Masty is coming in.
Oh. Wait. (I'm crying inside.)
Bottom 6th, 5-4 Orioles: Jones flies out to center on the first pitch he sees. Markakis singles to right — it his almost the exact same place Reimold's homer did — and Baldelli plays the carom well.
Then Huff sends a two-run homer right over the center field wall. Well, that sure went wrong fast.
Wigginton grounds out to short, and then Ellsbury makes the best catch he's made in a while when Scott sends a home run bid to almost the same place as Huff. Ellsbury leaps up and grabs it then crashes to the ground but manages to hold on. Inning over.
Top 6th, 4-3 Red Sox: Lowell quickly flies out to left, Varitek flies out to center, and Baldelli grounds out to third.
The Red Sox T-shirt Justin Masterson wore for his final Red Sox interview makes me very sad. He wore a Red Sox T-shirt. On the day of the trade deadline. How can you be soulless enough to trade someone who does that?
Bottom 5th, 4-3 Red Sox: Izturis flies out to center, and Roberts pops up on Smoltz's first offering. He fans Reimold to end the frame. Three up, three down.
Top 5th, 4-3 Red Sox: Ellsbury leads off with his sixth homer of the year. Kid's been on fire lately.Pedroia follows up with a single to left, then tries to steal second and gets thrown out. (He then proceeds down the tunnel to the clubhouse to see how far away he was from being safe.)
Youkilis sends a base hit into left, Ortiz flies out to right, and Bay pops up to second. Homeboy needs a hit soon. It's his anniversary. (With the Red Sox.) Come on. Celebrate.
Bottom 4th, 3-3: Huff grounds out to first, Wigginton flies out to right, and Scott sends a dribbler toward Smoltz but there's no one around to cover at first. Wieters grounds out to Pedroia to end the frame.
I'm still trying to figure out why Boston got Casey Kotchman. Or why it rented LaRoche for a week. (Theo wanted his guys to learn how to use Sun-In. Yes.) The jury may be out on that one for a while.
Top 4th, 3-3: Varitek flies out to right for the first out. Baldelli and Green go quietly, too.
J.D. Drew is BMW's Offensive Player of the Week. He's sitting out tonight. (What groin strain? We all know he's protesting the dispatching of his roomie, Adam LaRoche.)
Bottom 3rd, 3-3: Matt Wieters leads off with a single, then takes second on Cesar Izturis' groundout — snagged, again, by Smoltz. He barehands it to Youk for the out. Impressive.
Green makes a seemingly-typical Green play when Roberts sends a grounder to him. He picks it then tries to go to third to get Wieters, but sends it bouncing away, allowing Wieters to score. That's 12 E's for him this year.
After Reimold homers to right, it's a tie ball game. Francona comes out to argue the call — it may have been off the top of the scoreboard — so the crew consults the replay. (I always get really amused by the way players group themselves during mid-inning delays. Today, we've got Lowell and Tito chatting in one corner, and Baldelli, Youk, and Pedie congregating in another. Back when Julio Lugo was here, nobody would congregate with him — and I'd laugh a lot.)
The crew reemerges; yep, still a homer.
Jones grounds out to short, and Youk picks Markakis' one-hopper to end it.
Top 3rd, 3-0 Red Sox: Pedroia flies out, then Youkilis sends a single into center.
Ortiz's home run — his second in two days — brings him home and puts Boston up 3-0.
Bay makes the second out on a broken-bat grounder, and Lowell flies out to the very, very edge of the warning track to end the frame.
Bottom 2nd, 1-0 Red Sox: Dave Roberts agrees that Ellsbury was safe, just for the record. He knows something about beating a throw. Moving on…
Nick Markakis leads off with a single to center, and Aubrey Huff sends a bid out to center which just eludes Ellsbury. (He's still upset about the bad call.) Ty Wigginton sends a shot back to Smoltz, who starts the 1-4-3 double play. Markakis takes third.
Smoltz fans Luke Scott to end the threat. Very nice.
Top 2nd, 1-0 Red Sox: Jason Bay walks and Mike Lowell singles to put two on with none out. Jason Varitek walks to load 'em up, Rocco Baldelli flies out to shallow left. Big out for Guthrie and friends.
Bay comes around on Nick Green's sacrifice fly to center. Ellsbury sends a grounder to short and looks like he beats it out, but alas, the umpiring crew disagrees.
Bottom 1st, 0-0: Smoltz begins a big start by getting Brian Roberts to ground out to second. Then, he plunks Nolan Reimold right between the shoulder blades and gets out of it when Adam Jones — Baltimore's second-most formidible hitter — grounds into a double-play. Crisis averted.
Top 1st, 0-0: Jacoby Ellsbury leads off with a single, then Dustin Pedroia swings right through a fastball and K's. While Kevin Youkilis is at the plate, Ellsbury steals second and stays there even as the throw skips away.
Youk flies out to right for the second out, and David Ortiz steps into the box amidst overwhelming applause.
He strikes out looking. Anticlimactic.
7:08 p.m.: Word on the street is that J.D. Drew is out of the lineup with a groin strain. He said it could be a couple days before he gets back in form. (Or maybe he just doesn't want to hit anywhere except Fenway…)
5:41 p.m.: With all the trade deadline drama finally over — and with the Red Sox up one power-hitting first baseman/catcher and down one solid young reliever — Boston takes on Baltimore. John Smoltz is on the mound searching for salvation yet again; he takes on Jeremy Guthrie, who faced Boston not too long ago and surrendered five runs in 6 2/3 innings.
The deadline is over. The David Ortiz steroid saga is over (for the moment). Boston has one of the three guys it wanted to get before August. Now, it's time to move on and, in the words of Dustin Pedroia, start winning some ball games. Hopefully, it starts tonight.
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