Red Sox Live Blog: Darnell McDonald Smacks Walk-Off RBI Single to Give Sox 7-6 Win


Red Sox Live Blog: Darnell McDonald Smacks Walk-Off RBI Single to Give Sox 7-6 Win Final, Red Sox 7-6: Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Darnell McDonald.

The Tuesday call-up not only tied things up at six with a homer in the eighth, but he ends things with an RBI, wall-ball single to give the Sox a 7-6 win.

After Kevin Youkilis led off the final frame with a base hit comebacker that bounced off Rangers closer Frank Francisco’s glove, the Sox turned to a little small ball to get things done.

Bill Hall turned to offer a sac bunt attempt on the first pitch of his at-bat, but the offering went sailing to the backstop, allowing Youk to get to second. Hall was then able to drop down the sacrifice to move Youk to third for Lowell, who was intentionally walked to get runners at the corners with one out.

Mid 9th, Tied 6-6: Paps does his job, but now it’s up to the bats.

The Sox’ closer strikes out Nelson Cruz, gets Chris Davis to line out to left and is unable to finish off Matt Treanor, who battles Paps with a 12-pitch at-bat before drawing a walk.

Treanor would be stranded, however, as Blanco then popped out to short.

10:26 p.m.: Jonathan Papelbon is now in for the Sox.

End 8th, Tied 6-6: It was Josh Reddick in the sixth and Darnell McDonald in the eighth. But with Francona out of minor league call-ups, which veteran is it going to be in the ninth and (possibly) beyond?

Both minor leaguers produced tonight as Reddick smacked a two-run double in the sixth and McDonald tied it up at six with his two-run tater in the eighth.

Jason Varitek, who entered defensively earlier in the contest, led off the frame
with a screamer down the left-field line for a leadoff double before
scoring on McDonald’s Monster ball.

McDonald is the first Sox hitter to homer in his first Red Sox at bat since Orlando Cabrera launched one on Aug. 1, 2004 in Minnesota.

Mid 8th, Rangers 6-4: Hideki Okajima came in with one on and two down and, after a base hit and a walk, he managed to escape the frame by getting Vladimir Guerrero to pop out with the bases juiced.

Guerrero was his usual self, swinging at a 55-foot off-speed pitch in the dirt for strike one.

9:57 p.m.: Hideki Okajima jogs in to take over for Delcarmen.

Manny Delcarmen didn’t allow a hit through 1 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two walks and striking out one.

9:49 p.m.: Bill Hall, who entered to pinch-run for Martinez last inning, stays in the game in left field while Jason Varitek takes over behind the plate.

End 7th, Rangers 6-4: The crowd was ready for some fireworks, but it received heartache, once again.

After Darren Oliver was greeted with a single to center by Victor Martinez (who switched to the right side against the southpaw), Mike Lowell came in to pinch-hit for David Ortiz, which brought the crowd to its feet.

With runners on the corners and a 3-2 pitch with two down, Lowell watched ball four cross by his ankles to load the bases for Adrian Beltre.

But the Red Sox third baseman was handcuffed by Oliver and grounded out to first.

9:39 p.m.: The 37,614 in attendance get to see old pal Darren Oliver take the bump as he relieves Darren O’Day.

Mid 7th, Rangers 6-4: Manny Delcarmen keeps the momentum with the Red Sox as he finishes off the Rangers side with just one hitch, a walk to Chris Davis.

Delcarmen struck out Matt Treanor with a 95-mph heater to end the frame.

A scoring change was made from last inning — give Reddick credit for a two-run double. It was originally scored a two-run error on Hamilton.

9:22 p.m.: Manny Delcarmen has come on to pitch here in the seventh.

End 6th, Rangers 6-4: Josh Reddick wanted to bring some spark to the lineup and that’s just what he may have done.

And although it came in the form of a two-run error, it still did the trick.

Reddick hit what appeared to be the inning-ending pop out to left, but Hamilton misjudged the fly as he closed in on the wall along the left-field line and let it fall in.

Two runs scored on the play and Texas manager Ron Washington argued that the ball bounced up and hit a fan, meaning that the second runner (Hermida, who was on first) should have stopped at third.

Washington made two separate arguments but managed to somehow remain in the game despite a heated second debate.

Mid 6th, Rangers 6-2: Wakefield sprints through the sixth frame and manages to pick up back-to-back K’s against Elvis Andrus and Michael Young.

A side note: Martinez managed to mis-throw the ball back to Wakefield for the second time tonight. Not a big deal, but as if the nine steals allowed didn’t bring back Little League memories for some of us, the errant throws back to the pitcher just might.

End 5th, Rangers 6-2: Dustin Pedroia cranks out a double to deep right, but that’s all the Sox bats can manage.

Wake trots out for the sixth frame, but Francona’s bullpen has Delcarmen warmed up and almost ready go if needed.

Mid 5th, Rangers 6-2: These Rangers aren’t slowing down any time soon.

Nelson Cruz hustled a single into a double before swiping his third steal of the season — and of the night. Cruz went on to score the Rangers’ sixth run on a Matt Treanor RBI single.

The nine steals sets a new club record for the Rangers and the nine allowed ties the Red Sox record, which was set back on Oct. 13, 1913 at Washington.

Wakefield passes Cy Young for the second-most innings pitched in franchise history, and he now trails only Roger Clemens for the club lead.

End 4th, Rangers 5-2: The Sox manage to get one back as Hermida launches his third homer of the season.

The left fielder put it just to the right of the visiting bullpen door in right.

Mid 4th, Rangers 5-1: The good news: The Rangers only stole two bases in the inning. The bad news: They boosted their lead to 5-1.

Wakefield started the fourth just as he did the third, as he allowed the lead runner to reach. This time, he plunked Matt Treanor with a knuckler and things went downhill from there as he gave up a screaming line-drive double off the top of the Monster by Joaquin Arias. Julio Borbon then singled in the third run before Arias scored the Rangers’ fourth on a Wakefield wild pitch.

Not familiar with Arias? He’s the one filling in for the injured Ian Kinsler and is doing a pretty good job to say the least, as he’s now hitting .412 on the young season. With the All-Star expected back soon, it’s going to be interesting as to what Texas does with his hot fill-in.

Meanwhile, Texas’ eight steals ties a club record, a mark that was previously set on Aug. 15, 2009 against the Red Sox in Texas.

End 3rd. Rangers 2-1: Colby Lewis gets Dustin Pedroia to fly out, Kevin Youkilis to ground out and Victor Martinez to line out for a quick one-two-three frame.

It was Lewis’ first smooth inning of the night.

Here comes the steals brigade.

Mid 3rd, Rangers 2-1: Walking the first batter of the inning is never good for a pitcher. It’s even worse for a pitcher when that batter is the opposition’s leadoff hitter and your team literally hasn’t thrown out a runner since the first series of the season.

After walking Elvis Andrus, Tim Wakefield and V-Mart allowed the leadoff man to swipe both second and third. Andrus even managed to grab second on a pitchout. Andrus came into the contest with just one steal this season and doubled that total in the blink of an eye.

With Andrus on third, Michael Young popped out to Kevin Youkilis in foul territory for one out, but Hamilton plated Andrus with an RBI groundout to second to give Texas a 2-1 lead.

The Rangers managed to swipe three more that inning when Vladimir Guerrero grabbed second base (his second steal of the season, believe it or not) and then he and Nelson Cruz pulled a double-steal after Cruz was intentionally walked.

Thievery: It never gets old when you’re playing these Red Sox.

End 2nd, Tied 1-1: Colby Lewis remains wild, but the tall righty was able to escape the second frame.

After working a 2-2 count, Adrian Beltre slapped a hard single to right to lead things off.

Jeremy Hermida followed up with a soft grounder to second, but Beltre’s hard slide on Elvis Andrus caused a weak throw and negated the double play.

After a fielder’s choice by Josh Reddick, Marco Scutaro was drilled in the elbow pad to put runners at first and second with two down for J.D. Drew. The right fielder gave it a ride to deep center but Julio Borbon was there to end the frame.

Mid 2nd, Tied 1-1: Wake ends the top of the second on his own as he snares a comebacker off the bat of Julio Borbon.

A nice one-two-three second to get the Sox bats back out there in a hurry.

End 1st, Tied 1-1: Colby Lewis, 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA coming into Tuesday, ran into some control problems that would cost him the early lead.

Lewis got Marco Scutaro to bounce out to third but walked J.D. Drew and Kevin Youkilis, ironically, the Sox’ two leaders in walks (Youk: nine, Drew: seven). Youk’s walk was a pretty good battle against Lewis as the cleanup hitter was fooled on a couple of sharp sliders but managed to fight off a few foul balls before drawing ball four.

With runners on first and second, Victor Martinez roped a hard base hit up the middle to plate Drew and tie things up at one apiece. Maybe his move to fifth in the order will work out well, as he is a career .319 hitter in the five hole.

Mid 1st, Rangers 1-0: After getting Elvis Andrus to lead off the game with a soft line out to right, Tim Wakefield struck out Michael Young swinging. But that’s when it all started for the Rangers bats.

With two down, Wake walked Josh Hamilton (who is now homerless in 42 at-bats this season) before allowing a base hit to left by Vlad Guerrero. That’s Vlad’s 10th career hit off Wake, but just his fifth non-homer.

With two on and two out, Nelson Cruz lobbed a pitching wedge over Kevin Youkilis’ head behind first base to allow Hamilton to score and Guerrero to advance to third. After Cruz easily swiped second base, Wake got Davis to fly out to left to end things.

That was Cruz’s 16th RBI of the season — the outfielder is off to a scorching-hot start.

7:06 p.m.: We’re ready to go here at the Fens as the ground rules are being discussed at the dish and Wake & Co. take the field. Game time temp: 61 degrees.

7 p.m.: It’s been a rough day for the National League.

Rockies’ prez Keli McGregor was found dead in his hotel room in Salt Lake City on Tuesday while Reds’ pitcher Edinson Volquez was suspended 50 games following a positive test for a banned fertility substance.

Fenway just held a moment of silence for McGregor, prior to the National Anthem.

6:25 p.m.: The 31-year-old Darnell McDonald is having quite a year in Triple-A. He has hit .341 (14-for-41) with six doubles, one triple, two home runs, eight RBIs and six runs scored in 10 games with Pawtucket so far in 2010. 

Signed by the Sox as a minor-league free agent this past November, McDonald has played in 68 career MLB games with the Orioles (2004), Twins (2007) and Reds (2009) and owns a .231 career batting average.

6:18 p.m.: The Sox have officially placed Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury on the DL.

Both outfielders are going on the 15-day DL, meaning Darnell McDonald has been called up to fill the final roster spot. Earlier Tuesday, it was mentioned that Josh Reddick was called up to replace Cameron in center field.

Ellsbury took some swings Tuesday in what Francona referred to as an “aggressive” workout. The leadoff hitter has been out since April 11, when he suffered a left chest contusion as a result of a collision with Adrian Beltre.

5:45 p.m.: The Sox are hoping this stint on the DL will give Mike Cameron enough rest so that the center fielder won’t have to go under the knife.

“That?s why we?re [putting him on the DL],” said Francona. “I think the concern was that if you try to play through it then you may turn the strain into a tear, and than you?re looking at problems. He?s very uncomfortable and we need to give him some rest.”

5:11 p.m.: Tony Lee got to catch up with Josh Reddick before the center fielder hit the field for some BP.

On what he can bring to the team:
“I hope I can add some energy and hopefully hit the ball like I have been. Hopefully I can try to give these guys a little bit of a spark and just try to play the game hard.”
On his early struggles at Pawtucket:
“Guess I had too many hits in spring training … trying a little too hard. I just have to settle back down.”
On getting the call-up:
“There’s still an adrenaline rush, but it’s not the same as that first time. … I just know I’ve gotta go to the ballpark and play.”
On the Sox’ struggles:
“I am surprised — this is the Boston Red Sox. But we’re a good team, we’ll figure it out.”
On the hot spring training he had:
“It gave me the confidence that I can hit these guys.”

5:05 p.m.: Francona has made a couple tweaks to the lineup (Dustin Pedroia batting third, Victor Martinez batting fifth), but besides that, it’s all systems go and he’s looking for his team to respond in this series with Texas.

At Tito’s pregame presser, he said:

“It’s our job to try to get the most out of our team. This is a chance
for us to try and stand tall and we talked to the players in the very
first meeting about our season and how it will be defined is how we
handle frustration and are we going to be tough and are we going to dig
ourselves out of it or are we going to make excuses? We?ll find out.
This is a time for us to show what we?re made of. And I believe that.”

4:36 p.m.: Terry Francona just met with the media and mentioned a meeting the Sox staff held earlier today. GM Theo Epstein was present and is currently holding a mini press conference in the dugout while the squad takes BP. We’ll get more from Tony Lee, who is at the scene.

4:35 p.m.: Josh Reddick will be thrown right into the fire as the outfielder will play center field and bat in the ninth slot.

Below are the starting lineups:

Scutaro SS
Drew RF
Pedroia 2B
Youkilis 1B
Martinez C
Ortiz DH
Beltre 3B
Hermida LF
Reddick CF

Andrus CF
Young 3B
Hamilton LF
Guerrero DH
Cruz RF
Davis 1B
Treanor 2B
Arias 2B
Borbon CF

12:17 p.m.: Tim Wakefield has had minimal experience against the active batters in this Rangers lineup.

However, the knuckler has struggled against one newcomer to the Texas batting corps. In 30 plate appearances against Wake, Vlad Guerrero is 9-for-21 (.429) with five homers and eight RBIs. This shouldn’t surprise anyone who has seen Guerrero swing a bat, as the former Angel is known for mashing everything and anything within 10 feet of the strike zone. Pair that with the standard theory batters have of swinging away against the knuckleball and Vlad’s 1.190 slugging percentage against Wake should be almost expected.

Michael Young has faced Wake the most with 49 plate appearances. He has two homers, but just a .233 BA.

11:52 a.m.: According to, center fielder Mike Cameron has an abdominal strain and will be placed on the DL.

Outfielder Josh Reddick, whom NESN’s Peter Gammons reported has been staying in a Boston hotel lately for such precautionary reasons, will be taking his spot on the roster and is active for Tuesday’s game.

The injury may take longer than just a couple of weeks to heal, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin, who reports: “It appears likely that Cameron will be out for longer than 15 days. The injury is likely the same one that caused Cameron’s groin injury in spring training, which means that it has lingered for more than a month.”

In other outfield news, Jacoby Ellsbury will undergo “aggressive” workouts Tuesday to determine how far away he is from playing shape after sustaining rib contusions in Kansas City on April 12.

8:02 a.m.: Losers of five straight and nine of 12 overall, the Red Sox continue a 10-game home stand when they welcome the Texas Rangers to town on Tuesday.

It is the opener of three straight between the teams, both of which come into the series in major slumps.

The Sox have been outscored 32-9 during their slide. The Rangers have scored eight runs in a four-game losing streak of their own.

Tim Wakefield, who has struggled against Texas in his career, will try to take advantage of the Rangers’ weak offensive attack. He is opposed by Colby Lewis, who has claimed two of Texas’ five wins.

First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. ET.

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