Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell Shine as Red Sox Top Indians in Fenway Thriller


Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell Shine as Red Sox Top Indians in Fenway Thriller Postgame, Red Sox 3-1: The Red Sox will activate Jacoby Ellsbury on Wednesday, a day after an emotional game at Fenway Park. From Mike Lowell's dramatic return to Josh Beckett's dominant start to a bench-clearing incident in the eighth, this one had it all.

In response to the near-brawl, Terry Francona said he will cut back on the Red Bull tomorrow. Beckett said simply that "some people don't have a feel for the game."

Lowell called the ovation he received prior to depositing a pitch into the Monster Seats "one of the more special moments in my career."

On Wednesday, look for Ellsbury's return, as well as possible news on Kevin Youkilis, who will seek a second opinion on his injured right thumb.

Then, when all the dust settles, we welcome back old friend Justin Masteron, who dominated the Red Sox earlier in the year. Jon Lester goes for Boston, now 5 1/2 games behind New York in the wild card race.

Final, Red Sox 3-1: Everybody will remember the brawl but the bottom line is that the Red Sox picked up a huge win on an otherwise down day and did so with major contributions from Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell, two guys who have barely been involved this year.

There will obviously be plenty to talk about postgame. I suggest trying to find the Terry Francona and Beckett press conferences. I'll try to fill you all in anyway, but they may be pretty entertaining.

Back up in a bit.

End 8th, Red Sox 3-1: Josh Beckett was also ejected in the whole mess, unsurprisingly. The shot of him slamming someone's helmet down will be on highlight reels from here to kingdom come if the Red Sox win it all, the point where the battered bunch couldn't take it anymore.

Jonathan Papelbon is on for the ninth.

9:34 p.m.: Jensen Lewis was tossed after his one pitch. We're awaiting word on any others. Josh Beckett was one livid man there, but he's the one that put his team in the situation in the first place. Not that I condone it, but I don't blame the Indians one bit. Shelley Duncan, of course, was involved. He was hit in the first after a four-hit game last night and has never been a favorite in these parts.

The result of all of this is a 1-0 count on Adrian Beltre and a lengthy delay while everyone calms down. Terry Francona and John Farrell were among those that were right in the middle of it.

Cleveland may have done the Sox a favor here. There is precedent (2004 anyone?) for this kind of stuff bringing a team together and Boston needs it as much as anyone.

Indians third base coach Steve Smith, who was going at it with Francona, was also ejected.

9:31 p.m.: It was a-brewing. The benches empty after Jensen Lewis throws behind Adrian Beltre with the first pitch of the bottom of the eighth inning. Josh Beckett is irate, as is Terry Francona, who is screaming at Indians third base coach Steve Smith. Both teams remain on the field.

Mid 8th, Red Sox 3-1: Another perfect inning gets Josh Beckett through eight innings for the first time since last Sept. 17. Jonathan Papelbon is throwing in the bullpen.

End 7th, Red Sox 3-1: We said there might be retaliation for Josh Beckett hitting two hitters early on, including Shin-Soo Choo in the knee. David Ortiz sees a pitch from Justin Germano sail behind his legs with two outs in the seventh. Beckett was on the top step of the Red Sox dugout looking a bit upset.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 3-1: Josh Beckett needed nine pitches to sail through the top of the seventh. He has thrown 87 through seven.

End 6th, Red Sox 3-1 : Ryan Kalish is now 7-for-13 since being called up and we have already been treated to his cannon of an arm. Pretty solid debut for the 22-year-old.

The Yankees are losing again and the Rays are tied. It didn't look like this would be the case 10 days ago or so, but this upcoming series in New York may have a lot more to do with the wild card race than we thought. The Yanks may be just 5 1/2 up on the Red Sox by the end of the night.

Not long ago it appeared as if NY would be entrenched in first place and the Sox would need the series just to stay afloat.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 3-1: Unless the Red Sox break out at some point we will find ourselves in another close game. They have not had a game decided by more than four runs since July 9, and one of the four games that ended with that large of a margin involved a late grand slam by Marco Scutaro.

End 5th, Red Sox 3-1: Josh Beckett has thrown only 67 pitches through five innings as he heads back out there to face the heart of the Indians' lineup.

Mid 5th, Red Sox 3-1: Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett are often grouped together due to the fact that they came from Florida to Boston in the same trade and both were so instrumental in the 2007 title run. Their 2010 campaigns have been similar, too, with both watching much of the season from the sidelines.

While Beckett continues to look sharp Tuesday, Lowell is making his return a memorable one. He adds a nice defensive play in the fifth to the two-run homer he hit earlier in the game, grabbing a tough hop and then diving head first to the bag to barely beat out the speedy Trevor Crowe.

End 4th, Red Sox 3-1: Bill Hall homered once every 55.7 at bats in 2009. He has done so once every 17.5 at bats with the Red Sox after smacking his 12th (in just his 210th at bat of the year) in the bottom of the fourth.

Hall's average has remained in the 220s and 230s all year, but he has provided power and versatility throughout. Pretty good pickup.

Mid 4th, Red Sox 2-1: There has been so much going on with this team of late that Josh Beckett's solid return from the DL has almost been forgotten. Even when he picked up his first win since April 10 last week in Anaheim, the star of the game was Marco Scutaro, whose grand slam was the difference.

Beckett has allowed five earned runs in 16 2/3 innings since coming back. The fate of this team rests on the shoulders of the starting rotation and the fate of the starting rotation rested on whether Beckett could return to form. It appears he has.

End 3rd, Red Sox 2-1: Mike Lowell had another chance to do some damage with runners on the corners and two outs. A weak pop puts an end to that idea, and to the Red Sox' rally in the third.

Mid 3rd, Red Sox 2-1: They ought to just park an ambulance behind the pitcher's mound for the rest of the series. We all know the Red Sox could use it. When Shin-Soo Choo was nailed by a Josh Beckett offering, the second man Beckett has hit this game, he was the latest Indian to require medical attention.

To Choo's credit, he stayed in the game and then caught Boston napping by swiping second base.

Oh yeah, Lou Marson, who entered hitting .191 this season and had two career home runs, hit Beckett's first offering of the inning over the Green Monster.

Just a hunch, but do not be surprised to see some retaliation on the part of David Huff.

End 2nd, Red Sox 2-0: Not sure if you got a chance to see the Red Sox dugout after Mike Lowell's homer but it was pretty alive. David Ortiz, in particular, seemed to love it. Lowell now has five home runs in six games if you count his rehab stint.

Speaking of rehab stints, Jacoby Ellsbury was 3-for-5 at Pawtucket this afternoon. Theo Epstein indicated that Ellsbury could be activated in the next day or two.

7:40 p.m.: Call him "The Savior." Mike Lowell homers on the first he sees, making a raucous Fenway Park crowd quickly forget that Kevin Youkilis guy. Just kidding, of course. But some pretty good drama here. The name Wally Pipp has already been mentioned.

Mid 2nd 0-0: Josh Beckett's season high for strikeouts is eight. He is halfway there already. But be careful here. John Lackey had six strikeouts through three Monday night and then completely lost command.

End 1st, 0-0: David Huff entered with a 6.04 ERA but has not allowed an earned run in seven innings against the Red Sox this year. That kind of keeps with Boston's theme this season — the club is 14-14 against the last-place teams in the American League.

Mid 1st, 0-0: Lost in all the noise surrounding the Kevin Youkilis-Mike Lowell situation is the fact that Josh Beckett is pitching at Fenway Park for the first time in almost three months. A bit of a mixed bag in his first inning.

Beckett struck out the first two hitters of the game, Trevor Crowe and Asdrubal Cabrera. Shin-Soo Choo followed with a hard single to center and Shelley Duncan was hit by a pitch.

Jordan Brown ends it by grounding to short. It gives Lowell his first putout of the game at first.

I'll offer tidbits here and there on all the pregame stuff. Lowell told us he had a no-trade clause in his contract that included the Yankees, so the rumor that had him going there would've come down to his authorization. He said hearing the rumor that the Red Sox might trade him was "very hard to swallow" and that he has been riding a "roller coaster of emotions" this past week.

6:30 p.m.: Theo Epstein just met with reporters and told us that Kevin Youkilis has a torn adductor muscle and called the injury "very unusual". Youkilis will get at least one more opinion and the club should know in the next couple of days how long he will be out. When asked if a potential surgery would end Youkilis's season, Epstein said 'Realistically, yes.'

Mike Lowell lamented the injury, calling Youkilis the club's best hitter, but is excited to finally get an opportunity to contribute.

"I'm gonna try to produce the way I can," Lowell said. "I can't pretend to be Kevin Youkilis. I think I can be a productive hitter. This is my chance so I'm going to take advantage of it."

We are working on more updates on the site regarding this situation, so stay tuned.

4:52 p.m.: We had to wait several minutes for Terry Francona to begin his press conference as the Sox are still finding out more about the injury to Kevin Youkilis, which is just a torn muscle in the thumb area of his right hand. Francona called it "rare" and even indicated that surgery would be required if they pushed Youkilis and the muscle came off the bone or something like that. Hence the DL stint.

Just getting the quotes down and will have a larger piece for you all in a bit.

4:05 p.m.: The Sox have placed Kevin Youkilis on the DL.

Mike Lowell will start at first and bat in the sixth slot.

Here is tonight's updated lineup for the Red Sox.

1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Darnell McDonald, CF
3. Victor Martinez, C
4. David Ortiz, DH
5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
6. Mike Lowell, 1B
7. Jed Lowrie, 2B
8. Bill Hall, LF
9. Ryan Kalish, RF

3:15 p.m.: Greetings from Fenway, where there is a raucous celebration of some kind taking place in the stands down the line in left, perhaps a corporate outing. My guess is they are not celebrating the absence of Kevin Youkilis from the Red Sox lineup.

Youkilis, who jammed his thumb and left Monday's game, had an MRI on Tuesday morning and is out for the night's game. We will learn more on his status in a bit.

J.D. Drew is also being given a night off. Here is the starting nine for your boys from Boston:

Marco Scutaro, SS
Darnell McDonald, CF
Victor Martinez, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Jed Lowrie, 2B
Bill Hall, LF
Ryan Kalish, RF
Kevin Cash, C

10:30 a.m.: Josh Beckett will make his third start since returning from the disabled list when he toes the slab for the Red Sox against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.

Beckett is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in two starts since returning from a lower back strain that cost him roughly two months of the season. He will be making his first start at Fenway Park since May 7.

Prior to the game we will get an update on the status of first baseman Kevin Youkilis, who left Monday's series opener — a 6-5 Cleveland win — after jamming his left thumb. Youkilis is scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday morning.

David Huff will be called up from Triple-A Columbus to start for the Indians.

First pitch is 7:10 p.m.

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