Postgame, Padres 5-4: Not a ton to report from the clubhouse. Basically, Alfredo Aceves lost command in the second, but he and the rest of the team were pleased that he kept them in the game.
Unfortunately, against a team like San Diego, it can become a six- or seven-inning game because of the strength of their bullpen.
Terry Francona, knowing this, said he told third base coach Tim Bogar before the seventh to start taking chances. They didn't know how many they would get.
Still, Boston had 13 hits and plenty of scoring opportunities that went by the board. It left 11 on base.
After a three-hour, 42-minute affair, we have a quick turnaround for a Wednesday matinee. John Lackey will be on the hill opposite left-hander Clayton Richard. First pitch is 1:35 p.m.
Final, Padres 5-4: These teams looked so severely mismatched last night, but the Padres put up a great fight in this one. Of course, a case of the runs for Josh Beckett and a case of the yips for Alfredo Aceves certainly helped.
The five straight walks in the second by Aceves gave the Padres their first lead and set the tone, in a way. Boston did tie it but never reclaimed the lead.
Kevin Youkilis singled to start the bottom of the ninth, but David Ortiz hit into the old 5-6-3 double play and J.D. Drew struck out.
Back soon to wrap it up.
Mid 9th, Padres 5-4: Remember last night when Anthony Rizzo hit a booming double into the triangle?
He just made a bid for another with a shot that traveled about 415 to center. This time, Jacoby Ellsbury tracked it down just against the angled wall that makes up the left side of the Boston bullpen.
Heck of a catch to finish a 1-2-3 inning. You can see that Rizzo's got the goods. He has hit several balls on the nose the last two nights.
Some strange line scores in this series so far. The Sox won 14-5 last night despite outhitting the Padres just 14-13. Tonight, Boston has 12 hits to San Diego's seven and the Pads have committed the only error. Yet, the hosts are on the wrong side of the score.
Heath Bell will try to keep it that way.
End 8th, Padres 5-4: It is just a one-run game and the Sox have loads of power, so one swing can do the trick, but Mike Adams navigated a difficult portion of the lineup in the eighth and has pulled the Padres within three outs of a pretty nice victory.
Adams struck out Jacoby Ellbury and Adrian Gonzalez. In between, Dustin Pedroia tapped one to short. Heath Bell will pitch the ninth, but not before Jonathan Papelbon gets a rare chance to throw.
Because of his recent two-game suspension and the bevy of blowouts, Papelbon has not pitched since June 16. This is just his second appearance since June 10 and his first at home since that meltdown against Oakland on June 4, which led to the suspension.
Mid 8th, Padres 5-4: Sorry for the lack of update. Some wonderful issues with technology over here.
The Red Sox left a pair on in the bottom of the seventh. The Padres did the same in the top of the eighth against Daniel Bard.
Mike Adams will throw the bottom half for San Diego.
Mid 7th, Padres 5-4: Mentioned that Daniel Bard needed a strikeout. Another result could've been a double play grounder.
He gets Anthony Rizzo to chop one to first, but it would've taken something pretty remarkable to turn anything. Adrian Gonzalez may have had that in mind (or perhaps coming home, although that would've been tough as well) as he strayed well off the bag, but it bounced off his glove for a moment.
Gonzalez recovered and fed Bard for the out, but the go-ahead run scored.
A bouncer to Dustin Pedroia ended it.
9:54 p.m.: Dan Wheeler will leave with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh inning. Here comes the ultimate weapon, Daniel Bard.
A single and a double set the Padres up. The double fell just out of the reach of Jacoby Ellsbury near the wall of the Boston bullpen. It looked like Ellsbury pulled up just a tad.
Anthony Rizzo is the hitter against Bard, who needs the K. This should be a fun matchup.
End 6th, 4-4: Leave it to Adrian Gonzalez to forge the tie.
It wasn't the hardest hit ball of the season for the Red Sox first baseman, but it was perfectly effective. He bounded a single through the right side to score Marco Scutaro.
It is the 68th RBI in 73 games for Gonzalez. He has 22 in his last 17 games.
This game was tied entering the seventh inning last night. Then some stuff happened.
9:36 p.m.: With the thought of both Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford hitting at the top of this loaded lineup, the questions this spring to Terry Francona centered on how to utilize the speed.
Francona would always say that the number of stolen bases did not matter, but the percentage did.
The pair is a combined 32-for-46 (69.6 percent), well below their career marks, after Ellsbury is thrown out for the second out of the sixth. Ellsbury entered the year at 85.0 percent, Crawford at 81.9 percent.
Dustin Pedroia followed with a walk and Chad Qualls has come on to face Adrian Gonzalez with runners at the corners.
9:30 p.m.: This offense doesn't need any help. But it just got some when Chase Headley's throwing error gives the Red Sox runners at the corners with one out in the sixth.
Dustin Pedroia up against Mat Latos, facing his last man at 114 pitches.
Mid 6th, Padres 4-3: It's a Josh Reddick kind of night.
The young outfielder is 2-for-2 with a triple, double and an RBI, and just ended the top of the sixth with a diving catch.
Mat Latos begins the bottom half at 104 pitches. Reddick is due up second.
End 5th, Padres 4-3: The Red Sox do not score, but this place was as loud as it has been all night after David Ortiz steals a base for the first time in almost three years.
Ortiz broke way too early on Mat Latos, then stopped, then went again and just beat the throw for his 11th stolen base of the season.
Terry Francona said this spring that he would put Ortiz in motion to keep teams honest about putting him on. The hope is it opens up a bit of a hole for J.D. Drew.
Alas, Drew struck out with Ortiz advancing to third on what was ruled a fielder's choice, although it came on the third strike. Not sure why, just one of those rulings. Jarrod Saltalamacchia then whiffed to end it.
Dan Wheeler is your new pitcher. Guess he got ready in a hurry because it looked like they sat him back down in the fifth.
Mid 5th, Padres 4-3: Alfredo Aceves has never thrown 100 pitches in a game.
If Terry Francona makes the decision to send him out to start the sixth, his first pitch would hit that mark.
Aceves has calmed things down by retiring six in a row and giving this potent offense a chance to chip away.
Dan Wheeler had been up, but he is not at the current time.
End 4th, Padres 4-3: Terry Francona pregame on Josh Reddick: "When he swings at strikes, there's a little thunder in that bat."
It was as if Thor stepped to the plate for the Red Sox with two on in the fourth, for Reddick absolutely unloaded on a Mat Latos offering for an RBI double.
The fastball was hit on a line to the center-field wall and reached it in about three seconds. The very definition of a frozen rope.
Two batters later, the Sox had Adrian Gonzalez up with the bases loaded and a chance to really take control of this thing. Latos got him on a 96 mph fastball on the black. Great pitch.
As expected, Alfredo Aceves is out for one more. But the leash will be about as short as the one I have on my dog when people wearing cowboy hats walk by. He hates those hats. Will rip them to shreds, and the dolt wearing it, if I let him.
Dan Wheeler is warming. Michael Bowden may have wasted himself getting up and down so often early on.
Mid 4th, Padres 4-2: Perhaps Alfredo Aceves will get one more inning after working around a leadoff walk in the fourth.
Michael Bowden got up for the third time after the walk. Not sure if he threw too many pitches before getting sat down. Aceves finished the frame at 85 pitches.
End 3rd, Padres 4-2: The Red Sox got a run in the third on a Josh Reddick triple and a Jacoby Ellsbury RBI single, but something tells me we might be talking about the weird double play that helped limit the damage.
After Ellsbury's hit, Dustin Pedroia walked, putting Latos in a tricky situation. Two on, no outs and Adrian Gonzalez up.
Gonzalez ripped a shot that Latos nearly caught on a line. Instead, he gathered the ball on the mound, threw to third to get Ellsbury and then watched Chase Headley go the short way to second for a force on Pedroia.
The play is ruled 1-5-6 in your scorebook. Terry Francona mildly argued the out call at second.
The DP looms incredibly large as Kevin Youkilis follows with a single.
Mid 3rd, Padres 4-1: Alfredo Aceves has been great about getting the first two outs. He can't do much after that.
For the second straight inning, Aceves retires the first two batters.
Anthony Rizzo started the second two-out rally for the Padres with a double off the arm of a leaping Josh Reddick in left. Cameron Maybin singled in Rizzo and Nick Hundley singled in Maybin, after he stole second.
Michael Bowden has been up twice now, although he didn't throw much this second time. It seems as if they will try to get Aceves through another inning.
End 2nd, Padres 2-1: Mat Latos does not have the best stat line this year, but he showed in 2010 how good he can be. And he has had some dominant moments this year, as well.
Latos has four strikeouts through the first two innings and had a nice 1-2-3 in the second.
By the way, Alfredo Aceves went into the clubhouse just as the bottom of the second came to an end. As his teammates threw the ball around and Jarrod Saltalamacchia stood at home plate to receive some warmup tosses, Aceves slowly returned. Take your time, fella. We got all night.
Mid 2nd, Padres 2-1: Last night we saw two Red Sox hitters get hit with the bases loaded and I remember thinking at the time that I had never seen that before.
Well, I had never seen five straight two-out walks by one pitcher before. That is until Alfredo Aceves gave us all a little treat.
Safe to say he lost the plate in the second, isn't it?
After getting the first two outs of the inning and getting ahead of the third man, Aceves lost him. He then walked the next four men he faced, pushing across two runs. The last ball of the fifth walk got to the backstop practically on a line, just an awful offering.
Aceves may have caught a break when Ryan Ludwick swung at the first pitch to pop to center and end it.
While Michael Bowden was warming in the bullpen, Aceves threw 41 pitches.
End 1st, Red Sox 1-0: It has become a monumental task to get through this lineup in the first inning without being scored upon. Reminds me a lot of those Johnny Damon-led lineups of yesteryear that seemingly always put a number up in the opening frame.
Dustin Pedroia singled with one out. He was erased on a fielder's choice, leaving Adrian Gonzalez at first with two outs. Kevin Youkilis followed with a long drive off the center-field side of the Green Monster.
Gonzalez scored just ahead of the throw. It is the 13th RBI in interleague play for Youkilis, tops in the majors, and the fourth time in the last two games the Sox have scored a runner from first on a double.
Mid 1st, 0-0: That was a rather Alfredo Aceves-like inning, wasn't it? He hits a batter for the sixth time, tied for third on the team, and has multiple issues getting on the same page as Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
But he also struck out two and got a weak pop to first, showcasing his usual varied arsenal and consistently solid velocity.
7:10 p.m.: We are under way!
6:06 p.m.: Kevin Youkilis is in his customary cleanup spot tonight, and should be going forward. But it seems as if we haven't had a game in a week or so in which Youkilis is not limping at one time or another.
The most notable of those instances last night was when he scored all the way from first on a David Ortiz double. After the slide home, Youkilis rose to his feet very slowly and simply strolled toward the dugout like an old man heading to the mailbox. No urgency whatsoever. No spring in his step.
It made the 270-foot dash, and all the other plays that Youkilis grits his way through, that much more admirable. He has been dealing with a bum ankle for several games, and has the hip ailment that seems to hurt when he has to slide or make a dive on his side in the field.
That doesn't mean that Youkilis will be sitting anytime soon.
"I think it hurts," Terry Francona said of Youkilis's ankle. "I don’t think it’s something that's going to keep him out of the lineup. If it did, day game after a night game, maybe. We’ll see. I just think that ankle's grabbing at him a bit."
With the day game after a night game reference, it begged the question. Does that mean Youkilis will not play Wednesday afternoon in the series finale?
"I actually like him hitting cleanup," Francona said. "With the day off the next day I would only do it if he needs it."
Amazingly, it's been stomach illnesses that has caused Youkilis to miss more time than anything else.
Side note. I was in the clubhouse at around 5:45 and Alfredo Aceves was just walking in, street clothes on and all. He didn't say a word to anyone and began to get dressed. Even Jarrod Saltalamacchia, his catcher tonight, with whom he has yet to meet and go over a plan of attack, walked up to his own locker nearby and the two didn't share any more than a glance.
Aceves has a unique way of going about things. This is the latest example. Think Julian Tavarez but without the exuberance.
5:17 p.m.: A few more updates before we head back down to the clubhouse.
Carl Crawford continues to make strides early in his recovery from a hamstring strain. He has made it clear he wants to be ready to come off the DL during the series in Houston early next month. That being his hometown, it's natural.
However, the club wants to make sure he doesn't push the envelope.
"I think it’s realistic that when his two weeks are up he’ll be ready," Terry Francona said. "Again, that’s Houston, we all know how he feels about playing there, so we’re going to have to sit on him a little bit."
In other news, Francona reflected on the many options he has when someone like Josh Beckett needs to be replaced. It's an abundance of arms, and the fluid nature of the rotation is actually aiding in the mission of keeping everyone fresh.
"They have really done a good job. We have never burned our bullpen with these guys filling in, which is a real compliment to them," Francona said. "Aceves is kinda a unique guy. He’s a good pitcher, but it’s not that easy to do, go to the bullpen, start a game and to go into a game being realistic that he’s going to get deep enough into the game to where not only can we win but we don’t upset the balance of our bullpen."
Every starter has been given an extra day or skipped or something along those lines at least once. It could bode well down the road.
"If we’re going to get to where we want to go, we’re going to have to lean on some guys. There’s no getting around it," the manager said. "I think the more gas they have left in the tank the better."
OK, more on the pitchers later…this time some news on their hitting prowess. Be right back.
4:45 p.m.: Terry Francona has announced that Josh Beckett is expected to start Saturday in Pittsburgh.
Beckett is still struggling with the illness that got him scratched from the start tonight. He is not yet able to get back into a routine, but the club expects him to have enough time to get prepared for Saturday.
"That will allow him to have a side day and have a relatively normal week as opposed to just the first day he feels good get him out there and pitch," Francona said. "Let him get his legs back under him, things like that."
That puts the tentative rotatation going forward like this:
John Lackey vs. San Diego on Wednesday
Jon Lester at Pittsburgh on Friday
Josh Beckett at Pittsburgh on Saturday
Tim Wakefield at Pittsburgh on Sunday
Andrew Miller at Philadelphia on Tuesday
That will be a great test for Miller. It looks as if Cliff Lee will be lined up for Philly. Get pumped.
3:09 p.m.: As I fired off the last post, the lineup is posted. Here is a look:
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
J.D. Drew, RF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Marco Scutaro, SS
Josh Reddick, LF
It appears as if Reddick and Darnell McDonald will be in a pretty straight platoon in left field until Carl Crawford returns. That is already the case for Drew and Mike Cameron in right.
3:04 p.m.: Greetings from Fenway Park, where the first official day of summer has given us sunny skies and a first-place team.
There are a bunch of kids filing into the seats behind the Red Sox dugout to meet with Carl Crawford and San Diego second baseman Orlando Hudson. The meeting is part of Hudson's "Around the Mound Tour," an initiative designed to get African American youth interested in the sport.
To learn more, visit http://www.orlandohudson1.com.
Darnell McDonald, Mike Cameron, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Drew Sutton are taking batting practice. We will see which of these guys, if any, cracked the starting lineup when they come out in a matter of moments.
8 a.m.: Alfredo Aceves will get a spot start in place of an ill Josh Beckett when the Red Sox continue a three-game series against San Diego on Tuesday night.
Beckett was scratched from the start after being unable to rally from a stomach bug. Aceves, who is 3-1 with a 3.30 ERA in 18 games this year, will be making his fourth start, hoping for some of the same run support that Boston provided its pitchers in the opener.
Fueled by a three-hit, three-RBI effort for Adrian Gonzalez, the Red Sox rolled to a 14-5 win Monday night. Ten of the runs came in the seventh inning.
Mat Latos will attempt to keep down the surging Boston offense. He is 4-8 with a 4.06 ERA.
This one is scheduled to begin at 7:10 p.m.
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