Final, Red Sox 9-8: It looked as if the game was going to continue into the 15th, as the Red Sox quickly racked up two outs in the inning. But Carl Crawford doubled into left field to keep the inning going.
After Jed Lowrie was intentionally walked, J.D. Drew hit a line drive into the gap in right-center field, sending the Fenway faithful home happy.
It's been a long, long, long game, and the Sox probably should have had the win locked up a couple of hours ago, but the end result is all that matters. Seventeen runs, 14 innings, five hours and two ejections later, the Red Sox walk off with a 9-8 win.
Mid 14th, 8-8: Aceves was back out for his fourth inning of work in the 14th, and he again kept the A's off the scoreboard. But he had to work a little bit in order to do so.
Josh Willingham walked to begin the inning, but Aceves responded by retiring the next two batters.
Hideki Matsui hit a ground ball to Drew Sutton at first, and Sutton fired to second for the force out. After Mark Ellis popped out for the inning's second out, Daric Barton lined one off Aceves, which put runners at first and second. Aceves bounced back, though, getting Landon Powell to ground out to second.
Aceves appeared to have a cut on his hand last inning and was bleeding, so it's good to see no lingering effects. Kevin Youkilis, Mike Cameron and Carl Crawford will bat in the bottom of the 14th.
End 13th, 8-8: Jacoby Ellsbury has put together a heck of a game. In addition to his game-tying hit in the 11th, he's now collected four hits in total.
With two outs, Ellsbury hit a single past the dive of Mark Ellis into right field. He then took off on the first pitch to Dustin Pedroia, stealing second base and advancing into scoring position.
Just as he did in the 11th, A's manager Bob Geren chose to intentionally walk Pedroia to face Drew Sutton. And it worked again. Hitting it with the end of the bat, Sutton lined out to second, sending the Red Sox into the 14th inning for the first time this season.
Mid 13th, 8-8: Alfredo Aceves has truly been one of the most important players for the Red Sox this season. Having been used as both a starter and a reliever, he's provided the Sox with solid innings during a time in which their rotation and bullpen have been banged up. In the 13th, he again stepped up, retiring the side in order.
Cliff Pennington popped out to Jed Lowrie at short for the inning's first out, and Conor Jackson grounded out to Youkilis at third for the second out. Aceves then got Ryan Sweeney to pop one up, which he handled himself for the third out of the inning.
Can the Sox send everyone home happy in the 13th? They'll send Drew, Saltalamacchia and Ellsbury to the plate.
End 12th, 8-8: Things started out promising for the Sox in the bottom of the 12th, as new pitcher Joey Devine couldn't buy a strike. But once Devine was able to find the strike zone, he took care of business.
He walked Youkilis on four pitches and fell behind Cameron 3-0 despite Cameron clearly showing bunt. He worked his way back, though, and Cameron struck out by bunting one foul with two strikes.
Carl Crawford had an excellent at-bat that consisted of 11 pitches, but he eventually struck out swinging on a foul tip. Jed Lowrie ended the inning by popping out to third baseman Conor Jackson in foul territory.
It's a nice day, why not another inning? We head to the 13th.
Mid 12th, 8-8: Alfredo Aceves, who's played a number of roles for the Sox so far this season, looked sharp in the 12th. He retired Daric Barton, Landon Powell and Coco Crisp in order.
Barton flew out to center, and Aceves then struck out Powell and Crisp. Both strikeouts came on fastballs, with Powell going down looking and Crisp going down swinging.
The Sox will send Youkilis, Cameron and Crawford to the plate in the bottom of the 12th.
End 11th, 8-8: Well, the Sox aren't ready to call it a day just yet. After Andrew Bailey made quick work of Jed Lowrie and J.D. Drew to start the inning, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jacoby Ellsbury kept the game alive.
Salty almost tied the game with a big fly, but it high off the left field wall. Ellsbury made sure he would score, though, ripping a ground rule double down the left-field line.
Drew Sutton, who came in as a pinch runner for Adrian Gonzalez in the tenth, struck out with Ellsbury on second to end the inning. To the 12th, we go.
Mid 11th, Athletics 8-7: The A's are now three outs away from coming away with a stunning victory at Fenway.
Cliff Pennington got the inning going by working a walk against Alfredo Aceves. Conor Jackson followed up with a double to left, putting runners at second and third for Ryan Sweeney. Sweeney then hit towering fly ball to the warning track in left that brought home Pennington to give the A's the lead.
The Sox will need some magic in the bottom half of the inning. They'll send Jed Lowrie, J.D. Drew and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the plate.
End 10th, 7-7: Terry Francona went for the win in the 10th inning. After Adrian Gonzalez started the inning off with a single, Francona elected to lift him for a pinch runner (Drew Sutton).
It was a big gamble by Francona, who's already lost David Ortiz's bat for the remainder of the game after bringing in Reddick to pinch run for him earlier.
Francona also brought up Mike Cameron as a pinch hitter in the inning. After Kevin Youkilis flew out to center, Cameron — batting for Reddick — hit a sharp grounder to Daric Barton at first. Barton stepped on first and fired it to second, but it wasn't in time to complete the double play. Carl Crawford had a chance to add some more heroics to his resume, but he flew out to Josh Willingham in left to end the inning.
Mid 10th, 7-7: The A's begin the 10th the same way they began the ninth, with a single from Mark Ellis. Fortunately for the Red Sox, Bobby Jenks was able to rebound and hold the A's in check.
The Sox got a bit fortunate on a bunt attempt by Daric Barton, though. With the ball traveling past Jenks in the air, Ellis started heading back to first before running to second, which gave Jenks enough time to gather it and throw to second for the force out.
Landon Powell struck out and Coco Crisp popped out to end the inning. The Sox will send Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis and Josh Reddick, who ran for David Ortiz earlier in the game, to the plate in the home half of the tenth.
End 9th, 7-7: The fans will get some free baseball at Fenway today, as the game heads to extra innings. After blowing a four-run ninth inning lead, though, the extra frames aren't exactly welcomed.
You can't help but think back to Dustin Pedroia's error, which really opened the flood gates in the top of the ninth.
J.D. Drew struck out swinging, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, on for the ejected Varitek, popped out to short to begin the bottom of the ninth. Jacoby Ellsbury then roped a single into left, but Dustin Pedroia bounced out to short to end the inning.
Mid 9th, 7-7: What a wild top of the ninth inning. Jonathan Papelbon entered the game in what wasn't a save situation, and proceeded to give up four runs before being ejected for arguing balls and strikes. Jason Varitek was also ejected earlier in the inning.
Mark Ellis got the inning going with a single just out of the reach of a diving Dustin Pedroia. Papelbon then issued a walk to Daric Barton. After Landon Powell struck out, Coco Crisp hit a ground ball to Pedroia that looked as if it would result in a game-ending double play. But the ball went right through his legs, scoring Ellis.
Cliff Pennington doubled off the wall in left, resulting in Oakland's second run of the inning. Then, in an amazingly bizarre situation, Jason Varitek was ejected from the game for arguing with home plate umpire Tony Randazzo.
Conor Jackson, pinch-hitting for Andy LaRoche, added to the craziness by hitting a ball that deflected off the bag at third. It scored two runs and tied the game at seven.
Things only got stranger from there.
Jonathan Papelbon, who appeared to be upset with the inconsistency of Randazzo's calls, turned his back in disgust following a pitch. Randazzo came out from behind the plate, which prompted Papelbon to go nuts. He stormed at Randazzo, and was subsequently ejected.
Bobby Jenks came on and gave up a single that dropped in just fair down the left-field line. He retired the next two batters he faced via strikeout, though, ending the miserable inning for the Sox.
End 8th, Red Sox 7-3: Brad Ziegler took over for the A's in the eighth inning and the results weren't good. After getting Dustin Pedroia to ground out to begin the inning, Ziegler and Adrian Gonzalez battled for 11 pitches. Gonzalez prevailed, though, lining a single into center field.
Kevin Youkilis struck out looking, and then A's manager Bob Geren elected to bring in lefty Craig Breslow to face David Ortiz and Carl Crawford. The pair hit back-to-back doubles. Crawford's brought home two runs to extend the Red Sox lead to 7-3.
Fautino De Los Santos came in and struck out Jed Lowrie to end the inning. The Sox will turn to Papelbon in the ninth, although it's no longer a save situation.
With the book closed on both starters, here's how each fared today:
Josh Beckett: six innings, three runs, four hits, three walks, four strikeouts, 102 pitches (58 strikes)
Trevor Cahill: seven innings, five runs, eight hits, one walk, eight strikeouts, 103 pitches (62 strikes)
Mid 8th, Red Sox 5-3: Daniel Bard was on for the eighth inning, and allowed a lead-off single to Ryan Sweeney. But Sweeney would never advance, as Bard struck out Josh Willingham and then got Hideki Matsui to ground into a double play.
The Sox will send Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis to the plate in the bottom of the eighth as they look to tack on a few more runs before handing the ball to closer Jonathan Papelbon.
End 7th, Red Sox 5-3: Trevor Cahill was back out for the seventh, and the results were much better than last inning. He didn't allow a base runner, and the A's will look to pick up where they left off offensively.
Cahill struck out J.D. Drew and Jason Varitek, giving him eight K's on the afternoon. Ellsbury then lined out to Daric Barton at first to end the inning
Mid 7th, Red Sox 5-3: Beckett struggled with his control a bit in the seventh, resulting in the end of his afternoon. He issued a lead-off walk to Daric Barton — after getting ahead in the count, 0-2 — and then fell behind Landon Powell 3-0 before he singled into right.
Matt Albers then came on in relief, and gave up a single to Coco Crisp, who pinch hit for Kevin Kouzmanoff. Since the ball was hit in the air, Daric Barton wasn't able to score from second. Cliff Pennington drove him in with a sac fly, though.
Lefthander Tommy Hottovy, who made his major league debut on Friday, replaced Albers after two batters. Hottovy induced an inning-ending double play to minimize the damage.
End 6th, Red Sox 5-2: Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis and Carl Crawford each drove in a run in the sixth and the Sox have quickly recaptured the lead.
Jacoby Ellsbury singled to lead off the bottom of the sixth. And just as Crawford did in the fifth, Ellsbury put his good baserunning ability on display.
Ellsbury swiped second base, and scored on an RBI single by Pedroia. Pedroia hit a sharp grounder up the middle that Mark Ellis wasn't able to handle on a backhanded attempt. The ball ricocheted into center and Ellsbury was able to score. It looked like the run might have been prevented, but Ellis didn't really show a sense of urgency when gathering the ball in center.
Adrian Gonzalez struck out for the inning's first out — Cahill's sixth of the day. But the next batter, Youkilis, hit a line drive down the left-field line. The ball kicked off the garage door in left, allowing Pedroia to score all the way from first.
After a David Ortiz ground out, Crawford singled home Youkilis for the third run of the inning. The Sox sent seven batters to the plate in the inning, which could be the last for Trevor Cahill this afternoon.
Mid 6th, 2-2: Josh Beckett got into some trouble for the first time this afternoon in the sixth. He struggled with his control and needed to throw 23 pitches in the inning.
He got Cliff Pennington to fly out to right field to begin the inning, but then proceeded to plunk David DeJesus on the foot and walk Ryan Sweeney on four pitches. A wild pitch allowed both runners to move up a base before being driven in on a double off the Monster by Josh Willingham.
Beckett then struck out Hideki Matsui and got Mark Ellis to pop out to Varitek, but the damage has been done. It looked like Beckett was on cruise control, but the righthander hit a speed bump in the sixth and we're now tied.
End 5th, Red Sox 2-0: J.D. Drew picked up his 11th RBI of the season, singling home Carl Crawford for the game's second run.
Crawford got things going in the bottom of the fifth with a base hit to right. The speedy outfielder then put on a baserunning clinic, swiping second base and advancing to third on a Jed Lowrie fly out to right. Drew followed with the base hit into right field.
Drew was caught leaning at first base, and Cahill picked him off for the inning's second out. Jason Varitek then struck out looking — a call he didn't seem to agree with.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 1-0: Josh Beckett sat down all three Oakland hitters he faced in the fifth and needed only eight pitches to do so.
Jacoby Ellsbury got some good cardio work in during the frame. Daric Barton flicked a Beckett fastball into shallow left-center that Ellsbury sprinted in to handle. Landon Powell then lined one into right-center that looked like it could get into the gap, but Ellsbury made a play on the run.
Beckett then retired Kevin Kouzmanoff on two pitches via a groundball to second. The Sox will send Carl Crawford, Jed Lowrie and J.D. Drew to the plate in the bottom of the fifth.
End 4th, Red Sox 1-0: Adrian Gonzalez struck out swinging to begin the bottom of the fourth. Cahill set him up nicely and retired him via an off-speed pitch.
Kevin Youkilis then worked a walk, but David Ortiz grounded into the shift up the middle for an inning-ending double play.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 1-0: Beckett continues to look impressive this afternoon. He struck out Josh Willingham swinging on a breaking ball to begin the frame. It shouldn't come as a surprise, though, as it's Willingham's 62nd strikeout of the season. He's third in the AL in that category behind Adam Dunn and Austin Jackson.
Beckett then retired Hideki Matsui and Mark Ellis, each on fly balls to J.D. Drew in right.
The Sox will send Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz to the plate in the fourth.
End 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: Cahill retired the Sox in order again in the third, and it looks like we could have ourselves the pitcher's duel many anticipated when checking out today's matchup. He's now retired seven in a row.
Jason Varitek roped one into right, but David DeJesus was able to make the play for the first out of the inning. Jacoby Ellsbury then grounded out to second base on the first pitch he saw. Cahill struck out Pedroia to end the inning. Pedroia swung at a breaking ball in the dirt, and Landon Powell fired it down to first to record the out.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: Dustin Pedroia got the crowd buzzing and Beckett fired up with some awesome glove work in the third. With the runner off on the pitch, Pedroia dove and snagged a ground ball up the middle and flipped it out of his glove to Jed Lowrie to start a 4-6-3 double play.
Pennington reached via a single to left-center that was just out of the reach of a diving Jacoby Ellsbury. After Pedroia's highlight worthy play, Ryan Sweeney flew out to J.D. Drew in right field to end the top half of the inning.
Beckett's looked solid through three, showing good life on his fastball and a good mix of pitches.
End 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: Cahill made quick work of the Sox in the second, retiring the side in order.
Carl Crawford just missed dropping a hit down the left field line that surely would have been extra bases. But it was just foul and Crawford ended up flying out to Ryan Sweeney in center.
Jed Lowrie then grounded out to short, and J.D. Drew ended the inning by grounding out softly to second.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: Josh Beckett had some mound issues in the second inning, slipping a couple of times. He still held the A's in check, though.
Beckett began the second frame by striking out Mark Ellis on a 93 mph fastball. After Daric Barton blooped a single into left, Beckett struck out backup catcher Landon Powell on a foul tip into Vartiek's mitt. He followed that up by retiring Kevin Kouzmanoff via a ground out to first.
Kouzmanoff was jammed and shattered his bat, resulting in a slow roller to Gonzalez. Kouzmanoff was barely able to get out of the box.
End 1st, Red Sox 1-0: Adrian Gonzalez did what he does best in the first inning, going the other way for his 11th home run of the season. It was a changeup from Trevor Cahill that Gonzalez did a good job staying back on before driving it into the Monster seats in left.
The home run came after Jacoby Ellsbury struck out looking and Dustin Pedroia lined one back to Cahill. Kevin Youkilis followed up with a double into the gap in left-center, but David Ortiz struck out looking to end the inning. Ortiz had a few words for home plate umpire Tony Randazzo.
Cahill has had a terrific season for the A's, but he is in the midst of a bit of a slump. He's lost his last three decisions over a four-start span after starting out 6-0.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Josh Beckett retired the first two A's hitters he faced in the first. He retired David DeJesus via a lazy fly ball to center, and then got Ryan Sweeney to pop out to Adrian Gonzalez at first.
Beckett then walked Josh Willingham before getting Hideki Matsui to hit a slow roller to Dustin Pedroia at second that he easily took care of.
Just to give you a little background, Beckett is 5-3 with a 4.41 ERA against the Athletics in his career.
1:05 p.m.: Oakland's lineup card is set, and here's how it looks:
David DeJesus, RF
Ryan Sweeney, CF
Josh Willingham, LF
Hideki Matsui, DH
Mark Ellis, 2B
Daric Barton, 1B
Landon Powell, C
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B
Cliff Pennington, SS
12:50 p.m.: We're about 20 minutes away from the first pitch. Here's a look at the Red Sox lineup:
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
Carl Crawford, LF
Jed Lowrie, SS
J.D. Drew, RF
Jason Varitek, C
6 a.m.: Red Sox fans got what they wanted when the organization changed Saturday's start from Saturday night to Saturday afternoon in order to see the Bruins play in the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night.
Hopefully fans with tickets to Saturday's game can still make the matinee start time, because if they can't, they'll be missing out on a terrific pitching matchup between the Sox and A's.
Josh Beckett looks to continue his stellar season hoping to bounce back from a loss in his last start. But, it wasn't like he pitched poorly. He gave up just two runs on Sunday in Detroit, but Justin Verlander was just a little bit better for the Tigers.
It won't get any easier this time around, though, as young Oakland righty Trevor Cahill gets the ball for the A's. Cahill is near the top of the league in every pitching category, and has been one of the rocks of a strong young staff for Bob Geren's team.
First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. so be sure to check in for details throughout.
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