Final, Red Sox 7-5: Jonathan Papelbon may have won round one with a save, but Alfredo Aceves showed he could thrive in the clutch on Saturday.
The Red Sox' offense led the way in this one, with David Ortiz, Will Middlebrooks, Mike Aviles and Jarrod Saltalamacchia belting long balls.
Jon Lester wasn't as crisp as he could've been, but he collects the win to balance out his record from earlier in the season — when he pitched well and still got the losses.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 7-5: Like many of you, I forgot that Jose Contreras was still in Major League Baseball.
Remember the days when the Red Sox and Yankees were bidding over his services? The Yankees eventually got him, but Contreras didn't pan out as a starter.
He did well in relief in the ninth, but it comes down to Aceves here.
End 8th, Red Sox 7-5: Man, Alfredo Aceves was making things very interesting.
The bases were juiced, but he was able to induce a pop up to shortstop. If he blew that save, you already know that Jonathan Papelbon would find a way to open his mouth from across the dugout.
There's one more inning to go, but Aceves really feeds off momentum, so we'll see how he does in the ninth.
10:05 p.m.: Alfredo Aceves is for Rich Hill. He's eyeing a save, one day after Jonathan Papelbon achieved the feat.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 7-4: Wow, another defensive web gem. Jimmy Rollins fired a bullet from his knees to get Jarrod Saltalamacchia out at home.
That was a tough throw. I've really been treated to two spectacular defensive plays in two straight innings.
Also, got a kick of Vicente Padilla going up to bat. He made some good contact, though, and he has 17 career RBIs.
End 7th, Red Sox 7-4: Ryan Sweeney just made a spectacular diving catch to rob the Phillies of at least two runs.
Vicente Padilla better buy Sweeney beers next time around because he absolutely owes him. That was a phenomenal catch by Sweeney.
On another note, Padilla's infamous eephus pitch isn't as unhittable as we thought. Victorino made contact and got a bloop single out of it.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 7-4: Joe Savery did a strong job in relief, getting Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz and Will Middlebrooks to ground out.
Props to Middlebrooks for hustling on that ground out. He could've easily walked it out, but he showed nice work ethic.
Also, Vicente Padilla is into relieve for Jon Lester.
End 6th, Red Sox 7-4: Ty Wigginton struck out against Jon Lester to start that inning. I'm sure you're wondering why I pinpointed him.
Well, Bobby Valentine actually gave Wigginton his first chance in the bigs as a member of the Mets.
Valentine still keeps in touch with him and called Wigginton one of the nicest guys that he's ever been around. Ironically, Wigginton's catch at first base on Friday triggered Valentine's ejection.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 7-4: So much for Lester looking good at the plate, he just struck out swinging.
What's up with these pitchers? Remember, chicks dig the long ball!
All kidding aside, it was another routine, but Mike Aviles still made really good contact during his fly out to right field. He's swinging the bat well.
End 5th, Red Sox 7-4: It's not the best of outings for Jon Lester, who's cutter isn't as sharp as usual.
He allowed John Mayberry to single and move to third base, but fortunately for the pitcher, he emerged unscathed.
For the record, Lester has done fine at the plate, laying down a nice sac bunt in his second at-bat. But this may be it for him since he's up to bat.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 7-4: Yeah, there was some controversy — among Phillies fans — that manager Charlie Manuel left Blanton in too long.
Certainly looks like it. Blanton surrendered nine hits and four homers in this one.
He told me on Friday that he got his "[butt] kicked" against the Sox last time around. Well, that would be an apt description this time, too.
8:39 p.m.: David Ortiz went yard for a two-run home run. It was just the boost the Red Sox needed.
Enough was enough for Charlie Manuel, who finally pulled Joe Blanton out of the game. Here comes Raul Valdes.
End 4th, Red Sox 5-4: Freddy Galvis just blasted a two-run shot off Jon Lester. It was his second homer in as many days.
It's pretty funny, considering Galvis only had one long ball heading into this series. He's not a slugger by any means, but has looked like one against the Red Sox.
His shot was right after Hector Luna almost delivered a bomb to left field. The ball dropped right on the fence.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 5-1: Will Middlebrooks was stuck in a little bit of a rut over the last few games, but he's putting that behind him.
While we're on the topic of third baseman, Bobby Valentine said he told Kevin Youkilis to take all the time he needs in Pawtucket to work on his timing. Youkilis will alert Valentine when he's ready.
With each homer, Middlebrooks is making the third baseman debate more and more interesting.
8:15 p.m.: Will Middlebrooks just mashed a solo shot to right field, giving him five for the season.
Immediately after, Jarrod Saltalamacchia took Joe Blanton out of town for back-to-back jacks.
End 3rd, Red Sox 3-1: Shane Victorino nearly drove a ball out of the park, but it hit the fence right above the wall to stay in play.
Even so, it was still enough to score John Mayberry. Daniel Nava's throw prevented Victorino from getting more than a double.
I spoke with Tim Bogar earlier and he said that he sees Nava as more athletic this time around compared to his stint in 2010.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 3-0: And Adrian Gonzalez struck out looking in his second plate appearance.
He ended his home run drought on Friday, but downplayed it, saying it didn't matter because the team didn't win the game.
He's always been the type of guy to be even keel. So it's no surprise that he didn't get gassed over one long ball, even though it's a step in the right direction.
End 2nd, Red Sox 3-0: Adrian Gonzalez caught a ball — the first one that went to his direction — with relative ease in right field.
FOX reported that Gonzalez is using Carl Crawford's glove in the outfield for this game. Interesting little nugget there, but I'll try to confirm after the game.
David Ortiz hasn't looked too shabby at first base either.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 3-0: It was Round Two between Daniel Nava and Joe Blanton.
As many of you should remember, Nava blasted his infamous grand slam against Blanton. Blanton talked to me about it on Friday.
Nava didn't homer, but he collected an RBI after Blanton dropped the ball at first base. Jon Lester also drove in a run via groundout.
End 1st, Red Sox 1-0: Despite the positional changes this game, it was actually Jon Lester who made the game's first error.
He misfired on a throw to David Ortiz at first base. I think the loss of weight should actually help Ortiz patrol first base.
Also of note, Ortiz was battling a stomach issue on Friday.
Mid 1st, Red Sox 1-0: Mike Aviles slugged a leadoff homer off Joe Blanton, making that No. 7 on the season.
That's two straight days that Aviles has unloaded homers and clearly he's heating up again. That's also six extra-base hits in his last five games.
He's a streaky one and he's getting close to his career-high of 10 homers, which he set in 2008.
7:07 p.m.: The Phillies are honoring Pat Burrell, who is retiring, before the game.
Burrell and Cody Ross used to prank Nick Punto at 4 a.m. during their offseasons in Arizona.
5:15 p.m.: Here are the lineups.
Mike Aviles, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, 1B
Adrian Gonzalez, RF
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Ryan Sweeney, CF
Daniel Nava, LF
Jon Lester, LHP
Jimmy Rollins, SS
John Mayberry Jr., LF
Shane Victorino, CF
Hunter Pence, RF
Carlos Ruiz, C
Ty Wigginton, 3B
Hector Luna, 1B
Freddy Galvis, 2B
Joe Blanton, RHP
8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox dropped the series opener against former closer Jonathan Papelbon and the Phillies. The team will have a chance to redeem itself on Saturday when Jon Lester takes the hill against Joe Blanton.
Lester is coming off his best start of the season, when he walked one and struck out six in a complete-game gem against the Mariners. Lester is 2-0 with a 0.43 ERA in three career starts against the Phillies.
Blanton, who is 4-3 with a 2.96 ERA, will likely be reunited with Sox outfielder Daniel Nava. Nearly two years ago, Nava crushed a grand slam off Blanton on the first pitch of his first career at-and received national acclaim.
For more from Citizens Bank Park, follow NESN.com's live blog. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
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