Red Sox Live Blog: Cody Ross Sends Boston Home Winners With Walk-Off Bomb

by abournenesn

Jul 19, 2012

Red Sox Live Blog: Cody Ross Sends Boston Home Winners With Walk-Off BombFinal, Red Sox 3-1: And just like that, it's over. Cody Ross hits a bomb over the Monster and the Red Sox win, 3-1.

The no-doubter is the third walk-off of Ross' career and the second of the Red Sox season. He's absolutely on fire right now, homering three times in the last two games and really enjoying the "Co-dy Co-dy" chants coming down from the crowd.

That would have been a really tough game for either team to lose, considering how well both teams pitched. Still, the Red Sox have to be thrilled it wasn't them.

9:55 p.m.: Nick Punto is in to pinch-run for Gonzo. If the game is tied, he'll stay in to play first.

9:53 p.m.: After a leadoff single by Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia beat out a double play on a grounder to third. He moved up to second on a single by Adrian Gonzalez, and that'll be all for Thornton.

Closer Addison Reed is now entering the game, in search of his 16th save of the year. Cody Ross will bat first, followed by Will Middlebrooks if it gets that far.

Mid 9th, White Sox 1-0: Alfredo Aceves showed up to the ballpark today wearing an Oakland A's hat. I don't know what that means, but he just took the mound wearing a Red Sox hat and kept the Sox' hopes alive.

Aceves seems to struggle in non-save situations, but held the fort down here. It'll be Crawford, Pedroia and Gonzo against Matt Thornton.

9:37 p.m.: They just announced that tonight's crowd is the largest all year at Fenway: 38,403. They picked a good one.

End 8th, White Sox1-0: Jose Quintana can pitch.

The lefty made it eight scoreless innings, marking the fourth time in his last six starts that he's held opponents to one or zero runs over eight innings of work. The Red Sox have closer Alfredo Aceves in the game, meaning that Buchholz's night is done after 107 pitches, and the White Sox appear to have a reliever up and warming as well.

Mid 8th, White Sox 1-0: Mike Aviles tried the old "drop the ball on a pop-up and try to turn two" trick on a bloop by Dunn, but the ump was having none of it. It didn't matter, as Konerko grounded out to leave Ramirez stranded, but it was still fun to see.

Buchholz is likely done after throwing 107 pitches over eight innings, considering Vicente Padilla and Franklin Morales were up warming for the Sox, and now Alfredo Aceves is throwing.

If that is it for him, he leaves on the hook for a loss despite a sterling performance. He scattered six hits over eight innings and just allowed a single run to the ChiSox. It would be his second-best outing this year, second only to a complete-game shutout against Baltimore, but it would also be a shame if the Red Sox let it go to waste.

Quintana is out for the eighth — his pitch count's only at 86 — and hopefully the Boston offense has finally solved him.

End 7th, White Sox 1-0: With the crowd on its feet for a payoff pitch, Will Middlebrooks grounds into a devastating inning-ending double play.

He hit it hard, but Alexei Ramirez made a great play on the ball after a weird hop and was able to turn two and erase the threat. That's a heck of a stomach punch for the Red Sox, who were threatening for the first time all game.

9:05 p.m.: I don't want to say I told you so, but the bases are loaded and the White Sox have a reliever up in the pen.

Mid 7th, White Sox 1-0: Quick work there for Buchholz, working his second 1-2-3 inning and only throwing five pitches in the process.

He's up to 95 on the night, but there's only a little stirring in the Red Sox bullpen and he's likely to come back out for the 8th.

This might be Boston's best shot at Quintana, who will have to head back out there after a very, very short rest in the dugout to face the heart of the Sox order.

End 6th, White Sox 1-0: Pedro Ciriaco can't do everything. The budding phenom grounded out to short this time around, and the Red Sox are still looking for their second hit.

If Jose Quintana is available in your fantasy league, go grab him now before the game ends and your friends hear about how good this kid is.

Mid 6th, White Sox 1-0: Clay Buchholz entered tonight second in the league in run support, trailing only teammate Felix Doubront in that statistical category.

It's a big reason that his record looks so good (8-3) while his ERA (5.54 entering tonight) does not. For all the games that Clay has won this year that maybe he hasn't pitched well enough to deserve it, he's in the opposite situation right now.

Buchholz is still in control, but has allowed at least one baserunner in five of his six innings. His counterpart, Quintana, has just allowed the one hit, and unless the Sox can muster any more, Clay might be finding himself on the wrong side of a run support problem this time around.

End 5th, White Sox 1-0: Cody Ross just missed his third home run in the last two nights, failing to sneak a flare inside Pesky's Pole before it twisted foul. On the next pitch, it looked like he might have a home run anyway, but the wind knocked down a high fly ball and it turned into a harmless warning track out.

Quintana continues to deal. He's thrown over 60 percent of his pitches for strikes and the Sox have managed just Pedro Ciriaco's triple as far as hits are concerned.

Another 1-2-3 inning for the rookie and we head to the sixth.

Mid 5th, White Sox 1-0: Clay Buchholz's head is still attached to his body, but barely. OK, maybe that's a little extreme.

Eduardo Escobar sent one rifling back up the middle and Buchholz snagged it out of the air He's been solid so far, but the third time through this Chicago lineup is a tall task. His pitch count's up but he's done a good job pitching around hits.

So far he's scattered four hits, including a ground rule double that inning by De Aza, but one big inning by the Red Sox offense could begin to validate his strong performance.

End 4th, White Sox 1-0: Gonzo sent one to the warning track, but once again it's three up, three down for the young Quintana.

Compared to Pedro Hernandez last night, Quintana is light years ahead of the other Chicago rookie southpaw. The Sox are certainly going to have a tougher time of things this time — he's only thrown 45 pitches to get through four scoreless innings.

Mid 4th, White Sox 1-0: Adam Dunn, speed demon.

The lumbering slugger went first-to-third on a single by Paul Konerko, beating out a pretty solid throw by Cody Ross. Normally, that wouldn't be a big deal, but in conjuction with Dunn stealing a base earlier in this series — his first since 2008 — it's a little unnerving to see Big Country tearing up the basepaths.

He scored on a sacrifice fly by Alex Rios before the next two were retired, meaning that his extra hustle on that base hit actually paid off.

8:05 p.m.: Patriots owner Bob Kraft is here. No sign of his actress friend, unfortunately.

End 3rd, 0-0: Bobby Valentine said that Kelly Shoppach was starting against the White Sox because he hits lefties well, not because of Jarrod Saltalamacchia's struggles. He was wrong about that for Shop's first at-bat.

The catcher was fooled on a couple of pitches before striking out, making it seven in a row retired by Quintana to start the game. He got as many as eight in a row, before Pedro Ciriaco ripped one into the left-center field gap. He ended up on third after a misplay by De Aza, but Ellsbury struck out to strand him there.

Yes, Ciriaco isn't a typical DH by any means, but he's hitting like one for now.

Mid 3rd, 0-0: Buchholz must be locating well, because his four strikeouts so far have all been looking.

When a pitcher has their best stuff going, you get a lot of swing-and-misses. That hasn't been the case here, but Clay seems to be hitting his spots well enough, with home plate ump Paul Schrieber agreeing.

Bobby Valentine said that his starter wouldn't be on a pitch limit tonight after working with one against Tampa Bay, his first start off the DL. Already north of 40 pitches, that's probably a good thing.

End 2nd, 0-0: Joan Rivers is here tonight, which means Alex Rios is no longer the most washed-up person in attendance. Hey-o!

No Cody Ross magic yet, as he lines out to center field. He was asked before the game if he could repeat his two-home run performance from last night, and basically said no. Home runs are hard.

Another 1-2-3 inning for Quintana, who is making this look easy. Rookies shouldn't be this comfortable at Fenway, but there he is, scoreless through two innings.

Mid 2nd, 0-0: The wind appears to be a bit of a factor on fly balls tonight, as we've seen a couple tail back in towards the infield. The flagpole in center is waving in, so it looks like it's going to really take some effort to hit the ball out of the yard.

The wind is also playing a factor in the press box, as someone's notebook paper just went floating by.

The Sox barely missed turning a double play on Dayan Viciedo, but he was able to reach on a bang-bang call. Doesn't matter as Beckham grounds out the next time. Good stuff from Clay Buchholz so far.

End 1st, 0-0: Quick work of the Red Sox by Chicago starter Jose Quintana, who throws six pitches to set the order down 1-2-3.

Pedroia flew out to center while Ellsbury and Crawford made good contact, it was just right at the defense.

Mid 1st Inning, 0-0: Alexei Ramirez singled and drew a lot of attention from Clay Buchholz and Kelly Shoppach, but all for naught.

Buchholz struck out Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko looking, and the Red Sox have a chance to get on the board first in the bottom of the frame.

7:10 p.m.: The first pitch from Clay Buchholz is a strike. Game-time weather is pretty great: 75 degrees and an 11 mph wind blowing in from the east-southeast.

7:05 p.m.: That national anthem was… eventful.

First, the microphone didn't work. Then, it nearly fell over while the singer tried to get it working. Luckily, everything worked out in the end and we're moments away from some baseball.

7:00 p.m.: Here's some links to tide you all over until first pitch.

The Red Sox haven't made any big midseason acquisitions by way of trade, but the guys returning from injury have been pretty much the same thing.

Elsewhere, Andrew Bailey is making progress on his rehab and Adam Dunn is pretty sure that Carl Crawford is going to be just fine this year.

6:50 p.m.: I gotta say, I liked Germano. I think the Cubs may have gotten themselves a guy who's starting to figure out how to pitch in the big leagues.

By the same token, you can't blame the Sox for shipping him off, because Germano was about seventh on the starting pitcher depth chart, and the bullpen is managing just fine.

Meanwhile, the White Sox' decision to give Kevin Youkilis a night off has nothing to do with any possible injury. He said before the game that he would be available to pinch-hit and that his back was OK.

6:35 p.m.: Just crushed the media cafeteria here at Fenway. Two words for you: popcorn shrimp.

In baseball news, the Cubs have claimed Justin Germano from the Red Sox in exchange for cash considerations.

Germano was designated for assignment by the Sox a short while ago to make room on their roster for Jacoby Ellsbury.

In 80 career major league games, Germano is 8-20 with a 4.91 ERA. He tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings in relief against the Yankees his last time out, so the Cubs may have grabbed a guy that could help weather the storm if they end up dealing Matt Garza or Ryan Dempster later this year.

5:15 p.m.: The Laser Show is returning to Fenway.

Dustin Pedroia is officially back in the lineup for the Sox, batting third, meaning that Carl Crawford will stick around at the top of the order a little while longer.

Here are tonight's starting lineups, with Clay Buchholz on the mound for Boston against lefty Jose Quintana and the ChiSox.

Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Carl Crawford LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Cody Ross RF
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Kelly Shoppach C
Mike Aviles SS
Pedro Ciriaco DH

White Sox
Alejando De Aza CF
Alexei Ramirez SS
Adam Dunn DH
Paul Konerko 1B
Alex Rios RF
A.J. Pierzynski C
Dayan Viciedo LF
Gordon Beckham 2B
Eduardo Escobar 3B

8 a.m. ET: Hopefully, the Red Sox didn't use up all of their runs on Wednesday.

Clay Buchholz takes the mound on Thursday, making his second start for Boston (47-45) after returning from the disabled list. He'll be hoping to earn a series victory against first-place Chicago (50-41) and keep the momentum from the Red Sox' 10-1 victory last night.

He will hopefully have reinforcements by way of Dustin Pedroia, who is scheduled to come off the DL himself after sitting out with a thumb injury. Pedey will likely be facing off against rookie starter Jose Quintana, who is is 4-1 with a 2.60 ERA this year.

The White Sox failed to record a hit in the last seven innings of Wednesday's laugher, so expect Kevin Youkilis and Co. to come out ready to avenge the loss and jump on Buchholz fast. The righty has a 7.20 ERA in the first inning of starts he's made this season, so things might get interesting early.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m., but the fun starts before then. Check back with the live blog for updates throughout the day, and make sure to tune in for NESN's pregame coverage starting at 6 p.m.

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