The Sox walked right up to the Cliff Tuesday night at Fenway, but couldn't bring themselves to jump over it.
Phillies starter Cliff Lee kept the Red Sox bats silent for the better part of eight innings, scattering four hits and striking out eight while pacing Philadelphia to a 3-1 win over Boston.
Here are the four at-bats that changed the game, and no — they aren’t heavy on Red Sox highlights, folks. Fair warning.
1) Top of the first inning, and only two pitches into the game, Michael Young got every single stitch of a Ryan Dempster four-seamer and gave it a quick rip straight out into the gaping maw of the Green Monster. Right off the bat, it looked like more of the same-old, same-old from Dempster, who entered the game with a 4.69 ERA and an 0-3 record in his last four starts. Dempster, however, would settle down and valiantly keep stride with Lee for most of the game.
2) Bottom of the first inning, one out, and Jacoby Ellsbury, who singled to left field before Jonny Gomes flew out to right, steals second (his 16th theft of the year) with Dustin Pedroia batting. Pedroia then grounded a 2-1 cutter to right field to drive home Ellsbury for the even-up run to tie the game and issue a curt rejoinder to the Phillies after they scored in the top half of the inning.
3) Dempster held the Philles in check until the top of the seventh, but after Phillies outfielder John Mayberry singled to center, Freddy Galvis dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Mayberry into scoring position, which proved to be a wise stratagem one batter later when Eric Kratz singled to center to drive in Mayberry for the go-ahead run.
4) While Craig Breslow set down all three batters he faced in the eighth, Junichi Tazawa came on in the ninth to ostensibly close the lid on the Philly cream cheese but instead served up a four-seam fastball to Domonic Brown, who proceeded to spread the ball all over the right centerfield stands and salt away the victory for the Phils.
Honourable mention: David Ortiz’s two-out at-bat in the ninth inning, when Big Papi gave one of returning former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon’s four-seam fastballs a ride that was oh-so-close to curling around the Pesky Pole for a homer. Unfortunately, it didn’t, and Pap went on to force Papi to ground out to retire the side and make quick work of his former teammates in a one-two-three ninth. He might not be Shipping Up To Boston anymore, but he's sure Stepping Up.
Jan-Christian Sorensen 5/29/2013 01:32:00 AM Tweet