This particular “Four at-bats that changed the game” post is a complete no-brainer.
The Philadelphia Phillies ripped four solo homers — three off starter John Lackey in three-and-a-third innings and one more off reliever Koji Uehara — to edge the Red Sox 4-3 at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night and draw first blood in a brief, two-game set.
For the second night in a row, Dustin Pedroia got Boston off to a quick start, cashing in Jacoby Ellsbury — who had tripled to lead off the top of the first inning — with a sacrifice fly to right center to give the visitors a 1-0 advantage that unfortunately wouldn’t stick. Down 3-1 later in the game, the Sox stranded runners on first and second with nobody out in the sixth and had both bases occupied again with one out in the seventh, but couldn’t bring a single run home. And for the second straight night, Sox Nation expat Jonathan Papelbon closed the door on his former teammates in the ninth to cement the win and his 11th save.
Here are the four at-bats that changed the game, and get ready to stand up out of your recliners, because every single one of them is going, going, GONE!
1) In the bottom of the second inning, Phillies slugger Ryan Howard popped a loud foul to left that Sox outfielder Mike Carp could have reached for the out if he hadn’t taken such a sluggish jump on the ball. On the very next pitch, Lackey had plenty to Carp about when Howard crushed his 79-mph curveball into the left field stands to knot the score at 1-1.
2) In the bottom of the fourth inning, Lackey served up a four-seam fastball to Domonic Brown, who ripped it deep to right for his 12th homer of the year and a 2-1 Phillies advantage. It was Brown’s fourth homer in the last five games, and the third-straight game he’s gone yard against the Sox.
3) Two pitches later and Erik Kratz went back-to-back off the 'Lack, driving an 85-mph cutter deep to center for his sixth home run this season and a 3-1 advantage for the Phils. Watch the drive here.
4) While it’s worth noting that Daniel Nava notched a career-high with his seventh home run of the year to bring the Sox to within one run in the top of the sixth (check it out here as a little salve for this Phillies-heavy recap), it didn't change the game. Domonic Brown, however, did, when he dosed the Sox with a little déjà vu in the eighth, teeing off on a Koji Uehara splitter and sending it into right field for his 13th homer of the year and fourth against Boston pitching in 72 hours. No high-fives back in the dugout on that one, Koj.
Tomorrow night the Sox will try to split the four-game, home-and-away series with the Phils when they send old friend and freshly rehabbed southpaw Franklin Morales to the mound against righthander Jonathan Pettibone at 7:05 p.m. EST.
Twitter: jan_doh Jan-Christian Sorensen 5/29/2013 11:40:00 PM Tweet