The MVP Saves the Season - Ells' 3-run HR Earns Split With the Yankees

Make no mistake about it - this was a MUST WIN game for the Red Sox. After stumbling their way through the month of September, including a 6-2 loss to the Yankees earlier in the afternoon, Boston placed its hopes of holding off the Rays and Angels squarely on the shoulders of John Lackey who has been anything but a stopper in his first two seasons with the Red Sox.

Lackey was up to the challenge, throwing 6+ innings (when was the last time a Sox starter got into the 7th inning?), and the bullpen responded with 8 shutout innings in which the Yankees managed only 1 hit. J.D. Drew (hey, I remember that guy!) appeared out of nowhere with an RBI single, and MVP-candidate Jacoby Ellsbury slammed a 3-run homer off Yankees reliever Scott Proctor in the top of the 14th inning to help the Red Sox salvage the 2nd game of the doubleheader and keep the Rays a game behind for the Wild Card.

For Ellsbury, it was his 31st home run of what has been a magical season, and his 3rd of the day; his two solo blasts in the afternoon game accounted for all the Red Sox runs.

All (?) the Red Sox need to do now is sweep the Orioles starting tonight in the final 3 games of the regular season; they completely control their destiny.