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Monday, July 26, 2010

Okajima lets his stinkbomb speak for itself


Just when it appeared the Red Sox were gaining a sliver of momentum, winning the first two games in Seattle, it all came crashing down as they couldn't pull out a win in Lester's gem on Saturday night and yesterday afternoon the bullpen imploded for the millionth time this season.

Seattle (39-60) won 4-2, to earn a split in a series that Boston (55-44) simply had to have. Now, the Sox are eight games behind New York (goodnight) and five behind Tampa Bay for the wild card (keep dreaming). Ugh.

Yesterday's goat was Hideki Okajima (3-3), who had another terrible outing in a terrible season for him that's been chock full of them.

Dice-K had given his team the standard six inning outing: four hits, one run (earned), five walks, four strikeouts. Typical with Matsuzaka, he pitched out of trouble well (including a bases loaded, one out jam) but his high pitch count (110) cost his team since someone other than Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon had to enter the game.

Okajima entered with no outs and a runner on first in the eighth and promptly gave up five hits for two runs (both earned). You have to believe me that none of the balls were hard hit, two were bunt hits, but that doesn't matter at all. He compounded things by screwing up one of the bunts, he fielded Casey Kotchman's (3 hits) bunt, turned to third, hesitated then threw to first. Everybody was safe.

Jose Lopez (2 hits) gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead in the third with an RBI single.

Kevin Youkilis (2 hits) tied it up for Boston with an RBI double in the fourth and ex-Mariner Adrian Beltre put the Red Sox ahead with an RBI single.

In the fateful eighth, Michael Saunders drove in two with a bloop single and Kotchman scored on Milton Bradley's bunt.

David Aardsma, another ex-Red Sox player, got a 1-2-3 ninth for his 18th save.

After a 3-4 stretch in Oakland and Seattle, the Sox wrap up their west coast trip with three in Anaheim against the Angels. Clay Buchholz takes on Joel Pineiro, former Sox bum.

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