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Friday, August 6, 2010

Beltre and Dice-K help Red Sox split with Indians


The bad news seems to come daily for the Boston Red Sox and yesterday was no different as Kevin Youkilis will miss the rest of the season with his random thumb injury.

Every time you want to bury this team you can't though as they emerge from their shallow grave with a nice win. Last night, the Sox (62-47) earned a split with the Indians (46-63) thanks to a 6-2 win at Fenway Park.

There were basically two reasons why Boston won this game: Daisuke Matsuzaka and Adrian Beltre. Dice-K (8-3) had probably his second best start of the season (behind the near no-hitter at the Phillies) as he went eight impressive innings, allowing one earned run on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts.

For much of the game, Cleveland rookie Josh Tomlin matched Dice-K, starting out the first three innings with a perfect game. However, with one swing, Beltre gave Boston all the runs they would need as he crushed a fourth inning grand slam over the Monster.

Shin-Soo Choo had given the Indians an early 1-0 lead in the first with a solo homer to center.

J.D. Drew added two important insurance runs in the eighth with a clutch two-run single.

Even a 6-1 lead at home isn't safe for Hideki Okajima (2 hits, 1 run, 1 walk). Luis Valbuena hit an RBI single in the ninth and when two runners were on base, Terry Francona had to go to Jonathan Papelbon since they needed this game bad.

Papelbon made it interesting as usual, walking the bases loaded (putting the tying run at the plate in the form of nobody Trevor Crowe) but striking out two batters to end it. It was his 26th save of the season.

For the first time since before Memorial Day (it's an absolute joke that it's been that long), the Red Sox will play the Yankees. The two teams have four in the Bronx this weekend, starting tonight and ending Monday afternoon.

Clay Buchholz faces Javier Vazquez tonight at Yankee Stadium. The Bombers come in six games ahead of Boston and half a game ahead of Tampa Bay (the wild card leaders). Needless to say, the Red Sox have to win at least a couple games in the series to stay alive. They simply can't afford to be swept.