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Monday, August 2, 2010

Red Sox do nothing meaningful at trade deadline but produce two straight walk-off wins


As expected, the Boston Red Sox did nothing substantial (sorry Ramon Ramirez, you bum) at the non-waiver trade deadline (Saturday) but that mundane news was tempered with the excitement of two straight walk-off wins over the Tigers on Saturday and Sunday.

I was lucky enough to be sitting on the Monster with some buddies from college on Saturday night as David Ortiz came through with a bases-loaded, three-run double. It's the first walk-off I've seen in person (as far as I can remember) so it was a cool moment.

Yesterday's didn't have quite the same panache since it came when Marco Scutaro (2 hits, steal) bunted and Tigers (52-52) reliever Robbie Weinhardt threw it away, allowing Darnell McDonald to score for the 4-3 Red Sox (60-45) win.

Truthfully, it shouldn't have come to that since Clay Buchholz (8 innings, 3 hits, 2 earned runs, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts) completely silenced Detroit until the ninth when a lucky bounce led to an infield hit and he walked the last batter he faced.

Jonathan Papelbon (4-4) was summoned and on the first pitch, Miguel Cabrera cranked a two-run double (that missed being a homer by a few feet) as Detroit cut it to 3-2. Then Papelbon blew his fifth game of the season when Jhonny Peralta tied it with a groundball up the middle.

Making the win even more impressive is that the Sox beat Tigers ace Justin Verlander (7 innings, 6 hits, 3 earned runs, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts).

Eric Patterson gave Boston a 1-0 lead in the second with an RBI single and Adrian Beltre (2 hits) doubled the Sox advantage with an RBI single in the third. Rookie Ryan Kalish (who went 2-for-4 in his MLB debut on Saturday) added a sacrifice fly in the third for the surprising 3-0 lead.

The time is now for the Red Sox, they're still 6.5 games behind the Yankees and 5.5 in back of the Rays for the wild card. The good news is that the miserable Indians come to Fenway for four games beginning tonight. For any chance to make the playoffs, Boston has to pretty much at least split every series and when they play garbage like this, they need to win three or sweep them.

Tonight John Lackey takes on Fausto Carmona as Lackey tries to keep his streak of three straight great starts going down the stretch.