2010 Season Archive

Sun, April 4 at Fenway Park vs. Yankees (W 9-7; 1-0) WP: Okajima (1-0), LP: Park (0-1)

Blasts, bloops, and blunders. The Red Sox took advantage of all three to win a wild one over the Yankees, 9-7. They took the lead in the 7th on a WP and PB. They came after Dustin tied the game with a 2-run dinger. They added an insurance run in the 8th with a Pedroia single that scored Cameron from second on some aggressive base running. Dustin had 3 RBI on the night. Youk had 2 doubles and a triple. (4/4)

Tue, April 6 at Fenway Park vs. Yankees (L 4-6; 1-1) WP: Aceves (1-0), LP: Okajima (1-1)

Scoot-less Scutaro is not Okey-Dokey. Scutaro’s error put Okijima on the hook for the Red Sox 6-4 loss to the Yankees. Neither Boston’s Jon Lester nor New York’s AJ Burnett were stellar, but the hitting was solid on both sides, so it came down to a flub to decide this one. Of course, Mariano Rivera picked up the save. (4/6)

Wed, April 7 at Fenway Park vs. Yankees (L 1-3; 1-2) WP: Park (1-1), LP: Papelbon (0-1)

Pap makes Granderson grander. After John Lackey’s magnificent scoreless 6 innings, this tight game ended up in the 10th, when Papelbon surrendered a solo blast to Curtis Granderson that won it for the Yankees. They tacked on another off Pap and Scott Atchison. Final was 3-1. (4/7)

Fri, April 9 at Royals (L 3-4; 1-3) WP: Parrish (1-0), LP: Bard (0-1)

A good Wake spoiled. Tim Wakefield took the Red Sox into the 8th inning with a 3-2 lead, but the bullpen couldn’t hold, as Okajima set the Royals up, and they took the lead off fireballer Daniel Bard in the 8th, to win 4-3. At least Papi got his first double of the season (he was later ejected for arguing balls and strikes). KC closer Joakim Soria took the save. (4/9)

Sat, April 10 at Royals (W 8-3; 2-3) WP: Beckett (1-0), LP: Greinke (0-1)

From Cy to sigh. Last year’s Cy Young winner Zack Greinke had his head handed to him by Red Sox hitting as Boston pounded the Royals, 8-3. The Boston attack was initiated in the 5th with back-to-back homers by Jeremy Hermida and Jason Varitek. Varitek had another dinger later in the game, as did Youk and Pedroia. Beckett was solid for 6 innings, and they touched him a bit in the 7th, but he got the win. (4/10)

Sun, April 11 at Royals (W 8-6; 3-3) WP: Buchholz (1-0), LP: Meche (0-1)

Dustin bustin’ out. Pedroia went 4 for 5, with a homer, to help Clay Buchholz overcome a shaky start to gain the win over KC, 8-6. The victory was endangered by Ramon Ramirez’s very rough 8th. Hermida, Beltre, Ellsbury, and Martinez contributed doubles to the Red Sox fireworks. Sadly, Papi struck out 4 times. Ouch. Pap got the save. (4/11)

Mon, April 12 at Twins (L 2-5; 3-4) WP: Pavano (2-0), LP: Lester (0-1)

Lester was the lesser. The Red Sox helped inaugurate Target Field in Minneapolis by scattering 7 hits but scoring just 2 runs, while Jon Lester struggled once again with Twins hitting to lose, 5-2. Jason Kubel let all Twins hitters with 3 hits, including one homer. Papi had a lucky double, and whiffed twice. (4/12)

Wed, April 14 at Twins (W 6-3; 4-4) WP: Lackey (1-0), LP: Slowey (1-1)

Top heavy. The top of the order came up big for the Red Sox, as Pedroia (double, HR), Scutaro, and Martinez had 2 hits apiece to beat Minnesota 6-3. In the 9 spot, Hermida (in for the injured Ellsbury) hit a 3 run double. Lackey was not overwhelming, but good enough to win. The Twins’ Cuddyer homered off Bard. Pap got the save. (4/14)

Thu, April 15 at Twins (L 0-8; 4-5) WP: Liriano (1-0), LP: Wakefield (0-1)

Blunders, bungles, and blasts. Fielding miscues combined with Twins hitting to crush the Red Sox, 8-0. Wakefield was not bad, but timely hitting and bad play knocked him out in the 6th. Minnesota’s Francisco Liriano was brilliant, shutting down Boston bats through 7. Cuddyer homered off Schoeneweis in the 7th. (4/15)

Sitting for the Red Sox today: Ellsbury (sore ribs), Cameron (strained abdominals), and Ortiz (missing swing). They are replaced by Hall, Hermida, and Lowell.

Fri, April 16 at Fenway Park vs. Rays (suspended)

Left in suspense. The rain came on strong in the late innings and was too much by the 9th inning. Josh Beckett had the kind of game we all knew he could have, holding the Rays to 1 run in 7 innings, and despite sloppy play, the Red Sox remained competitive. Jason Varitek produced the solo HR that accounted for Boston’s only run, as the game stands 1-1 in the bottom of the 9th. (4/16)

Sat, April 17 at Fenway Park vs. Rays (L 1-3; 4-6) WP: Cormier (2-0), LP: Delcarmen (0-1)

Washed away. There was hope for the Red Sox in their rain-suspended game when they had the bases loaded with nobody out in the 11th, but alas, they failed to score. Daniel Bard pitched two excellent innings, but Manny Delcarmen surrended a 2 run homer to Pat Burrell that sealed it for the Rays, 3-1. BTW, Tek had a double and HR in the game. (4/17)

Sat, April 17 at Fenway Park vs. Rays (L 5-6; 4-7) WP: Shields (1-0), LP: Buchholz (1-1)

Near miss. Despite an error by Mike Cameron that led to a 4 run 1st inning, the Red Sox clawed their way almost all the way back. Despite homers by Scutaro, Pedroia, and Youkilis, and a superlative pitching effort (after the 1st) by Clay Buchholz, Boston fell to Tampa Bay, 6-5. A 7th inning solo HR by Longoria proved the game winner for the Rays. (4/17, game 2)

Sun, April 18 at Fenway Park vs. Rays (L 1-7; 4-8) WP: Garza (3-0), LP: Lester (0-2)

Gassed by Garza. The Red Sox were blown away by Matt Garza’s power pitching for 8 shutout innings en route to a 7-1 loss to Tampa Bay at Fenway Park. After a brilliant first inning, Jon Lester had control issues in the 2nd and 3rd, and the Rays jumped on every mistake. The Sox also seemed to lack confidence at the plate and on the basepaths, grounding into 3 double plays. (4/18)

Mon, April 19 at Fenway Park vs. Rays (L 2-8; 4-9) WP: Niemann (1-0), LP: Lackey (1-1)

Sox stumble on Marathon Monday. Jeremy Hermida hit his first HR in a Red Sox uniform. So much for the good news. The rest is grim. Poor play behind John Lackey seemed to undermine his efforts, as the Rays piled up the hits en route to a 8-2 crushing of the Olde Towne Team. TB’s Jeff Nieman was not overpowering, but given how Boston hitters are swinging their bats, he didn’t need to be. Texas is next.  (4/19)

Tue, April 20 at Fenway Park vs. Rangers (W 7-6; 5-9) WP: Papelbon (1-1), LP: Francisco (2-3)

That darned Darnell! Journeyman triple-A player Darnell McDonald pulled this game from the rubbish heap with a homer in the 8th, and a walk-off hit in the 9th. Hits by Pedroia, Reddick, Varitek (each doubled) Hermida, Youkilis, and Martinez helped pace this 7-6 Red Sox win over Texas. Wakefield struggled through 6 innings, giving up 6 runs on 7 hits. Delcarmen and Oki were strong in relief; Pap got the win. (4/20)

Wed, April 21 at Fenway Park vs. Rangers (W 8-7; 6-9) WP: Okajima (2-1), LP: Nippert (0-2)

McDonald is off the farm. Darnell McDonald had 2 hits, including a home run, to ensure that he won’t be going back to AAA. Beckett could not contain the Rangers, but the bullpen was amazing. Timely hitting and smart base running came through as Boston beat Texas 8-7 in 12 innings. Marco Scutaro showed great hustle taking 2nd on a Drew fly out to CF, setting up Youk’s game-winning hit. Oki took the victory. (4/21)

Thu, April 22 at Fenway Park vs. Rangers (L 0-3; 6-10) WP: Wilson (1-1), LP: Buchholz (1-2)

No visible means of support. Clay Buchholz had a fairly good outing, giving ground (and 3 runs) in the 7th inning, but received no run support as the Red Sox fell to Texas, 3-0. CJ Wilson pitched 6 2/3rds shutout innings, and the Rangers bullpen shut Boston down from there. Former Red Sox player Dave Murphy had 2 hits, including a double, and scored a run for Texas. (4/22)

Fri, April 23 at Fenway Park vs. Orioles (W 4-3; 7-10) WP: Delcarmen (1-1), LP: Albers (0-2)

Papi finds his pop. David Ortiz finally hit is first HR of the season, but it took a late inning relief pitching breakdown by the Orioles to lift the Red Sox to a 4-3 victory over Baltimore. Lester left with a 3-0 lead after 5 2/3rds innings, but Daniel Bard and Oki let the O’s back in this one. After walks gave Boston the lead, Pap closed with the help of an amazing OF putout by Hall. (4/23)

Sat, April 24 at Fenway Park vs. Orioles (W 7-6; 8-10) WP: Lackey (2-1), LP: Albers (0-3)

Boston beats Bird bats. The Red Sox overcame another rough start by John Lackey, as homers by Scutaro and Youkilis powered the Red Sox to a 7-6 victory over the Orioles at Fenway Park. Ramone Ramirez and Jonathon Papelbon struggled to contain the resurgent O’s in the 9th, giving up 3 runs, but Pap prevailed in the end. (4/24)

Sun, April 25 at Fenway Park vs. Orioles (L 6-7; 8-11) WP: Johnson (1-1), LP: Atchison (0-1)

Tim’s last start for a while becomes a wake. Tim Wakefield gave up 1 run in 6 innings before getting in trouble in the 7th, so Okajima came on to pour gasoline on the fire. He surrendered a string of hits, including a Tejada 2 run homer, that gave Baltimore 3 runs in the inning. Atchison gave up 3 more in the 10th, as the Red Sox ultimately lost, 7-6. Doubles by Lowell, Pedroia, Youk, and Drew were in vain. (4/25)

Mon, April 26 at Blue Jays (W 13-12; 9-11) WP: Schoeneweis (1-0), LP: Camp (1-1)

Looking rocky at the Rogers. If hideousness were an art form, this game would hang in the Louvre. Josh Beckett, shaky from the start, collapsed in the 3rd, giving the Jays an early lead. Boston struck back, with Tek, Scutaro, Pedroia, and Beltre each going 3 for 5, as the Red Sox topped the Blue Jays, 13-12. The middle Toronto’s lineup came up big as well, but Bard and Pap finally got control of this one. (4/27)

Tue, April 27 at Blue Jays (W 2-1; 10-11) WP: Buchholz (2-2), LP: Downs (0-3)

Model Clay. Clay Buchholz pitched as well as we knew he could, giving up just 1 run in 8 innnings as the Red Sox won a gem over Toronto, 2-1. Only Vernon Wells seemed to have his number, with a double, single, and RBI. Once again, Mike Lowell was called upon to pinch hit for David Ortiz. The Jays’ Shaun Marcum was excellent, but took the loss. Ramon Ramirez got the save. (4/27)

Wed, April 28 at Blue Jays (W 2-0; 11-11) WP: Lester (1-2), LP: Cecil (1-1)

Lester’s bester. Jon Lester dominated for 7 innings, giving up just 1 hit and no runs as the Red Sox completed their sweep of Toronto, 2-0. Bard in the 8th, and Pap in the 9th finished the job. Adrain Beltre, Dustin Pedroia, and Darnell McDonald were clutch at the plate. The Jays’ Brett Cecil was quite effective, but took the loss. Jason Varitek showed his catching skills in directing Lester for the win. (4/28)

Fri, April 30 at Orioles (L 4-5; 11-12) WP: Albers (1-3), LP: Ramirez (0-1)

Pop goes the ballgame. John Lackey got in a little trouble early, but managed to get beyond it, aided by Pedroia and Drew dingers. Nonetheless, in the end, it was Miguel Tejada’s bat that took them down, losing to the Orioles, 5-4 in 10 innings. Ramon Ramirez suffered the fatal blow, as the Red Sox finished April below .500. It was an oh-fer night for David Ortiz. (4/30)

Sat, May 1 at Orioles (L 9-12; 11-13) WP: Bergesen (1-2), LP: Matsuzaka (0-1)

No Dice. Daisuke Matsuzaka was hammered in his return the the Red Sox rotation. Despite plenty of fireworks from Boston, the Olde Towne Team was crushed, 12-9 in Baltimore. One bit of good news is that David Ortiz seems to have put the “pop” back in Papi, with 2 HRs. Youkilis and Van Every also contributed homers to this disaster. (5/1)

Sun, May 2 at Orioles (L 2-3; 11-14) WP: Albers (2-3), LP: Papelbon (1-2)

This ain’t horseshoes. Close may count in horseshoes, but not in baseball. The Red Sox had 2 on with 1 out in the 10th, but… no. In the bottom of the inning, Pap walked Markakis, gave him 2nd with an errant throw to 1st, then allowed a line drive to center (Wigginton) to hand this one to the Orioles, 3-2 in 10. Beckett’s solid 7 innings (2 runs on 6 hits) and solo HRs by Varitek and Drew went for naught. (5/2)

Mon, May 3 at Fenway Park vs. Angels (W 17-8; 12-14) WP: Buchholz (3-2), LP: Saunders (1-5)

Winning ugly was never so beautiful. Clay Buchholz had a so-so game, but it didn’t matter as Red Sox hitter brutalized Angels pitching to win, 17-8. Youkilis and Lowell doubled and homered, Beltre and Pedroia homered, and Drew and Martinez also doubled. LAA’s Joe Saunders took the loss, but Matt Palmer was pretty beaten up as well. The Sox needed this. (5/3)

Tue, May 4 at Fenway Park vs. Angels (W 5-1; 13-14) WP: Lester (2-2), LP: Jepsen (0-1)

Fallen Angels. Jon Lester’s excellent pitching was backed by superb fielding, including an amazing 8th innning double play by Dustin Pedroia, and clutch hitting, to secure a 5-1 Boston win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Ervin Santana gave LAA 7 solid innings, but Kevin Jepsen’s control issues gave the Red Sox the opportunities they needed. Hermida, Lowell (PH), and Pedroia came up big for in the end. (5/4)

Wed, May 5 at Fenway Park vs. Angels (W 3-1; 14-14) WP: Lackey (3-1), LP: Pineiro (2-4)

A thing of beauty on Nomar night. Nomar Garciaparra was honored tonight, and the Red Sox celebrated with a 3-1 win over LAA. John Lackey sparkled against his former team, giving up 1 run and 2 hits over 7 innings. Big Papi went 2 for 3 with a solo HR off his favorite opposing pitcher, Joel Pineiro. Adrian Beltre provided an insurance HR in the 8th. Pap was unhittable in the 9th for the save. (5/5)

Thu, May 6 at Fenway Park vs. Angels (W 11-6; 15-14) WP: Matsuzaka (1-1), LP: Kazmir (2-2)

Halos roll as Sox sweep. It look like another disaster for Dice-K; he gave up 4 runs in the 1st inning, but he managed 4 shutout innings, while his teammates put on a hitting explosion to beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 11-6, completing a sweep of their 4 game series. Fabulous fielding plays by Pedroia and McDonald, and power hitting by Martinez, Pedroia, Youkilis, and McDonald helped seal this one. (5/6)

Fri, May 7 at Fenway Park vs. Yankees (L 3-10; 15-15) WP: Hughes (4-0), LP: Beckett (1-1)

Wild thing. Josh Beckett looked strong through 5, with just one 3 run HR to Swisher in the 4th. Then in the 6th, he seemed to lose control altogether, hitting 2 batters to force in runs and potentially injuring Tek with an errant fastball. The Yankees took advantage, and Boston could not recover as New York prevailed over the Red Sox, 10-3.

Sat, May 8 at Fenway Park vs. Yankees (L 3-14; 15-16) WP: Aceves (3-0), LP: Buchholz (3-3)

Clay pigeon. Clay Buchholz seemed to be holding the Yankees at bay fairly effectively until the 5th inning, when the deluge came, first figuratively, then literally. Mark Teixeira’s first of 3 HRs on the day seemed to shatter Clay’s confidence. After that, rain caused a 1 hour 20 minute delay, but it only forestalled the remaining downpour of pain, as New York pummeled the Red Sox, 14-3. (5/8)

Sun, May 9 at Fenway Park vs. Yankees (W 9-3; 16-16) WP: Lester (3-2), LP: Burnett (4-1)

Saving face. The Red Sox avoided a sweep at home by the Yankees, thanks to Jon Lester. Despite giving up 2 solo HRs in the 4th (one to Swisher and one to A-Rod), Jon kept his composure and held the Bombers at bay while the Red Sox put on a hitting show, including a blast by the rookie Hermida. It was AJ Burnett’s turn to have a meltdown as the Red Sox prevailed, 9-3. (5/9)

Mon, May 10 at Fenway Park vs. Blue Jays (W 7-6; 17-16) WP: Lackey (4-1), LP: Morrow (2-3)

Tight squeeze. The Blue Jays got shelled by Boston bats, but attempted a comeback. Despite a fifth inning rally, Toronto fell short, as the Red Sox won, 7-6. John Lackey was less than water tight, but good enough to take the win. He got help from Okajima and Bard, and Pap took the save. (5/10)

Tue, May 11 at Fenway Park vs. Blue Jays (W 6-1; 18-16) WP: Matsuzaka (2-1), LP: Eveland (3-2)

Hot Dice(-K). Are we in a parallel universe? Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched 7 innings, giving up just 1 run on 3 hits while recording 9 K’s. Pinch me! The top of the lineup produced hits and runs across the board, and Jason Varitek went 2 for 3, including a HR, and scored 2 runs. It’s enough to make you believe again. The Red Sox toppled Toronto, 6-1. (5/11)

Wed, May 12 at Fenway Park vs. Blue Jays (L 2-3; 18-17) WP: Marcum (2-1), LP: Wakefield (0-2)

Put those brooms away. The Red Sox missed a chance at a home sweep when, despite a workmanlike effort by Tim Wakefield, they failed to produce at the plate and lost, 3-2, to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays’ Shaun Marcum was just good enough for the win, giving up just 1 run in 7 innings, aided by awful home plate umpiring by Dale Scott, who kept expanding the strike zone. On the plus side, Papi got 2 hits. (5/12)

Fri, May 14 at Tigers (W 7-2; 19-17) WP: Buchholz (4-3), LP: Scherzer (1-4)

Papi leads the home run derby. Boston scored all their runs with homers, as Big Papi hammered 2 HRs for 4 RBI and Dustin Pedroia contributed a 2 run HR as well. Late in the game, Bill Hall pitched in with a pinch hit solo HR in the 8th, as the Red Sox beat Detroit, 7-2. Clay Buchholz look solid, going 6 1/3rd innings, giving up 1 run on 3 hits. Johnny Damon, by the way, went 0 for 5 for the Tigers. (5/14)

Sat, May 15 at Tigers (L 6-7; 19-18) WP: Valverde (1-1), LP: Delcarmen (1-2)

Oki not okey-dokey. Okajima had a 2 run lead in the 8th, but allowed the Tigers to tie it up, setting up a tough 12 inning game that ended badly, with Ramirez walking in the winning Detroit run for a 7-6 Red Sox loss. Ortiz, Drew, and Hall each had 2 hits (one of Hall’s was a 2 run HR). It was a tough no-decision for Jon Lester, who left with a 6-4 lead after 7 innings. Tiger closer Jose Valverde took the win. (5/15)

Sun, May 16 at Tigers (L 1-5; 19-19) WP: Galarraga (1-0), LP: Lackey (4-2)

Lackluster Lackey. John Lackey struggled in this one, throwing 50 pitches in the first 2 innings and giving up 5 runs on 9 hits over 7 innings as the Red Sox fell to Detroit, 5-1. Boston bats were unable to form a meaningful relationship with the ball at any point. Tiger Johnny Damon, on the other hand, went 2-for-2, walking twice and scoring a run. Detroit’s Armando Galarrando was just good enough to win. (5/16)

Mon, May 17 at Yankees (L 9-11; 19-20) WP: Vazquez (2-4), LP: Papelbon (1-3)

Papelbon throws one away. Dice-K fell behind early, but rallied, supported by spectacular Red Sox hitting, including homers by Ortiz, Youkilis, Drew, and 2 by Martinez, Boston took the lead. Then with a 2 run lead in the 9th, Pap came on serving up fly balls, including a double for Gardner, and HRs for A-Rod and Thames. Yankees win, 11-9. (5/17)

Tue, May 18 at Yankees (W 7-6; 20-20) WP: Bard (1-1), LP: Rivera (0-1)

Boston bats bail out Beckett. Josh had another rough start, giving up 5 runs in 5 innings before leaving the game with a muscle strain. The bullpen held off the Yankees, as clutch hitting helped the Red Sox win, 7-6. Ortiz went 2 for 3, Youk homered, Drew doubled, and Hermida’s PH 2B drove in the winning run in the 9th. Sabathia was terrific, Chamberlain was not, and Rivera took the loss. Pap got the save. (5/18)

Wed, May 19 at Fenway Park vs. Twins (W 3-2; 21-20) WP: Buchholz (5-3), LP: Baker (4-4)

Pop goes Papi. David Ortiz’s 2 run homer in the 4th helped propel the Red Sox to a 3-2 win over the Twins at Target Field. Clay Buchholz demonstrated why he belongs near the top of the starting rotation, delivering 8+ innings, while responsible for just 2 runs on 5 hits. Bill Hall drove in the winning run in the 6th. Scott Baker took the loss for Minnesota. Daniel Bard picked up the save. (5/19)

Thu, May 20 at Fenway Park vs. Twins (W 6-2; 22-20) WP: Lester (4-2), LP: Liriano (4-3)

Finishing what he started. Jon Lester had a shutout going into the 8th inning against the Twins, when he struggled a bit and gave up a run. To his credit, he kept his head in the game, and turned in a complete game win, 6-2. The middle of Boston’s lineup, especially Youkilis and Beltre, came up big in this one (each had two doubles and two homers). Francisco Liriano took the loss for Minnesota. (5/20)

Fri, May 21 at Phillies (L 1-5; 22-21) WP: Hamels (5-2), LP: Lackey (4-3)

Lackey found lacking once again. The Red Sox kicked off interleague play (which, as you know, I despise) with a loss to the Phillies, 5-1. Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels went 7 innings giving up just 1 run on 3 hits. Ibanez, Werth, and Howard each had multiple extra base hits off John Lackey, including HRs by Howard and Werth. JC Romero picked up the save. (5/21)

Sat, May 22 at Phillies (W 5-0; 23-21) WP: Matsuzaka (3-1), LP: Kendrick (2-2)

Oh, so close to 0. Daisuke Matsuzaka had a no-hitter with 2 out in the 8th inning before giving up a heartbreaking bloop single by Juan Carlos. He kept it together to close out the inning, and ended up with a fine win, 5-0. Daniel Bard finished out the shutout (a non-save situation) in the 9th. Big Papi had a good night, going 2 for 3 including a double. Dice-K also went 1 for 2, with a single in the 3rd. (5/22)

Sun, May 23 at Phillies (W 8-3; 24-21) WP: Wakefield (1-2), LP: Halladay (6-3)

The Red Sox leave Philadelphia in their Wake. Phillies hitters were baffled by Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball for 8 shutout innings, and though they beat up on Ramon Ramirez in the 9th, he finished with an 8-3 Boston win. The usually tough “Doc” Halliday was no mystery today, as Boston compiled 8 hits off him for 7 runs, aided by some Philly errors and mental mistakes in the field. (5/23)

Mon, May 24 at Rays (W 6-1; 25-21) WP: Buchholz (6-3), LP: Davis (4-4)

Plenty of pop at the Trop. Red Sox hitters beat up on Wade Davis early, sending him to the showers in the 4th inning, and going on to beat the Rays, 6-1. Clay Buchholz was cool and in control through 6; giving up just one run on Pena’s solo HR. Hideki Okajima and Daniel Bard blanked Tampa Bay the rest of the way. Papi and Youk homered. (5/24)

Tue, May 25 at Rays (W 2-0; 26-21) WP: Lester (5-2), LP: Shields (5-2)

Lester filets the Rays. After walking 2 in the first, Jon Lester settled down to blank Tampa Bay through 6, then Manny Delcarmen, Daniel Bard, and Jonathon Papelbon did the same in innings 7-9 for a solid Red Sox win, 2-0. The Rays’ Carl Crawford and manager Joe Maddon got the heave-ho in the 5th arguing a strike call. Papi got a double, and there were hits across the top of the lineup for Boston. (5/25)

Wed, May 26 at Rays (W 11-3; 27-21) WP: Lackey (5-3), LP: Garza (5-3)

No sunshine for the Rays. Adrian Beltre exploded off Tampa Bay starter Matt Garza, hitting 2 HRs, a single, and a triple, to pace a Red Sox blowout of the Rays, 11-3, sweeping their series at the Trop. John Lackey got into trouble early and often, but gave up just 2 runs in 6 1/3 innings. Ortiz went 2 for 4 with a homer. Beltre was also spectacular in the field. (5/26)

Thu, May 27 at Fenway Park vs. Royals (L 3-4; 27-22) WP: Bannister (4-3), LP: Matsuzaka (3-2)

Carl Olofson No Dice. Daisuke Matsuzaka showed nothing of the prowess that almost earned him a no-hitter last Saturday, giving up 8 bases on balls, walking in a run, and failing to last 5 innings, as the Red Sox fell to Kansas City, 4-3. The Royals’ Brian Bannister gave up all 3 Boston runs, but that was it, as Joakim Soria picked up the save. Bill Hall homered in the losing cause. (5/27)

Fri, May 28 at Fenway Park vs. Royals (L 5-12; 27-23) WP: Davies (4-3), LP: Wakefield (1-3)

A Wake at Fenway. The air was so still that Tim Wakefield’s knuckler did not dance, but drifted across the plate, and the Royals hammered it, pounding Wake for 9 runs on 12 hits; he left with 2 out in the 4th. A Martinez HR and doubles by Martinez and Scutaro were wasted, as KC beat the Red Sox, 12-5. In the 9th, position player Bill Hall became the only Boston pitcher in the game to record a 1-2-3 inning. (5/28)

Sat, May 29 at Fenway Park vs. Royals (W 1-0; 28-23) WP: Buchholz (7-3), LP: Greinke (1-6)

Clay’s way. Clay Buchholz showed the relaxed confidence that has characterized his last few starts and blanked the Kansas City Royals through 7 innings, giving up just 4 hits and 4 walks, to win, 1-0. He didn’t get much run support, despite plenty of walks by KC pitching, and sloppy Royals play in the field. The sole run was scored by Beltre on a Lowell force play. Zack Greinke took the loss. Pap got the save. (5/29)

Sun, May 30 at Fenway Park vs. Royals (W 8-1; 29-23) WP: Lester (6-2), LP: Thompson (0-4)

Sizzlin’ Sox. The Red Sox anticipated Memorial Day backyard grilling with some red hot play of their own. After a shakey start, Jon Lester settled in to baffle KC hitters through 7 innings. Papi and Tek provided homers, Sutaro and Cameron doubled, which, together with smart at-bats and base-running led to an 8-1 victory over the Royals. Boston escapes embarrassment with a split of their series with KC. (5/30)

Tue, June 1 at Fenway Park vs. Athletics (W 9-4; 30-23) WP: Lackey (6-3), LP: Ross (1-4)

Victor victorious! Victor Martinez went 5 for 5 with 3 doubles to lead the Red Sox in a 9-5 drubbing of the Oakland A’s at Fenway Park. Pedroia also doubled, Hall tripled, and Beltre homered. Another disappointing start for John Lackey, who gave up 4 runs on 12 hits in 6 innings, but nonetheless got the win. Oakland’s Gio Gonzales looked pretty good until the 5th, when Boston bats came alive. (6/1)

Wed, June 2 at Fenway Park vs. Athletics (W 6-4; 31-23) WP: Matsuzaka (4-2), LP: Sheets (2-4)

Cold, then hot Dice(-k). Daisuke Matsuzaka delivered another heart-stopper in the first inning giving up 3 runs, but then settled down and controlled the game until a spot of trouble in the 7th. Red Sox hitters hammered Oakland’s Ben Sheets, including a double and HR by Papi, a 2B by Scutaro, and a triple by JD Drew as Boston beat the A’s, 6-4. Pap surrendered a HR but got the save. (6/2)

Thu, June 3 at Fenway Park vs.  Athletics (L 8-9; 31-24) WP: Mazzaro (1-0), LP: Wakefield (1-4)

The storm before the storm. With thunderstorms including torrential rain and high winds in the forecast for Boston, the Red Sox and A’s provided their own thunder with a torrent of hits that, unfortunately, went against the Sox, 9-8. It was another tough start for Tim Wakefield, who gave up 6 runs in 6 innings. Curt Suzuki of the A’s had 2 HRs, and Hermida, Scutaro, and Hall homered for Boston. (6/3)

Fri, June  4 at Orioles (W 11-0; 32-24) WP: Buchholz (8-3), LP: Tillman (0-1)

Complete Clay. Clay Buchholz pitched a complete game 5 hit shutout of the Orioles in Baltimore, with a little bit of help from Red Sox bats, which produced 16 hits, as Boston pounded the O’s, 11-0. Youk, Beltre, and Scutaro had home runs, and Beltre and Drew provided doubles. In the wake of manager Dave Trembley’s firing, Baltimore hitting and pitching were both completely ineffective. (6/4)

Sat, June  5 at Orioles (W 8-2; 33-24) WP: Lester (7-2), LP: Guthrie (3-6)

Boston bags birds again. It was a pitcher’s duel between Jon Lester and the O’s Jeremy Guthrie until the 7th, when the Sox scored twice. That proved enough as the hapless Baltimore hitters could not muster any runs until 2 in the 9th, while the equally hapless O’s bullpen gave up 6 more runs to fuel an 8-2 Red Sox win. Youk homered and doubled, and McDonald and Hall also doubled. Reddick tripled. (6/5)

Sun, June  6 at Orioles (L 3-4; 33-25) WP: Hernandez (2-5), LP: Okajima (2-2)

Lackey lacks support. John Lackey turned in a fine start, giving up just 2 runs on 7 hits over 7 innings, and the score was knotted at 2 when he left. Brian Matusz of the O’s had a strong start as well, and both bullpens acquitted themselves well, so that it came down to a single by Nick Markakis in the 11th that scored Cesar Izturis to snap the tie and deny the Red Sox a sweep, 4-3. (6/6)

Mon, June  7 at Indians (W 4-1; 34-25) WP: Matsuzaka (5-2), LP: Carmona (4-5)

Loaded Dice(-K). The good Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched in Cleveland, and blanked the Indians through 8 inning, yielding just 4 hits. The Red Sox splattered hits and a few runs across 8 innings off Indians starter Fausto Carmona and the bullpen, as Boston topped Cleveland, 4-1. Daniel Bard gave up a solo HR to Austin Kearns in the 9th. Marco Scutaro had 3 doubles. (6/7)

Tue, June  8 at Indians (W 3-2; 35-25) WP: Wakefield (2-4), LP: Huff (2-7)

A great a-Wake-ening. Call me foolish, but I feel that as long as I see Tim Wakefield in the pitching staff, the world has not gone totally insane just yet. Tim managed 7+ innings, giving up just 1 run. A costly error by the Indians’ Tevor Crowe led to a 3 run 4th, and that was just what the Red Sox needed to beat Cleveland, 3-2. Tim also set a club record for the most innings pitched. Congats, Tim! (6/8)

Wed, June  9 at Indians (L 0-11; 35-26) WP: Masterson (2-5), LP: Buchholz (8-4)

Bats support Masterson. Former Red Sox pitcher Justin Masterson hurled a 2 hit complete game shutout against his old team, and had so much run support that a shutout was hardly necessary. Clay Buchholz turned in a creditable 3 hit 7 innings, but walks and “small ball” generated 3 runs. The bullpen really fizzled, as Boof Bonzer and Joe Nelson surrendered 8 more runs in this 11-0 loss to Cleveland. (6/9)

Thu, June  10 at Indians (L 7-8; 35-27) WP: Wood (1-2), LP: Bard (1-2)

Lester is less than ideal. Jon Lester gave up 6 runs on 9 hits in 6 innings, and could have given up more. The Red Sox battled back for a lead in the top of the 9th with a Beltre HR but lost this one after Daniel Bard loaded the bases with a hit and 2 walks, then gave up a 2 run single for a blown save as Boston fell to Cleveland, 8-7. (6/10)

Fri, June  11 at Fenway Park vs. Phillies (W 12-2; 36-27) WP: Lackey (7-3), LP: Moyer (6-6)

Red Sox fillet Phillies. Boston returned to interleague play (which, as you know, I hate) with a 12-2 shellacking of the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park. John Lackey had one of his better starts, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits over 7 innings, while his teammates battered Phillies pitching for 6 doubles (Martinez, Ortiz, Beltre, Pedroia, Scutaro, Varitek) and a Lowell HR. (6/11)

Sat, June  12 at Fenway Park vs. Phillies (W 10-2; 37-27) WP: Delcarmen (2-2), LP: Blanton (1-5)

Nava Nation. Daniel Nava, a journeyman minor leaguer, found himself called up to the Red Sox just when the big club needed a lift, and he provided one, hammering the first major league pitch he saw into the Red Sox bullpen for a grand slam HR that powered a 10-2 crushing of the Phillies. Scott Atchison started in place of Dice-K, who was a late scratch. (6/12)

Sun, June  13 at Fenway Park vs. Phillies (L 3-5; 37-28) WP: Hamels (6-5), LP: Wakefield (2-5)

Cole makes slaw of the Sox. Phillies starter Cole Hamels held the Red Sox to just 1 run (a Beltre HR) over 7 innings en route to a 5-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Boston had 9 hits including doubles by Scutaro, Pedroia, Ortiz, and rookie phenom Daniel Nava, but scored just 3 runs; 2 came in a last-ditch attempt to come back in the 9th. Tim Wakefield had trouble in the 4th, giving up 4 runs. (6/13)

Tue, June  15 at Fenway Park vs. D-backs (W 6-3; 38-28) WP: Buchholz (9-4), LP: Kennedy (3-4)

Sox slay snakes. It was not his most dominant start, but Clay Buchholz got the job done, going 5 2/3rds innings, giving up 3 runs on 7 hits to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks in interleague action, 6-3. Papi got things going for Boston with a 2 run HR in the 1st, and the bullpen came through as Okajima, Delcarmen, and Bard held them off through 8, and Pap closed things out. Pedroia and Youk doubled. (6/15)

Wed, June  16 at Fenway Park vs. D-backs (W 6-2; 39-28) WP: Lester (8-2), LP: Lopez (2-6)

Red Sox rake Rattlers. Jon Lester turned in a decent start, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits in 7 innings as Boston beat Arizona in interleague action, 6-2. Our old Oriole opponent Rodrigo Lopez found that his old tricks did not fool Boston hitters, who scored all 6 runs during his 7 innings. Dustin and Youk homered, and Drew doubled. Ramon Ramirez was a little shakey in the 9th, but Pap came in for the save. (6/16)

Thu, June  17 at Fenway Park vs. D-backs (W 8-5; 40-28) WP: Lackey (8-3), LP: Haren (7-5)

Hitters take up Lackey’s slack. Red Sox fans are wondering when they will get to see the John Lackey who was so dominant as a pitcher for the Angels. So far, he has rarely gotten past the 6th inning, and has struggled to hold a lead. Today, he left after 6 with a 4-4 tie, and watched as Boston piled up runs to beat Arizona, 8-5 in interleague action. Big Papi homered, and Nava, Scutaro, and Martinez doubled. (6/17)

Fri, June  18 at Fenway Park vs. Dodgers (W 10-6; 41-28) WP: Doubront (1-0), LP: Monasterios (3-2)

Red Sox make LA blue. What timing. The Lakers win the NBA World Championship one night, then Boston toys with the Dodgers the next, like a cat and mouse. Manny Ramirez was less than spectacular in his return to Fenway Park, going 2 for 5 but striking out looking to end the game. The fireworks were provided by Papi, Drew, and Beltre as Boston beat LA, 10-6. Felix Doubront won in his debut. (6/18)

Sat, June  19 at Fenway Park vs. Dodgers (W 5-4; 42-28) WP: Papelbon (2-3), LP: Belisario (1-1)

Dustin delivers! Dustin Pedroia reached out to slap a Jonathan Broxton slider into right field to score Bill Hall from 2nd, and win it in the 9th for Boston over LA, 5-4. Tim Wakefield kept his team in the game, but had to settle for a no-decision in his battle with the Dodgers’ Vincente Padilla. Manny was Manny, crushing a Wakefield knuckler over the Monster seats for a solo LA HR in the 6th. Pap got the win. (6/19)

Sun, June  20 at Fenway Park vs. Dodgers (W 2-0; 43-28) WP: Buchholz (10-4), LP: Kuroda (6-5)

Squeaker sweeper. The Boston Red Sox completed their sweep of the LA Dodgers with a close one, 2-0, at Fenway Park. Clay Buchholz lacked his usual command, getting himself into trouble a number of times, but managed to pitch himself out of it. The bullpen was superb once again, and Pap got the save. Pedroia tripled and Beltre doubled to drive in a run. Ortiz drove in the other with a sac fly. (6/20)

Tue, June  22 at Rockies (L 1-2; 43-29) WP: Chacin (4-6), LP: Lester (8-3)

Off peak. Maybe the Red Sox were winded after arriving in Denver to play the Rockies in the thin air; they were left gasping as the Rockies beat Boston, 2-1. Josh Lester had one of his best starts of the year spoiled by a lack of run support. Jhoulys Chacin stifled the Red Sox through 6 2/3rds innings, and Colorado’s bullpen shut the door. Beltre doubled in the 9th and scored, but it was too little, too late. (6/22)

Wed, June  23 at Rockies (L 6-8; 43-30) WP: Corpas (2-4), LP: Papelbon (2-4)

Shipping out of Boston? Showing the uncertainty that has characterized his starts all season, John Lackey gave up 5 runs but managed to leave with a 6-5 lead (partly due to his own double). But Jonathon Papelbon came on in the ninth, seemingly determined to prove some critics right by giving up a series of hits, including 2 HRs, to give the game to Colorado, 8-6. Will Bard become the new closer? (6/23)

Thu, June  24 at Rockies (W 13-11; 44-30) WP: Papelbon (3-4), LP: Street (0-1)

Dustin the destroyer! Dustin Pedroia hit 3 HRs, including the game winner in the 10th, as the Red Sox won a wild one in Colorado, 13-11. Beltre also hit a HR. Dice-K was dangerous but stable through 5, but a bullpen collapse in the 6th sent fans on a roller coaster ride. Once again, Papelbon blew a save in the 9th, with giving up multiple base hits becoming a disturbing pattern for him. (6/24)

Fri, June  25 at Giants (L 4-5; 44-31) WP: Sanchez (6-5), LP: Wakefield (2-6)

Bay slide. This one got off to a rollicking start with a 3 run blast by Kevin Youkilis. But Giants hitters touched Tim Wakefield for 3 in the 2nd, and Juan Uribe hit a solo dinger in the 3rd. With the bullpen depleted by the rough Colorado series, Terry Francona had to stick with his knuckleballer through 7. Wake toughed it out, but the Red Sox came up just short, losing 5-4 to San Francisco. (6/25)

Sat, June  26 at Giants (W 4-2; 45-31) WP: Atchison (1-1), LP: Bumgarner (0-1)

Bullpen keeps Giants at bay. Starter Clay Buchholz had to leave the game in the 2nd after straining something while running the bases (an unusual activity for an AL pitcher). The bullpen stepped up, and cooled SF bats, while homers by Darnell McDonald and Mike Cameron provided the Red Sox with all the firepower they needed to win, 4-2. Pap managed to get the save without incident. (6/26)

Sun, June  27 at Giants (W 5-1; 46-31) WP: Lester (9-3), LP: Lincecum (8-3)

Bay city roller. Jon Lester went the distance, aiding his own cause with a sac fly in the 2nd, as Boston beat the Giants, 4-2. In what was expected to be a battle of aces, Tim Lincecum gave up 3 runs before leaving unexpectedly after 3 innings. Big Papi and Adrian Beltre homered. (6/27)

Tue, June  29 at Fenway Park vs. Rays (W 8-5; 47-31) WP: Lackey (9-3), LP: Shields (6-8)

The real John Lackey stands up. The pitcher who terrorized us when he wore an Angels uniform finally made his appearance for the Red Sox, stifling the Rays over 7 innings for 1 run as the Red Sox won, 8-5. Big Papi crushed a 3 run homer, Mike Hall had a 2 run dinger, Adrian Beltre hit 2 doubles and Scutaro contributed one as well to power the win. James Shields took the loss. (6/29)

Wed, June  30 at Fenway Park vs. Rays (L 4-9; 47-32) WP: Garza (9-5), LP: Matsuzaka (5-3)

Rays raze Red Sox. Matt Garza baffled Boston hitters for the most part until the 8th inning, while Tampa Bay got to Dice-K in the 3rd and hammered Manny Delcarmen in the 8th to beat Boston, 9-4. Big Papi had 2 doubles for 2 RBI and scoring 1. The Rays’ Jason Bartlett homered off Ramon Ramirez in the 8th to seal this one. (6/30)

Fri, July 2 at Fenway Park vs. Orioles (W 3-2; 48-32) WP: Wakefield (3-6), LP: Bergesen (3-5)

Wake makes breaks. Tim Wakefield had one of his best starts of the year, holding the Orioles to 2 runs over 8 innings, as the Red Sox beat Baltimore, 3-2. JD Drew provided 2 solo home runs to power the Boston victory. Surprise hero Daniel Nava drove in Scutaro to provide the winning run. Baltimore’s Nick Markakis drove in one run and scored another, but it was not quite enough. Pap got the save. (7/2)

Sat, July 3 at Fenway Park vs. Orioles (W 9-3; 49-32) WP: Lester (10-3), LP: Guthrie (3-10)

Battered Boston blasts Birds. Despite a third of the lineup being subs, the Red Sox hammered Orioles pitching to win, 9-3 at Fenway Park. With Pedroia, Ellsbury, and both Varitek and Martinez on the DL, Eric Patterson, Daniel Nava, the the re-acquired Kevin Cash gave a top calibre effort, as doubles by Drew, Papi, Youk (who also homered), Cameron and Nava gave Jon Lester (1 ER in 7) more than enough to win. (7/3)

Sun, July 4 at Fenway Park vs. Orioles (L 1-6; 49-33) WP: Matusz (3-9), LP: Lackey (9-4)

Boston drops the ball vs. Baltimore. When JD Drew lost a ball in the sun in the 9th, it was a metaphor for the whole game. The Red Sox weren’t sharp in the field, losing to the O’s, 6-1. The 8th inning proved a bridge too far for John Lackey, who had kept things close to that point. Oriole Brian Matusz baffled the Sox through 7 for the win. Youk homered in the bottom of the 9th, but it was too little, too late. (7/4)

Mon, July 5 at Rays (L 5-6; 49-34) WP: Choate (2-2), LP: Ramirez (0-2)

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Red Sox hitters drove Rays starter Matt Garza from the game after 3 innings, but Dice-K’s perilous practice of loading bases burned him, as Boston lost to Tampa Bay, 6-5. Eric Patterson’s 2 homers and a triple by Youk enabled the Red Sox to take a 5-1 lead in the 4th, but Matsuzaka’s epic collapse squandered it. Tampa’s Randy Choate won in relief. (7/5)

Tue, July 6 at Rays (L 2-3; 49-35) WP: Niemann (7-2), LP: Doubront (1-1)

Rays reduce battered Boston.Youk left with ankle pain in the 4th, and the Red Sox were more Pawtucket than Boston, with Niuman Romero replacing him. With no credible pinch hitter to follow, Ortiz was intentionally walked 3 times, the Sox attack was shattered, and Boston fell to Tampa Bay, 3-2. Felix Doubront (in for Buchholz) with little run support, took the loss. Jeff Niemann picked up the win for the Rays. (7/6)

Wed, July 7 at Rays (L 4-6; 49-36) WP: Price (12-4), LP: Wakefield (3-7)

Wounded warriors limp away. Sporting a lineup that required a scorecard to identify, the Red Sox could do almost nothing against David Price as they were swept by the Rays, losing 6-4. Boston put on a rally in the late innings, with a solo HR by Mike Cameron and a Nava triple, Drew single, and McDonald double to make things interesting. Wake’s knuckler was no mystery for Tampa Bay in the 4th and 5th. (7/7)

Fri, July 9 at Blue Jays (W 14-3; 50-36) WP: Lester (11-3), LP: Romero (6-6)

Rockin’ the Rogers! The Red Sox struck early and often in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings to crush the Toronto Blue Jays, 14-3 at the Rogers Centre. Bill Hall homered in the 2nd, and Youk, Beltre, and Cameron all homered in the 4th. Jon Lester had a superb outing, pitching 5 innings of one hit shutout ball before being touched for 2 runs in the 6th. Ricky Romero, knocked out in the 3rd, took the loss. (7/9)

Sat, July 10 at Blue Jays (L 5-9; 50-37) WP: Camp (3-1), LP: Lackey (9-5)

The real John Lackey sits down. After 2 good recent starts, the real Lackey gave way to his imposter, who was knocked out in the 5th inning, giving up 7 runs on 7 runs on 8 hits and a season high 6 walks to the Blue Jays. Boston had doubles from Ortiz, Drew, and 2 from Nava, but fell to Toronto, 9-5. Jays starter Brandon Morrow was done after giving up 5 through 4, and Shawn Camp got the win. (7/10)

Sun, July 11 at Blue Jays (W 3-2; 51-37) WP: Matsuzaka (6-3), LP: Litsch (0-4)

The Jays roll snake eyes. It took until the 7th inning for Toronto to touch Dice-K for 2 runs, but the Red Sox held on to win, 3-2. All the Boston scoring came in the 6th, with a 2 run homer by Darnell McDonald, followed by Ortiz with a solo shot. Former Red Sox Alex Gonzalez went 2 for 4 with a double. Toronto’s Jesse Litsch had 5 no hit innings, but took the loss. Pap got the save. (7/11)

Thu, July 15 at Fenway Park vs. Rangers (L 2-7; 51-38) WP: Hunter (6-0), LP: Wakefield (3-8)

Sleepers, a-Wake! Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball could not fool the Rangers, who piled up 6 runs in the 1st inning, and another in the 3rd, when Wake was, mercifully, relieved. In case the All-Star break had lured you to sleep, this was a rude awakening, as the injury-ridden lineup could not come back from this one. The Red Sox fell to Texas, 7-2 (7/15)

Fri, July 16 at Fenway Park vs. Rangers (L 4-8; 51-39) WP: Lewis (9-5), LP: Doubront (1-2)

Subs succumb. Patterson, Nava, Hall, Cash, Doubront. Who are these guys? With substitutes in the starting pitching and key position roles, the injury-depleted Red Sox fell once again to the Texas Rangers, 8-4. The highlight of the game came when the Rangers’ Bengie Molina hit for the cycle on a misplay by Hall. Youk had a double, and Beltre a homer in the losing cause. (7/16)

Sat, July 17 at Fenway Park vs. Rangers (W 3-2; 52-39) WP: Delcarmen (3-2), LP: Ogando (3-1)

Youk fuels rare comeback. The Red Sox have not come back after trailing in the 8th until now, but Youk’s clutch RBI double in the 9th and sac fly in the 11th changed all that. The Rangers’ newly acquired Cliff Lee went 9 innings, but left with a 2-2 tie. The good John Lackey reappeared, holding off the Rangers through 7, and Manny Delcarmen (!) nailed down the 11th, as the Red Sox beat Texas, 3-2 in 11. (7/17)

Sun, July 18 at Fenway Park vs. Rangers (L 2-4; 52-40) WP: Wilson (8-5), LP: Lester (11-4)

Wilson baffles battered Boston bats. CJ Wilson managed to keep the depleted Red Sox lineup off the basepaths for the most part, going 6 2/3rds innings while giving up 1 run on 3 hits. The Texas bullpen then did the rest. Jon Lester put in 8 decent innings, but lacked run support and lost this one to the Rangers, 4-2. Mike Cameron had a 9th inning HR, but it was in vain. (7/18)

Mon, July 19 at Athletics (W 2-1; 53-40) WP: Matsuzaka (7-3), LP: Sheets (4-9)

Straight As for Dice-K. Daisuke Matsuzaka went 6 2/3rds innings, giving up 1 run on 2 hits and 2 walks, as the Red Sox topped Oakland, 2-1. Boston got all their runs in the 4th inning, when Big Papi drove in Eric Patterson (triple) with a sac fly, and Adrian Beltre followed with a solo HR. Daniel Bard and Jonathon Papelbon allowed no drama in relieve, as Pap got the save. Oakland’s Ben Sheets took the loss. (7/19)

Tue, July 20 at Athletics (L 4-5; 53-41) WP: Bailey (1-3), LP: Ramirez (0-3)

Slow walk to a loss. The Red Sox had a 4 run lead, and the game was moving crisply until starter Tim Wakefield suffered a 4 run 3rd, and after managing 3 more shutout innings, had to yield to the bullpen. Between Boston and Oakland, 11 relievers trotted to the mound, and the game dragged into the 10th, when the A’s Kevin Kouzmanoff singled to drive in the winning run as Oakland beat Boston, 5-4 in 10. (7/21)

Wed, July 21 at Athletics (L 4-6; 53-42) WP: Gonzalez (9-6), LP: Buchholz (10-5)

Soft Clay. Buchholz returned to the Red Sox rotation vs. Oakland, but his control was off, and the A’s took advantage of every mistake to beat Boston, 6-4. Clay struggled through 4 innings before the wheels came completely off the wagon in the 5th. Scott Atchison was unable to stop the bleeding before Oakland had compiled a total of 6 runs. Bill Hall doubled and Adrian Beltre homered. (7/21)

Thu, July 22 at Mariners (W 8-6; 54-42) WP: Okajima (3-2), LP: Olson (0-3)

From no-no to no… what?? Manny Delcarmen came to the mound with a seemingly simple task; get out of the 9th without giving up 5 runs. But some bad pitches and middle infield errors turned a good night for John Lackey (8 innings, 1 run, 2 hits) into a near disaster as Manny’s meltdown and Pap’s undeserved blown save led to a 6-6 tie that was not resolved until the 13th inning. The Red Sox beat Seattle, 8-6. (7/22)

Fri, July 23 at Mariners (W 2-1; 55-42) WP: Atchison (2-1), LP: Vargas (6-5)

Beckett is back! Josh Beckett had an excellent outing in his return from the DL, with 5 2/3rds innings yielding 1 run on 3 hits. Scott Atchison and Daniel Bard were brilliant in relief, and Pap got the save. Youk scored on a Beltre double, and Hall hit a solo HR for all the runs the Red Sox would need to beat Seattle, 2-1. Seattle’s Jason Vargas took the loss. (7/23)

Sat, July 24 at Mariners (L 1-5; 55-43) WP: Seddon (1-0), LP: Lester (11-5)

Imperfect. Jon Lester’s perfect game bid, bolstered by a 4th inning solo blast from Big Papi, was ended cruelly in the 6th, when Eric Patterson dropped a Jack Wilson fly ball for a 2 base error. The no-hitter was shattered by the very next batter when Michael Saunders crushed a 2 run HR to power a 5-1 Seattle win over the Red Sox. Boston had plenty of hits but nothing to show for them. (7/24)

Sun, July 25 at Mariners (L 2-4; 55-44) WP: League (8-6), LP: Okajima (3-3)

Oki chokey. A typical Dice-K performance (when he is doing well) seemed headed for a 2-1 Red Sox win, until Hideki Okajima blew it up in the 8th inning with a combination of poorly placed pitches and fielding mistakes. When the dust settled, Seattle won 4-2 to gain a split of the 4 game series. Our old friend David Aardsma got the save for the Mariners. (7/25)

Mon, July 26 at Angels (W 6-3; 56-44) WP: Buchholz (11-5), LP: Haren (7-9)

Big pops for Big Papi. David Ortiz hit 2 homers to driven in 3 and power the Red Sox to a 6-3 win over the Angels. Clay Buchholz looked strong through 7 innings, allaying any concerns that may have arisen from his last start. Scott Atchison crumbled in the 8th, making this one closer than it needed to be. Pap got a 4 out save. (7/26)

Tue, July 27 at Angels (W 4-2; 57-44) WP: Lackey (10-5), LP: Weaver (9-7)

Unwelcome back! John Lackey had a frosty reception upon his return appearance after jumping from the Angels to Boston, and he repaid the favor in kind, going 7 1/3rd innings, giving up 2 runs on 7 hits as the Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 4-2. Lowrie, McDonald, Scutaro, and Beltre doubled. Pap got the save. (7/27)

Wed, July 28 at Angels (W 7-3; 58-44) WP: Beckett (2-1), LP: Rodney (4-1)

The running of the bulls. A late scratch of Angels starter Joel Pineiro led to a game entirely pitched by the LAA bullpen, with disastrous results for Los Angeles at Anaheim. Beltre, Hall, and Youk homered, and Scutaro had a grand slam, as the Red Sox crushed the Angels, 7-3. Josh Beckett was a bit shakey in the early innings, but settled down for another quality start. Delcarmen and Ramirez finished it off. (7/28)

Fri, July 30 at Fenway Park vs. Tigers (L 5-6; 58-45) WP: Weinhardt (1-1), LP: Lester (11-6)

Jhonny gets agnry. Jhonny Peralta’s first game with the Detroit Tigers, after 8+ seasons with the Indians, smashed 2 HRs to power the Tigers to a 6-5 victory over the Red Sox. The Tigers took advantage of Jon Lester’s control problems. Detroit starter Armando Galarraga, hit by a Youkalis line drive, had to leave in the 5th. Although a Big Papi grand slam in the 9th made it close, Detroit held on for the win. (7/30)

Sat, July 31 at Fenway Park vs. Tigers (W 5-4; 59-45) WP: Okajima (4-3), LP: Coke (6-2)

Double redemption. To the whiners who complain that Jed Lowrie is overrated and Big Papi is no longer clutch, chew on this: Lowrie hit a double in the 9th with 1 on and 1 out, and after an IW to Youk, Papi crushed a 3 run double to center to walk off with a 5-4 Red Sox win over the Tigers. Dice-K was shakey once again, as Okajima won this one in relief, with help from Atchison and Richardson. (7/31)

Sun, August 1 at Fenway Park vs. Tigers (W 4-3; 60-45) WP: Papelbon (4-4), LP: Thomas (4-1)

All’s well that ends well. Clay Buchholz’s 8+ shutout innings almost came to naught as Jonathan Papelbon allowed 3 runs to score in the 9th (2 charged to Buchholz) to tie the score for a blown save. The Red Sox won, 4-3, in the bottom of the 9th when Tiger reliever Robbie Weinhardt, who took over with 2 on, threw away Marco Scutaro’s bunt to allow the winning run to score. (8/1)

Mon, August 2 at Fenway Park vs. Indians (L 5-6; 60-46) WP: Carmona (11-8), LP: Lackey (10-6)

Don’t walk away. After 2 consecutive walk-off wins, the Red Sox could not recreate that magic, losing 6-5 to Cleveland. John Lackey could not hold off a weak Indians line-up, giving up 6 runs over 5 1/3rd innings. Wake settled things down, and Adrian Beltre hit a 3 run homer in the 8th, but there were no 9th inning heroics tonight. Indians’ rookie catcher suffered a career threatening knee injury in the game. (8/2)

Tue, August 3 at Fenway Park vs. Indians (W 3-1; 61-46) WP: Beckett (3-1), LP: Huff (2-10)

Lowell speaks only to… the fans! (see below) Mike Lowell received a standing ovation upon his return to the club, and responded with the first pitch he saw, crushing it into the Monster seats for a 2-run HR and pacing the Red Sox to a 3-1 victory over the Indians. Josh Beckett pitched an 8 inning gem, giving up just 1 run. Benches cleared when Cleveland reliever Jensen Lewis pitched behind Adrian Beltre. (8/3)

I come from good old Boston,
The home of the bean and the cod,
Where Cabots speak only to Lowells,
And the Lowells speak only to God.
-Samuel Clarke Bushnell

Wed, August 4 at Fenway Park vs. Indians (L 1-9; 61-47) WP: Masterson (4-10), LP: Lester (11-7)

Masterson masters Sox. Former Red Sox pitcher Justin Masterson stifled his old club through 5+ innings, with his only run a Big Papi smash. Jon Lester never had control of this one. Scott Atchison came on to pour gasoline on the fire, yielding 5 runs, including a 3 run HR by the Indians’ Andy Marte. Cleveland went on to beat Boston, 9-1. Jacoby Ellsbury’s return was less than triumphant; he went 0 for 4 in the loss.

Thu, August 5 at Fenway Park vs. Indians (W 6-2; 62-47) WP: Matsuzaka (8-3), LP: Tomlin (1-1)

Beltre’s big belt. Dice-K was dominant through 8 innings, and Adrian Beltre gave him all the support he needed with a 4th inning grand slam, as the Red Sox went on to beat Cleveland, 6-2. The Tribe’s Josh Tomlin was quite effective until he managed to load the bases in the 4th, and then gave up the big dinger. Oki struggled in the 9th, giving up the run that set up Pap’s save. Ellsbury had another oh-fer. (8/5)

Fri, August 6 at Yankees (W 6-3; 63-47) WP: Buchholz (12-5), LP: Vazquez (9-8)

Bombing the Bronx. Homers by Big Papi and rookie Ryan Kalish and doubles by Adrian Beltre, Marco Scutaro, and JD Drew combined to lift Boston over the Yankees, 6-3. Clay Buchholz, though far from perfect, managed to get to the 8th inning giving up 3 runs. New York starter Javier Vasquez was no mystery to Red Sox hitters, allowing all 6 runs on 6 hits and 1 error. He walked in a run in the 3rd. Pap got the save. (8/6)

Sat, August 7 at Yankees (L 2-5; 63-48) WP: Sabathia (14-5), LP: Lackey (10-7)

Sox bats don’t work on Sabathia. CC Sabathia was shakey for the first couple of innings, giving up a solo HR to Victor Martinez, and doubles to Adrian Beltre and Mike Lowell. After that, he settled down and silenced the Boston lineup. Meanwhile, John Lackey had another mediocre start, giving up 5 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks as the Yankees beat the Red Sox 5-2 at Yankee Stadium. A-Rod scratched with a BP injury. (8/7)

Sun, August 8 at Yankees (L 2-7; 63-49) WP: Moseley (2-1), LP: Beckett (3-2)

Murder in the cathedral. In NY’s cathedral of baseball, it wasn’t 3 knights, but 9 Yankees, who took out this latter day Beckett. He went 4 2/3rds innings, giving up 7 runs on 11 hits, including a Teixeira HR, and 2 walks. The Red Sox had their chances, but could not put runs together as last minute starter Dustin Moseley (AJ Burnett was a last minute scratch) was stunning in the win for New York, 7-2. (8/8)

Mon, August 9 at Yankees (W 2-1; 64-49) WP: Lester (12-7), LP: Hughes (13-5)

Back on track. Jon Lester snapped his personal 4 game losing streak by pitching 6 1/3rd shutout innings en route to a 2-1 Red Sox victory over the New York Yankees at the Stadium. Ryan Kalish, Bill Hall, and JD Drew combined in the 2nd for all the runs Boston would need. Mark Teixeira crushed a Daniel Bard fastball into the right field stands for the Yanks’ only run. Phil Hughes took the loss; Pap got the save. (8/9)

Tue, August 10 at Blue Jays (W 7-5; 65-49) WP: Doubront (2-2), LP: Camp (3-2)

Jolly in the Rogers! Red Sox bats came alive despite an uneven start by Dice-K and beat the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre, 7-5. Boston built up an early lead on doubles by Beltre, Lowrie, and 2 by Ortiz, and a HR from Drew that drove Toronto starter Ricky Romero from the game. But Dice-K gave up 4 runs including homers by Lind and Snider. Lowell led an 8th inning surge with a HR to win, 7-5. Pap got the save. (8/10)

Wed, August 11 at Blue Jays (W 10-1; 66-49) WP: Buchholz (13-5), LP: Marcum (10-6)

Hall marks Marcum. Bill Halls 2 HRs helped drive Toronto starter Shaun Marcum and paced the Red Sox to a 10-1 laugher over the Blue Jays. Clay Buchholz was magnificent, giving up just 1 run over 8 innings on 5 hits. Joining in on the dinger fun were JD Drew and he-whose-head-must-not-be-touched. Mike Lowell went 3 for 4 with a double. Darnell McDonald had a triple late. (8/11)

Thu, August 12 at Blue Jays (L 5-6; 66-50) WP: Gregg (1-4), LP: Papelbon (4-5)

Full blown slugfest. The Red Sox had another good day at the plate, and John Lackey had a strong start, giving up 2 runs in 8+ innings, and leaving with a 2 run lead. Alas, Jonathon Papelbon once again displayed his talent for blowing seemingly safe wins, as he gave up 2 runs, leaving the runner who scored the game winner. Toronto won, 6-5. Jays starter Brad Mills left in the 5th; Kevin Gregg took the win. (8/12)

Fri, August 13 at Rangers (L 9-10; 66-51) WP: O’Day (4-2), LP: Wakefield (3-9)

Lead losers. For the second straight game, the Red Sox blew a big lead to lose a game. This time, Papi, Drew, and he-whose-head-must-not-be-touched hit 3 straight HRs to give Josh Beckett a 8-2 lead in the 4th, but Beckett gave back 4 before leaving after 5, and the Rangers kept scoring off Doubront and Bard to tie the game in the 8th. A Nelson Cruz HR in the 11th ended it as Boston lost to Texas, 10-9 in 11. (8/13)

Sat, August 14 at Rangers (W 3-1; 67-51) WP: Lester (13-7), LP: Lewis (9-9)

Sox take Lester tester. Could Jon Lester stand up to top competition in a pressure situation? He shook off 100 degree heat to shut out the Rangers through 8 innings. The Red Sox worked a run in the 5th and 2 in the 9th to take it, 3-1. Scott Atchison yielded a HR for the only Texas run, and Felix Doubront closed out nicely for the save. Heads up fielding and a rare Vlad Gurerro running mistake helped seal it. (8/14)

Sun, August 15 at Rangers (L 3-7; 67-52) WP: Wilson (11-5), LP: Matsuzaka (8-4)

Outgunned in Texas. The Red Sox scored runs late in this one, but not enough as the Rangers beat Boston, 7-3. Dice-K was effective until the 7th, when he allowed 1 and left with 2 on; Delcarmen allowed Michael Young a 3 run HR. Boston came back in the 8th to cut the Texas lead to 2, but Richardson and Bowden could not hold the Rangers off. McDonald homered, and Scutaro and Beltre doubled in the losing effort. (8/15)

Tue, August 17 at Fenway Park vs. Angels (W 6-0; 68-52) WP: Buchholz (14-5), LP: Weaver (11-8)

Bottom feeders. The bottom of the Red Sox order provided most of the scoring as Boston beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6-0. Clay Buchholz had an outstanding start, going 7 shutout innings, giving up 5 hits. A solo HR by Darnell McDonald and a grand slam by Ryan Kalish provided all but 1 of the runs. Back-to-back doubles by Papi and Victor Martinez provided the other run. Jered Weaver took the loss for LAA.

Wed, August 18 at Fenway Park vs. Angels (W 7-5; 69-52) WP: Lackey (11-7), LP: Jepsen (2-3)

With a little help from his friends. John Lackey outlasted Scott Kasmir thanks to a determined effort of his teammates, including Bill Hall and Adrian Beltre, both of whom homered, and clutch hitting by Martinez and Big Papi (he doubled) to set up a 2 run 7th. The Red Sox went on to beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 7-5. Angels reliever Kevin Jepsen took the loss, Lackey got the win, and Pap the save. (8/18)

Thu, August 19 at Fenway Park vs. Angels (L 2-7; 69-53) WP: Santana (13-8), LP: Beckett (3-3)

Godzilla attack. Josh Beckett was looking strong until the 6th inning, when our old Yankee nemesis, Hidekei Matsui (know in Japan as Godzilla for his moster homers) crushed a 3 run blast into the bleachers. Beckett was ineffective after that, as the Angels beat the Red Sox 7-2 at Fenway Park. Boston runs came on a Papi solo blast, and a Beltre sac fly. Eric Santana got the win for LAA. (8/19)

Fri, August 20 at Fenway Park vs. Blue Jays (L 2-16; 69-54) WP: Cecil (10-6), LP: Lester (13-8)

Overbay overpowers. Jon Lester was not on his game, and Toronto hitters jumped all over him. Lyle Overbay had 2 massive 3 run HRs, and drove in another, as the Blue Jays went on to humiliate the Red Sox, 16-2 at Fenway Park. In addition to Overbay, John McDonald and Jose Bautista homered off the bullpen in an uncontrolled Toronto slugfest. Brett Cecil got the win. (8/20)

Sat, August 21 at Fenway Park vs. Blue Jays (W 5-4; 70-54) WP: Papelbon (5-5), LP: Janssen (4-2)

From drop to pop! Jed Lowrie dropped a foul fly ball in the top of the 11th inning, and that may have provided the motivation for his solo HR in the bottom of the same inning, as the Red Sox beat Toronto, 5-4, in 11. Dice-K was mostly steady through 8, except for a rough 6th (including a 2 run Overbay HR), and left with a 4-4 tie. Casey Janssen took the loss, Pap got the win. (8/21)

Sun, August 22 at Fenway Park vs. Blue Jays (W 5-0; 71-54) WP: Buchholz (15-5), LP: Marcum (11-7)

Jays can’t hit Bucky balls. Despite a long rain delay, Clay Buchholz pitched 6 shutout innings, and was aided by a clean 7th from Daniel Bard and 8th & 9th from Felix Doubront as the Red Sox beat Toronto 5-0 at Fenway Fark. A triple by Papi followed by a double from Beltre and a towering homer by Bill Hall provided more than enough runs in the 5th. Shaun Marcum took the loss for Toronto; Doubront got the save. (8/22)

Mon, August 23 at Fenway Park vs. Mariners (W 6-3; 72-54) WP: Lackey (12-7), LP: Fister (4-9)

No slack from Lackey. John Lackey had one of his better starts of the season, going 8 innings, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits as the Red Sox went on to beat the Mariners, 6-3. No fireworks at the plate, but good situational hitting and baserunning enabled Boston to pick up 3 in the 5th and 3 in the 7th. Doug Fister took the loss for Seattle. Pap allowed a single, then put down 3 in a row, 2 by K, for the save. (8/23)

Tue, August 24 at Fenway Park vs. Mariners (Postponed; 72-54)

Wed, August 25 at Fenway Park vs. Mariners (W 5-3; 73-54) WP: Beckett (4-3), LP: Pauley (2-5)

Calm before the storm. Both starters, Josh Beckett and Seattle’s David Pauley, cruised through five quick innings of what promised to be a close pitchers’ duel. Then in the 6th, Pauley encountered a hailstorm of hits from the middle of the Red Sox lineup. Beckett gave up a couple of homers in the 7th, but the Red Sox held on to beat the Mariners, 5-3. Bard handled 5 outs. Pap got the save. (8/25)

Wed, August 25 at Fenway Park vs. Mariners (L 2-4; 73-55) WP: Hernandez (10-10), LP: Wakefield (3-10)

Unfair fight. After a last minute switch, Tim Wakefield was called upon to start opposite Felix Hernandez of the Mariners. He allowed 4 runs, which was more than enough for Hernandez as Seattle beat Boston, 4-2. The game was marred when Adrian Beltre was ejected after apparently questioning a strike call by substitute umpire Dan Bellino. Terry Francona was tossed for defending him. (Game 2:8/25)

Fri, August 27 at Rays (W 3-1; 74-55) WP: Lester (14-8), LP: Price (15-6)

Price lined. Red Sox hitters managed key hits off Tampa Bay starter David Price, including two solo homers by Victor Martinez, to beat the Rays, 3-1. Jon Lester was solid through 7 innings, giving up just 1 run on a wild pitch in the 4th. Big Papi doubled. Darnell McDonald tripled and threw out BJ Upton at the plate from center field. Pap gave up 2 walks, but struck out the side for the save. (8/27)

Sat, August 28 at Rays (L 2-3; 74-56) WP: Choate (4-3), LP: Atchison (2-2)

A win left on base. The Red Sox had 10 hits, leaving 8 on base, but scoring just 2 runs as they lost to Tampa Bay, 3-2 in 10 innings. Clay Buchholz gave up no earned runs through 7, but gave up a solo blast to BJ Upton in the 8th. Another by Dan Johnson off Scott Atchison won it. The first Rays run came on a pair of mistakes: a throwing error by Buchholz and a mental one by JD Drew. V-Mart had a solo HR. (8/28)

Sun, August 29 at Rays (L 3-5; 74-57) WP: Shields (13-11), LP: Lackey (12-8)

Atop the slippery slope. John Lackey put in a solid 5 innings, but gave up a succession of base hits in the 6th that amounted to a 5-3 Boston loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. Lackey gave up a solo HR to Carlos Pena and a 2 run dinger to Carl Crawford that put the Rays up for good. James Shields took the win. Mike Lowell and he-whose-head-must-not-be-touched each had a double for the Red Sox. (8/29)

Tue, August 31 at Orioles (L 2-5; 74-58) WP: Matusz (7-12), LP: Beckett (4-4)

Slouching toward elimination. The Red Sox took a step toward the precipice, losing to the Orioles, 5-2. Josh Beckett was decent, giving up 3 runs over 7 innings, but Boston’s bats could not deliver the runs to back him up. Felix Doubront gave up 2 solo HRs in the 8th that clinched it for Baltimore. The game might have been closer but for a throwing error by Marco Scutaro in the 3rd that enabled a run to score. (8/31)

Wed, September 1 at Orioles (W 9-6; 75-58) WP: Lester (15-8), LP: Hendrickson (1-5)

Suddenly, the tension is gone! Judging from the first inning, this game looked like it was going to go for Jon Lester as the attached image suggests. But the Red Sox turned it around, aided by a solo HR from JD Drew, and homers from Marco Scutaro and Adrian Beltre, it was Boston that blew away Baltimore 9-5. Daniel Bard provided two solid innings, and Pap took the save. Mark Hendrickson got the blown save and loss for the Orioles. (9/1)

Thu, September 2 at Orioles (W 6-4; 76-58) WP: Matsuzaka (9-4), LP: Bergesen (6-10)

Living dangerously. Dice-K was dominant through 4 innings, but seemed tired in the 5th. Terry Francona took a chance, and kept Dice-K in the 6th. 4 runs later, the Orioles had cut a 5 run lead to 1, and Dice-K was out. A string of hits in the 2nd, including a Beltre HR, gave the Red Sox 5 runs. Solid work by Scott Atchison, Hideki Okajima, and a scary Pap 9th helped Boston beat Baltimore, 6-4. (9/2)

Fri, September 3 at Fenway Park vs. White Sox (Postponed; 76-58)

Sat, September 4 at Fenway Park vs. White Sox (L 1-3; 76-59) WP: Danks (13-9), LP: Buchholz (15-6)

Not Clay’s day. Despite turning in a fine performance, giving up just 2 runs in 5 innings, Clay Buchholz threw so many pitches he had to be relieved in the 6th. It didn’t matter, as the Red Sox could only muster 1 run and lost to the Chicago White Sox, 3-1 in this rain postponed day game. White Sox starter John Danks went 7 innings for the win, and closer Bobby Jenks got the save. (9/4, game 1)

Sat, September 4 at Fenway Park vs. White Sox (L 1-3; 76-60) WP: Floyd (10-11), LP: Lackey (12-9)

Going softly into that good night. It almost seemed as if the Red Sox, exhausted and battered by injuries, just couldn’t make a game of it. Too bad: John Lackey had one of his better starts, giving up just 1 earned run in 7 innings, (2 unearned runs scored on a muffed catch by Saltalamacchia). Manny Ramirez contributed a single to the winning effort as the White Sox beat Boston, 3-1 in the nightcap. (9/4, game 2)

Sun, September 5 at Fenway Park vs. White Sox (L 5-7; 76-61) WP: Linebrink (3-1), LP: Papelbon (5-6)

Victory walks away. The Chicago White Sox swept Boston with a 7-5 win at Fenway Park. Josh Beckett had a good day spoiled, giving up 3 runs on 9 hits over 6 1/3rd innings and left with the lead. The Red Sox had a 2 run lead going into the 9th, but Pap allowed 2 runs and left with the score tied, 2 on and 2 out. Richardson and Manuel then walked in 2 more runs, giving Chicago the win. (9/5)

Mon, September 6 at Fenway Park vs. Rays (W 12-5; 77-61) WP: Lester (16-8), LP: Niemann (10-6)

Not just yet. If the wild-card leading Tampa Bay Rays thought the dispirited Red Sox would roll over in this series, they had a rude awakening tonight. Jon Lester delivered a solid 6 innings, giving up just 2 runs, and the Red Sox exploded for 5 runs in the 4th, capped by a Kalish grand slam. Papi and Beltre also had homers in the 1st. Jeff Niemann took the loss as Boston beat the Rays, 12-5. (9/6)

Tue, September 7 at Fenway Park vs. Rays (L 5-14; 77-62) WP: Price (17-6), LP: Matsuzaka (9-5)

Going, going… Boston needed a sweep of the Rays to have even a faint hope of capturing the wild card spot. Dice-K was his usual shakey self through 3 innings, but began to unravel in the 4th and collapsed in the 5th, and he gave up 8 runs en route to a 14-5 humiliation of the Red Sox by Tampa Bay. Boston will be quiet in October, as the Red Sox are basically done. (9/7)

Wed, September 8 at Fenway Park vs. Rays (W 11-5; 78-62) WP: Wakefield (4-10), LP: Garza (14-8)

Do they really want this? The Rays’ Matt Garza made a lot of cute remarks in the press about how great it is to pitch in Fenway Park. I wonder if he still feels that way after being shelled by Red Sox bats, giving up 6 runs in 4 1/3rd innings. Beltre, Scutaro (twice), Martinez, and Ortiz all homered as Boston crushed Tampa Bay, 11-5. Anderson, Kalish, and Reddick were also key. Tim Wakefield got the win. (9/8)

Fri, September 10 at Athletics (L 0-5; 78-63) WP: Cahill (16-6), LP: Buchholz (15-7)

Shattered Clay. Clay Buchholz demonstrated no control, either of the ball or of the game, surrendering 5 runs on 5 hits, and 4 walks in just 1 1/3rd innings. A succession of recently promoted Pawtucket pitchers managed to stop the bleeding, but Boston bats were silent as the Red Sox fell to Oakland, 5-0 at the Oakland County Colliseum. Trevor Chahill took the win for Oakland. (9/10)

Sat, September 11 at Athletics (L 3-4; 78-64) WP: Anderson (5-6), LP: Lackey (12-10)

Lackluster Lackey. John Lackey was impressive through 6 shutout innings, and Terry Francona was sufficiently encouraged by his low pitch count to keep him in for the 7th. Too bad. Lackey gave up 3 in th 7th, to fall behind, and Daniel Bard surrendered another in the 8th as the Red Sox lost to Oakland, 4-3. Brett Anderson got the win for Oakland. (9/11)

Sun, September 12 at Athletics (W 5-3; 79-64) WP: Beckett (5-4), LP: Braden (9-12)

Remembering who they are. Josh Beckett was fairly solid until the 3rd, when he walked 4 straight to force a run. Then he seemed to buckle down, getting out of the inning, and lasting through 6, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits. The rest of the team also remembered who they are, and a big 4 inning 6th won it for Boston, 5-3, over Oakland. Beltre and Drew doubled. Dallas Braden took the loss. Pap got the save. (9/12)

Mon, September 13 at Mariners (W 5-1; 80-64) WP: Lester (17-8), LP: Fister (5-12)

Tue, September 14 at Mariners (W 9-6; 81-64) WP: Hill (1-0), LP: League (9-7)

Snap! Crackle! Papi! David Ortiz showed his frustration by destroying his bat after a foul pop-out, but in the 8th he channeled that energy into a towering 3 run blast that powered the Red Sox to a 9-5 win over the Seattle Mariners. Dice-K was his usual dicey self, but the bullpen backed him up, and Boston bats (including 2 Lowrie HRs) came through. Brandon League took the loss, Rich Hill got the win. (9/14)

Wed, September 15 at Mariners (W 5-1; 82-64) WP: Buchholz (16-7), LP: Pauley (2-8)

Cleaning up. The Red Sox needed a clean sweep from Seattle to keep their faint hopes of a post-season alive, and they got it behind the confident pitching of Clay Buchholz, who gave up 1 run on 4 hits in 7 innings, as Boston beat the Mariners, 5-1. Beltre had a solo dinger, Ortiz doubled, and Ryan Kalish tripled. Seattle’s only run came on a Russell Branyan solo HR in the 1st. David Pauley took the loss. (9/15)

Fri, September 17 at Fenway Park vs. Blue Jays (L 9-11; 82-65) WP: Cecil (13-7), LP: Lackey (12-11)

A hailstorm of hits. The Red Sox and Blue Jays combined for 29 hits, but the Jays emerged victorious, 11-9. John Lackey was shakey to start, surrendering 2 runs in the 2nd, but then seemed to settle down until the 6th, when he simply collapsed, giving up 5 runs and leaving a man on who scored off Bowden. The Sox came roaring back in the late innings, fueled in part by 2 V-Mart homers, but fell short. (9/17)

Sat, September 18 at Fenway Park vs. Blue Jays (L 3-4; 82-66) WP: Romero (13-9), LP: Beckett (5-5)

Almost, not quite, just short. Josh Beckett had another good start, faltering in the 6th (as has become his custom) but the Red Sox could not catch up to Toronto as Boston fell the the Blue Jays, 4-3, at Fenway Park. Adrian Beltre and Victor Martinez continued their hitting tears, with a double and triple, respectively, as the Red Sox amassed 11 hits in the game. Ricky Romero got the win for Toronto. (9/18)

Sun, September 19 at Fenway Park vs. Blue Jays (W 6-0; 83-66) WP: Lester (18-8), LP: Marcum (12-8)

Jays draw a blank. Jon Lester delivered a masterful 7 shutout innings, giving up just 4 hits, and the bullpen (Scott Atchison and Robert Coello) finished the job. Victor Martinez homered in the 4th, and JD Drew’s 2 run shot was part of a scoring explosion in the 5th as the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-0 at Fenway Park. Shaun Markum took the loss. (9/19)

Mon, September 20 at Fenway Park vs. Orioles (L 2-4; 83-67) WP: Hernandez (8-8), LP: Matsuzaka (9-6)

Good news, bad news. The good news was that Dice-K got into the 7th inning. The bad news is that Dice-K got into the 7th, because that’s when the Orioles touched him for 2 runs as they went on to beat the Red Sox, 4-2 at Fenway Park. Patient Boston hitters made Brian Matusz throw 101 pitches in 5 innings, but Baltimore’s bullpen held. Boston’s bullpen was solid in relief for the losing cause. (9/21)

Tue, September 21 at Fenway Park vs. Orioles (L 1-9; 83-68) WP: Bergesen (8-10), LP: Atchison (2-3)

Bullpen implosion. Clay Buchholz did his job, giving up just 1 run over 6 innings, but the bullpen really put in a team effort to totally blow this game up as the Orioles shelled the Red Sox, 9-1 at Fenway Park. Boston had plenty of hits, but not in a row as the Birds’ Brad Bergesen picked up the win. Scott Atchison, who opend the floodgates, took the loss. Pap’s 4 runs made the evening’s devastation complete. (9/21)

Wed, September 22 at Fenway Park vs. Orioles (W 6-1; 84-68) WP: Lackey (13-11), LP: Millwood (3-16)

Trying harder. Seeking to redeem himself after his distrous last start, John Lackey bore down and pitched a gem, giving up just 1 run on 5 hits over 7 innings. Red Sox hitters responded with a bombardment, including a 3 run HR from Big Papi and a solo blast by Josh Reddick, as Boston beat the O’s, 6-1 at Fenway Park. Beltre and Kalish doubled. Baltimore’s Kevin Millwood took the loss. (9/22)

Fri, September 24 at Yankees (W 10-8; 85-68) WP: Beckett (6-5), LP: Pettitte (11-3)

Going down fighting. Barring a miracle, the Red Sox will probably not have a post-season this year, but they seem determined to take out their frustrations on the Yankees during their 6 final games together. Their all-out assault on Andy Pettitte including homers by Lowrie and Hall yielded a 10-8 win over New York. Josh Beckett stayed in an inning too long, and his collapse in the 7th made things close. (9/24)

Sat, September 25 at Yankees (W 7-3; 86-68) WP: Lester (19-8), LP: Nova (1-1)

Boston bombs Bombers. Red Sox bats erupted for 12 hits, including 2 solo blasts in the 7th by JD Drew and Victor Martinez, as the Olde Towne Team beat New York 7-3 at Yankee Stadium. Jon Lester was superb, giving up just 2 hits in 7 shutout innings for his 19th win. The Yankees’ Ivan Nova, promoted from Triple-A a month ago and recently inserted in the rotation, took the loss. (9/25)

Sun, September 26 at Yankees (L 3-4; 86-69) WP: Logan (2-0), LP: Okajima (4-4)

Walking to the brink. Dice-K had an excellent game, surrendering 2 runs over 8 innings. This low scoring nail-biter went into extra innings before Hideki Okajima loaded the bases in the bottom of the 10th, and walked in the Yankees’ winning run. Result: New York won 4-3 and Boston is just a game or two from elimination. The Yankees’ Phil Hughes had a good start but it was Boone Logan who got the win in relief. (9/26)

Mon, September 27 at White Sox (W 6-1; 87-69) WP: Buchholz (17-7), LP: Buehrle (12-13)

One away with six to play. The Red Sox are one game from elimination, meaning if they lose one more game or the Yankees win one, they are done. Still, they are playing out the string as professionals, and showed the kind of team they could be, beating the White Sox 6-1. Clay Buchholz dominated 8 innings for his 17th win. Hitting was timely and fielding was sparkling. Chicago’s Mark Buehrle took the loss. (9/27)

Tue, September 28 at White Sox (L 4-5; 87-70) WP: Sale (2-1), LP: Bowden (0-1)

They fought the good fight. The Boston Red Sox were eliminated during the 8th inning when the Yankees beat Toronto 6-1, killing Boston’s hopes for a post-season. Nonetheless, the Sox soldiered on. John Lackey had a fine 6 inning 2 run performance, Chicago took this one with a walk-off single by Dayan Viciedo in the 9th. Michael Bowden took the loss, Chris Sale of the White Sox got the win. (9/28)

Wed, September 29 at White Sox (L 2-5; 87-71) WP: Garcia (12-6), LP: Beckett (6-6)

Slow pitch loss. Freddy Garcia of the White Sox, who recently returned after back problems, had a fastball so weak it looked more like a changeup. Nonetheless, it was good enough to hold Boston to 2 runs on 4 hits over 7 innings for a Chicago win, 5-2. At least Mike Lowell homered. Once again, Josh Beckett looked strong for 6 innings but fell apart in the 7th, giving up 3 runs, more than Chicago needed to win. (9/29)

Thu, September 30 at White Sox (L 2-8; 87-72) WP: Danks (15-11), LP: Lester (19-9)

Bye bye, Cy. Darkness descended on Comerica Park literally in the 6th after descending figuratively on Jon Lester’s chances for Cy Young Award this year due to a disastrous performance. He gave up 8 runs on 9 hits including 2 dingers in 4+ innings. Victor Martinez accounted for all the Boston runs with a 2 run HR, but it was not enough as the White Sox beat the Red Sox, 8-2. John Danks got the win for Chicago. (9/30)

Fri, October 1 at Fenway Park vs. Yankees (Postponed; 87-72)

Sat, October 2 at Fenway Park vs. Yankees (L 5-6; 87-73) WP: Hughes (18-8), LP: Papelbon (5-7)

Thanks, Mike! Mike Lowell hit a double for “Thanks, Mike” Day, but it counted for little as the Red Sox lost to New York, 6-5 in 10 innings. Clay Buchholz was a late scratch (back), so Tim Wakefield took the mound, and held off the Yankees fairly well through 5 innings. Boston tied the game in the 8th, but Pap gave up the winning run in the top of the 10th. Phil Hughes took the win.(10/2, game 1)

Sat, October 2 at Fenway Park vs. Yankees (W 7-6; 88-73) WP: Manuel (1-0), LP: Nova (1-2)

Less mess. This was sloppy all around, but the Red Sox made less mess than the Yankees, who committed 4 errors and left 15 LOB. Dice-K had his usual terrifying start (4 runs, 3 hits, 5 walks in 5 innings). The Sox, who have nothing left but to force the Yanks to face the Rangers in Texas rather than the Twins at home, eventually prevailed in the 10th on a 2B by Hall and 1B by Patterson to win, 7-6. (10/2, game 2)

Sun, October 3 at Fenway Park vs. Yankees (W 8-4; 89-73) WP: Lackey (14-11), LP: Moseley (4-4)

Mission accomplished. The Red Sox may have no postseason, but at least they managed to send the Yankees to battle the Twins in Minneapolis rather than deal with the Rangers in the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium. John Lackey managed to hold the Yanks to 3 runs while Boston bats hammered New York pitching, including an HR by JD Drew and 2 by Jed Lowrie, as Boston beat New York, 8-4, to close out the season. (10/3)

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