Mark Loretta doubled with two outs and the bases loaded in the
bottom of the ninth on Wednesday night and the Red Sox took
advantage of a meltdown by reliever Fausto Carmona to beat the
Indians 6-5. It was Boston's third last at-bat victory in five
"I didn't think we'd be able to get to Ortiz. After two outs, I
didn't think I'd get up," said Loretta, who also hit a game-ending
homer on Patriots Day. "I think the fans realize now that
Cleveland led 3-0 after one inning and 5-4 after eight, but
Carmona couldn't deliver the Indians their first save since closer
Bob Wickman was traded to Atlanta on July 20. He struck out the
first two batters of the ninth before hitting Doug Mirabelli and
Alex Gonzalez on consecutive pitches, then walking Kevin Youkilis
on a 3-2 pitch that wasn't close.
With Ortiz, the reigning AL player of the month standing by,
Loretta looped one off the Green Monster to end it.
"He did a real good job against those first two hitters,"
Indians manager Eric Wedge said, adding he would stick with Carmona
as the closer. "Then he just looked like he got in a hurry to get
the third out instead of trying not to do too much. ... It just
kind of dominoed from there."
Boston's last three victories came on its last at-bat, with
Ortiz delivering the others -- a game-ending single to beat Los
Angeles on Saturday and a three-run homer off Carmona on Monday.
The slugger struck out four times Wednesday, but that didn't keep
him from landing on top of Youkilis in a pile during the postgame
"Big Papi doesn't know what to do at these things," Loretta
Jonathan Papelbon (3-1) earned the victory with a perfect ninth.
"We'd rather be up by one," Boston manager Terry Francona
said. "But in this ballpark, crazy things happen."
Cleveland took a 3-0 lead off Boston starter Jon Lester, but the
Red Sox came back with two in the fifth and went ahead on solo
homers by Manny Ramirez and Wily Mo Pena in the sixth. Travis
Hafner hit a two-run homer in the eighth to give the Indians the
The Red Sox kept pace in the AL East with the New York Yankees,
who beat Toronto 7-2 on Wednesday and remained percentage points
ahead in the division.
Temperatures that reached 100 degrees during the day had cooled
off to 82 by game time, but the Red Sox were taking no chances.
They made batting practice optional for the players and provided
"rain rooms" where fans could cool off.
The team also set up tables giving out free cups of water to
keep fans from getting dehydrated.
But Lester barely had a chance to get warm before giving the
Indians a 3-0 lead. Things weren't going much better in the second
when Kelly Shoppach doubled and Andy Marte hit a deep drive to
center that Coco Crisp chased down at the 379 foot sign.
Shoppach, who had already rounded second base, reversed course
as Crisp made a throw to the infield that was far to the
right-field side of second. But Gonzalez chased it down, spun and
threw and caught Shoppach in time for the double play.
Lester, who was coveted by other teams at the trading deadline,
gave up three runs on four hits and a walk in the first, then
tacked on five scoreless innings to outlast fellow rookie lefty
Jeremy Sowers. Sowers had pitched consecutive shutouts in his
previous starts, and he extended his shutout streak to 22 innings
before Youkilis hit an RBI double in the fifth and scored on
Loretta's single to make it 3-2.
Brian Sikorski allowed Ramirez's game-tying homer just over the
wall in straightaway center and a line drive by Pena that banged
hard off the second row of the Monster Seats to make it 4-3.
Ramirez's homer was his 30th -- his ninth consecutive year with
30 or more. It was also the 465th of his career, tying him with
Dave Winfield for 26th on the all-time list.
Hafner's homer gave him 30 for the second year in a row.
Lester has five pickoffs. ... Gonzalez hit his 200th career
double. ... Martinez's homer was his 12th of the year. ... Boston
RHP Manny Delcarmen hadn't pitched since Friday night because of a
thumb injury. ... The Red Sox named RHP Jason Johnson as their
probable starter for Sunday. RHP Kyle Snyder, who pitched 4 1/3
scoreless innings in relief for the win on Monday, will work out of