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Scott Kazmir, who was pushed up to Game 5 for a variety of reasons, pitched a gem through six innings, but Boston’s patient bats forced him out of the game as he reached 111 pitches. When Kazmir left the game, the Red Sox were down 5-0 through six, and by the time they came to bat in the seventh, they were down 7-0. The Sox had two hits (2-20) through six innings. Enter the Rays bullpen, which had been dominant all season. So how did the Red Sox win 8-7?
Boston’s bats came alive in the seventh inning for the first time since Game 2. It all started with a Dustin Pedrioa RBI single to make it 7-1. David Ortiz woke up and crushed a three-run shot to put the game within reach at 7-4.
In the eighth, J.D. Drew launched a two-run shot to make it 7-6. Coco Crisp scored Mark Kotsay on an RBI single to tie the game. Coco was thrown out at second trying to stretch it to a double (a.k.a. give Kotsay more time to make it home).
That all set the stage for the ninth, after three shutout innings from Jonathan Papelbon and Justin Masterson. After two quick outs, Kevin Youkilis hit a slow dribbler to third base, and ran hard down the line (as always) to force a throw from Evan Longoria. Longoria screwed it all up, tossing it into the bleachers, which allowed Youk to head to second base. Jason Bay was intentionally walked, which brought up J.D. Drew. Drew laced a hot shot over the head of Gabe Gross in right field, scoring Kevin Youkilis and finishing the largest comeback (7 runs) since 1929.
Now, the Sox are headed to Tampa Bay for Game 6 and hopefully Game 7. In Game 6, the Sox will throw out Josh Beckett (who has struggled in the playoffs) against Tampa’s Big Game James Shields. After Game 5, ANYTHING can happen in Game 6.