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When a grand slam isn’t enough, try it again. It may not have been a homer, but David “Big Papi” Ortiz hit a walk-off double, driving in his seventh RBI in the 9th inning in two nights. It didn’t start out so well, and didn’t look good until the end; Miguel Cabrera thrust a spear through Boston’s hearts with a two-run shot in the 1st. Daisuke Matsuzaka gave up three straight singles in the next inning to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
With Jeremy Hermida being designated for assignment and Ramon Ramirez being shipped off to San Francisco, the Sox called up outfielder Ryan Kalish from Pawtucket (I know, I’ve never heard of him either). But when he led off the 3rd, batting out of the 8th slot, Kalish singled to lead off the inning in his first major league at bat. Too bad the Sox offense did nothing with it. And too bad Matsuzaka gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead in the next inning following two doubles, too.
The Tigers threatened again in the 7th, leading off with a double and sacrifice bunt, but a strikeout and flyout (with an intentional walk of Cabrera in between) fixed all that. The Sox did their first damage in the bottom of the frame, scoring two runs on four straight hits. Included in that streak was Ryan Kalish’s first career RBI. It could’ve been 4-3 instead of 4-2 if Bill Hall had either run faster or hadn’t attempted to stretch his single into a double; he was out by a country mile.
Then the game came down to the bottom of the 9th, with the Sox down 4-2. Down to their last chance, Darnell McDonald singled to short, in what could have been ruled an error on a bobble. Marco Scutaro flied out, but Jed Lowrie (pinch hitting) pulled out a double to put the tying run in scoring position. Kevin Youkilis was walked intentionally (remember this for later), in order to get to the strike-out master David Ortiz. It’s not a bad move, but this time, Ortiz doubled to left-center. Remember Youkilis being put on first? The ball was placed well enough for Youkilis to run around from first and beat out the throw, which didn’t quite arrive in time.
Ortiz was Boston’s best bet to do something to put the Sox back in it, and did he ever.
Beltre grounded into two double plays in consecutive plate appearances. Hall could have done more damage without his base running mistake. Matsuzaka gave up four runs in 6.0 innings plus a batter; he always seems to run into trouble.
W: Hideki Okajima (4-3)
L: Phil Coke (6-2)
Tags: Adrian Beltre, Bill Hall, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Darnell McDonald, David Ortiz, Detroit Tigers, Dustin Richardson, Hideki Okajima, Jed Lowrie, Jeremy Hermida, Kevin Youkilis, Marco Scutaro, Ramon Ramirez, Red Sox, Ryan Kalish