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For the second straight night, the Boston Red Sox went into the ninth tied with the Cleveland Indians. For the second straight, CF Jacoby Ellsbury sent the fans home celebrating a Red Sox win in walk-off fashion, 4-3.
The young center-fielder stepped in the box with two outs, the bases empty, and engaged in a 3-3 tie in the ninth. Ellsbury smoked an 0-1 offering from Indians’ pitcher Joe Smith and deposited the ball into the center-field seats for his 18th home run of the year.
Boston starter Tim Wakefield’s search for his 200th career win was again denied. Wakefield tossed 6-2/3 innings en route to the no decision, allowing three runs, all earned, on five hits and two walks while striking out six. The veteran knuckleballer will have to wait until next Tuesday against Minnesota to try to win number 200.
The Sox took an early lead by scoring twice in the first. Gonzalez singled to center and advanced to third when Kevin Youkilis doubled to right. David Ortiz stepped in and singled to center, plating both runners for the 2-0 lead. Ortiz was credited with just one RBI however after Indians’ left-fielder Austin Kearns misplayed the ball in left for an error.
Wakefield cruised through three innings without allowing a hit, but surrendered a fourth-inning, leadoff home run to recent Red Sox killer Jason Kipnis, cutting the lead in half. Asdrubal Cabrera responded with a single to center and scored when Travis Hafner doubled to right. Hafner advanced to third on a passed ball by Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but Wakefield retired the next three batters to escape the inning tied 2-2.
Ortiz led off the bottom half of the fourth with a walk and advanced to third on Carl Crawford’s double. Saltalamacchia struck out for the first out to bring Reddick to the plate, who was intentionally walked to load the bases. Marco Scutaro gave the Red Sox the lead by grounding into a fielder’s choice for the second out, scoring Ortiz from third. Tribe starter Carlos Carrasco escaped the inning without any further damage by fanning Ellsbury.
Cleveland rallied off Wakefield in the seventh to tie the game 3-3. Rookie Lonnie Chisenhall doubled to start the inning, and advanced to third one out later via a Wakefield wild pitch. Wakefield fanned Lou Marson for the second out, but Ezequiel Carrera produced a game tying RBI ground-ruled double to tie the game. Williams was summoned from the bullpen, eventually retiring Cabrera to end the seventh.
The Red Sox maintain their lead in the division heading into Thursday’s final game of this four game series. Erik Bedard is slated to make his first career start in a Red Sox uniform, opposed by Cleveland probable and former Red Sox pitcher Justin Masterson at 7:10.