When the Red Sox were crushed by the Indians 12-3 last Thursday, I thought the weekend was not going to end well. I thought Terry Francona would waltz back into town and put a beat down on his old team. I mean the Indians were perched atop the AL Central when they arrived in Beantown and the Red Sox had been struggling with a Jeckyll and Hyde type of month.
Friday night, the Sox came back with a vengeance, walloping the Tribe 8-1 behind the arm of John Lackey. You read that right: Lackey. Dude has been lights out in his last two starts. He pitched seven innings of two-hit, one-run ball, while punching out eight little Indians. The Boston bats were lively with only one starter (Stephen Drew) held hitless. Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury each drove in two runs, while Mike Carp nailed a three-run home run. But the weekend would only get harder...
Saturday afternoon, Jon Lester struggled for the second straight start, but this time he was lucky to end up with no decision. After giving up four runs on ten hits over seven innings, it didn't look good. The run support that Lackey enjoyed the night before had dried up and he left the game with his team behind. But the offense come through with four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Sox pulled off a 7-4 win! Also, great news for a couple of youngsters—two recent call-ups, Jose Iglesias and Pedro Ciriaco, both went 3-for-4 in Saturday's win!
And then there was today's game. Would the Sox end the four game series with the Indians with just a split, or could they take three of four from their former skipper's team? Heading into the ninth and down to their final three outs, the Sox were down 5-2, the outlook bleak. The offense has struggled most of the day, squeaking out just two runs on four hits. But if you've watched this team at all over the first two months of the season, you know they don't go down easy. And today was no exception.
The Sox batters chipped away at the lead, scoring two more in the bottom of the ninth to bring them to within one. With two outs, Jonny Gomes walked, Stephen Drew singled (one of his three hits) and Jose Iglesias walked, bringing up Jacoby Ellsbury. With the count 2-1, the Indians pitcher came up lame prompting a pitching change. Ellsbury laced the first pitch he saw from the new hurler into the gap in left center to plate two for the win!
And with that win, coupled with a Yankees loss today, the Red Sox are back on top! (Ok, so they're tied with the Yankees, but on top none the less!)