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Home » September 2005 Game CommentsSeptember 2005 » Impetus


Game 156: September 27, 2005
Blue Jays (76-80), 1
Red Sox (92-64), 3

L: Dave Bush (5-11)
W: Tim Wakefield (2-3)
H: Jonathan Papelbon (4)
S: Mike Timlin (12)

Tied for the lead in the division

Tied for the wild card
4 game winning streak

He who scores first laughs last. The Red Sox put up 2 runs in the 1st inning and it would be all that the needed. Johnny Damon led off with a single to pulled softly into right field and Edgar Renteria doubled off the wall to put two runners in scoring position with no outs. David Ortiz, saving some of his lumber for tonight’s game, grounded to second to drive in Damon. Also opting to go low-key, Manny Ramirez lined to center for an RBI single.

Toronto’s only run came in the 5th inning as the result of Red Sox miscues. Ramirez misplayed Frank Menechino’s fly ball off the wall, his 7th error of the season converted a single into a man in scoring position with no outs. Menechino, who is not the most annoying “Frank” on the Blue Jays but is vying for the title, tagged up on shortstop Aaron Hill’s sacrifice fly to right field and promptly scored on a passed ball with Gabe Gross at the plate.

But Wakefield was undaunted. This was the man, you will remember, who pitched 3 scoreless innings against the Yankees despite 3 passed balls on October 18, 2004. This 5th inning run was a minor vexation and the knuckleballer finished with a line of 3 hits, 1 unearned run, 1 walk, and 6 strikeouts in his 7 innings of work.

The 6th inning was double, double, then toil and trouble for Toronto. Renteria turned in a double-bagger and in turn was doubled in by Ortiz for Boston’s third and final run of the game.

It was enough. Terry Francona started warming Papelbon in a timely manner when Wakefield showed signs of strain in the 7th. The inning was extended by Renteria’s 30th error of the season. Resolute as always, Wakefield closed out the 7th with Gross’s pop fly foul caught in John Olerud’s enduring glove.

Papelbon made his 15th major league appearance in the 8th. The rookie reliever worked himself into a critical situation with runners on first and third and 1 out and Vernon Wells at the plate. He got Toronto’s leading hitter to pop fly into foul territory but neglected to cover home plate with a runner on third, which could have been a costly oversight. Papelbon redeemed himself by striking out Shea Hillenbrand for the final out, which isn’t as easy as it seems at face.

Timlin further acclimated himself to the closing role, allowing only 1 hit to the pinch hitting Corey Koskie. It’s about time, too, with only six games remaining.

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