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Home » September 2005 Game CommentsSeptember 2005 » Thrill


Game 134: September 3, 2005
Orioles (64-71), 6
Red Sox (79-55), 7
L: Erik Bedard (6-6)
W: Matt Clement (13-3)
S: Mike Timlin (6)

3.5 games ahead in the division
1 game winning streak

Throughout the game NESN showed clips from Family Day for the players. Miniature Ramirezes, tiny Ortizes, little Schillings, and lilliputian Millers took over the field. It was also team picture day, and I note that even for this John Olerud wore his helmet.

The Orioles and Red Sox matched each other run for run in the 3rd and 4th innings. Clement led off the 3rd by hitting Luis Matos, who scored without the benefit of a single hit by anyone following him. He reached second on a wild pitch, got to third on a passed ball, and then scored on a Brian Roberts sacrifice fly. The Red Sox got their 3rd inning run much differently. Gabe Kapler legged out a double on his liner to center field. Johnny Damon moved his fellow outfielder over on a grounder to second, enabling Kapler to score on a sacrifice fly by Edgar Renteria.

The 4th inning was untidily played by the home team. Kapler missed the ball hit by Miguel Tejada that hit dead on the right field foul line. The Kevins were in chase as well, but Kapler made a tremendous effort to even come within glove range and had the wherewithal to try and throw out Tejada at second base. Jay Gibbons reached on an error by Manny Ramirez, who initially caught Gibbons’s fly ball but did not squeeze his glove tightly enough to keep it in. Manny, just be like Mr. Whipple’s customers and squeeze the Charmin. Still with no outs, Javy Lopez’s line drive got by Damon for his 5th error which allowed 2 runs to score. Despite the miscues, Clement maintained his composure and got the next 3 batters to ground out.

The Red Sox position players seemed to want to make amends for their shoddy play in the following innings. Jason Varitek walked and Millar homered into the Monster seats. The first baseman proved that his dominance of Bedard wasn’t entirely flukey.

Roberts snuck a ball past Millar for a single to lead off the 5th inning. Clement, Varitek, Millar, and Renteria executed a perfect pitch out, pickoff, and tag combination with Bernie Castro at the plate. Roberts falling down and going boom also helped matters. Redeeming himself of his previous error, Damon made great catch of Castro’s fly ball, covering a lot of territory and going into a hook slide to get the out, garnering the double point from Clement. Clement being demonstrative is like Mark Bellhorn’s smile; rare, but appreciated when seen.

In the 6th inning, Clement was reminded why he doesn’t throw his change-up much when Gibbons hit a home run to right field. David Ortiz responded with a homer of his own in the 7th inning, hit right into the section I was in the previous evening.

Alejandro Machado had his first major leage at bat in the 8th inning. It was a nice 9-pitch effort that demonstrated his awareness of the strike zone and his patience at the plate; none of the strikes were of the swing and miss variety. Melvin Mora nearly ended the at bat early with a catch of Machado’s foul ball in the stands, but it sliced away at the last moment and hit the top of the wall instead. Another foul ball was lined sharply to the right and came close to hitting Lynn Jones. Machado worked the count full but grounded out to third for the second out of the inning.

Clement went 8 innings with 6 hits, 4 runs (2 earned), 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, and 1 solo round-tripper. He was in line for the winning decision when the game was handed over to Timlin in the 9th.

Renteria made an error in his rush to get ball to second base on grounder hit by Matos in the 9th inning, bringing the tying run in the form of Roberts to the plate with 1 out and 2 on. Roberts hit a double into the left field corner to plate B.J. Surhoff and advance Matos to third base. Timlin walked pinch hitter David Newhan after falling behind him in the count and getting it to 3-2. With the bases loaded and 2 out, Mora hit a fly ball to right, deep enough to score Matos and bring the Orioles to within 1 run. Timlin got ahead of MVP candidate Tejada quickly, and made the shortstop fly out to right field on the 0-2 pitch to cap off the 40th come from behind victory for Boston this season.

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