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Home » September 2006 Game CommentsSeptember 2006 » Deplumed


Game 146: September 14, 2006
Red Sox (78-68), 6
Orioles (63-83), 5
W: Keith Foulke (3-1)
S: Mike Timlin (5)
H: Chris Britton (4)
H: Jim Hoey (2)
H: Brian Burres (1)
H: Todd Williams (11)
BS: Chris Ray (4)
L: Rodrigo Lopez (9-16)

This season Kevin Youkilis has at last emerged as an exceptional everyday player and leadoff hitter (when the whim strikes Terry Francona to do so). If only Francona’s whims aligned with statistics.

Batting First AB AVG OBP SLG
Kevin Youkilis 381 0.291 0.389 0.436
Coco Crisp 220 0.232 0.290 0.341

Youkilis’s fly ball off the top of the wall rebounded back into to the field of play for a double; a very odd event that seemed to defy physics. Youkilis made his way to third base on Mark Loretta’s ground out and scored on Brian Roberts’s error in fielding what should have been a routine grounder off the bat of David Ortiz. This season, the Red Sox are 51-25 when scoring first, so the early run boded well.

Boston added to their lead in the fourth. Ortiz led off the inning with a base on balls and Wily Mo Peña and Mike Lowell followed up with singles. Lowell’s allowed Ortiz to score. Jason Varitek had a single of his own and the Red Sox loaded the bases, threatening to put the game away early. But Trot Nixon grounded into a double play that scored a run but effectively killed the would-be rally.

The Orioles responded in the bottom of the inning with a barrage of hits of their own. Lenny DiNardo came apart and allowed four consecutive singles and a pitched wildly to David Newhan. Newhan would eventually ground into the second out of the inning and DiNardo walked Chris Gomez to clog the basepaths with birds.

DiNardo was unable to put away rookie Jeff Fiorentino or Roberts. Mike Burns relieved the lefty and struck out Melvin Mora on four pitches, but five runs had scored.

It’s bizarre how similarly Boston and Baltimore are playing right now. The Orioles bullpen relinquished runs in the last three innings to blow the game. It could have been much worse for the Charm City club as the Red Sox loaded the bases twice but did not seize these opportunities.

Mike Timlin, perhaps not looking forward to the tedium of retirement, made it interesting in the ninth. Mora smacked a double to begin the inning and tagged up on Nick Markakis’s fly out to center. Francona played for a double play and intentionally walked Miguel Tejada, a risky proposition given Timlin’s tendency to give up fly balls. But the veteran righty managed to induce a room service grounder off the bat of Ramon Hernandez to secure the game and series win.

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