Sox Captain Protects The Plate, Preserving Victory
The Boston Red Sox hoped that Josh Beckett could regain his ace like form on Friday night by shutting down the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Beckett struck out nine Jays but gave up two long-balls and lasted only five innings, throwing 108 pitches, as the Boston right-hander walked five hitters in route to an early exit to the showers.
Luckily for Beckett and the Red Sox, the bullpen pitched four innings of scoreless relief, thanks in large part to a stellar play by Jason Varitek, blocking Travis Snider and the Blue Jays from taking a one-run lead in the eighth inning as the Sox eventual went on to win by the final of 6-5.
Casey Kotchman drove in David Ortiz in the bottom of the eighth on a fielder’s choice as Jonathan Papelbon loaded the bases in the ninth before striking out Rod Barajas and Snider to register his 31st save of the season and the Red Sox 74th victory in 2009. Hideki Okajimi tallied his fifth win of the year as the Sox look to take the middle game of this series with clay Buchholz squaring off against Ricky Romero on Saturday.