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Monday, June 22, 2009
Nick Green, more than just a temporary solution?
Somehow between our month-long rain showers, the Red Sox and Atlanta Braves managed to wrap up their series at Fenway yesterday afternoon.
Nick Green made sure it was a memorable Father's Day for all the rich dads in attendance as he hit a walk-off home run on the first pitch he saw from Braves pitcher Jeff Bennett in the ninth. It wrapped around Pesky's Pole in right, traveling probably about 305 feet but the degree of difficulty with the swirling winds and mist made it much harder than usual.
Boston (42-27) won 6-5 to take two of three from Atlanta (32-36). Coupled with the Yankees' loss in Florida, the Sox have a four game lead in the AL East.
Brian McCann gave the Braves a 2-0 lead in the first with a two-run double off Boston starter Tim Wakefield.
Boston responded with three in the bottom of the first from a Jason Bay sacrifice fly and a two-run shot by David Ortiz over the Monster. Again, with the crazy weather, Papi truly crushed the ball to get it out.
George Kottaras added to the lead with a sacrifice fly in the fourth to give Boston a 4-2 lead.
Wakefield didn't factor into the decision but he gave the Red Sox 6.2 innings. He allowed four runs on nine hits with four strikeouts.
Gregor Blanco and Nate McLouth (2 hits, walk) with RBI singles in the seventh.
After some controversy, J.D. Drew gave his team a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the seventh. He looked at a 1-2 pitch that was clearly a strike from Braves pitcher Eric O'Flaherty but umpire Bill Hohn called it a ball. O'Flaherty, Chipper Jones and Bobby Cox all lost it and consequently were tossed. On the next pitch, Drew lined the single off the Monster that scored Kottaras.
Garret Anderson (2 hits) tied it up with an RBI single in the eighth off Hideki Okajima.
Jonathan Papelbon loaded the bases in the ninth with two walks and a hit but managed to strike Matt Diaz out. Papelbon earned the win (1-1) after Green's heroics.
The Sox are off today and they fly to our nation's capital to play the Nationals, starting tomorrow. Washington is the worst team in baseball so there should be plenty of Red Sox fans in attendance and John Smoltz makes his Red Sox debut on Thursday (Dice-K was placed on the DL).