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Monday, July 6, 2009

Yeah, Hell Yeah

It might be a pain in the ass to buy tickets and get in and out of the city but on a sunny summer day, there's few places in the world I'd rather be than at Fenway Park.

I was reminded of this fact yesterday as my parents, buddy and myself took in the series finale of the Sox-Mariners series. It was my first Red Sox game in two years.

Boston (49-32) won 8-4 but what I'll remember most when I look back on yesterday is a specific moment that had nothing to do with the outcome of the game.

In the middle of the third inning, as the Mariners (42-39) took the field, the Red Sox PA announcer read off the six players that made the 2009 All-Star game. We had missed the announcement show since we were en route to Fenway at the time.

Jason Bay, Dustin Pedroia, Josh Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon and Kevin Youkilis were all expected to be All-Stars but they saved the most deserving choice for last: Tim Wakefield. In his 17th season in MLB, the knuckleballer made his first All-Star team. He got a standing ovation and on the jumbotron in center, they showed him in the dugout. It was a wonderful moment.

After losing the first two games of the series, Boston really needed yesterday's contest, especially considering that the Yankees were only a game behind.

A diverse offense and stellar relief gave the Sox a much-deserved win.

Dustin Pedroia (3 hits, 2 runs) and David Ortiz (2 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) gave Boston an early 2-0 lead as they both hit solo homers in the first off Seattle starter Brandon Morrow.

The Mariners took a 3-2 lead in the fourth on Ronnie Cedeno's bases-clearing triple. Ryan Langerhans made it 4-2 in the fifth with a sacrifice fly.

Red Sox starter Jon Lester threw a season-high 122 pitches to get through 6.2 innings. He gave up four runs (one earned) on eight hits with three walks and nine strikeouts.

Jacoby Ellsbury (2 runs, 2 RBIs) cut the deficit to one (4-3 Seattle) as he smacked another solo homer in the sixth inning.

Boston finally delivered some hits with men on base in the seventh, to the tune of five runs.

On a 3-0 pitch, Ortiz tied it with an RBI single. Ellsbury walked with the bases loaded and then Mark Kotsay had a clutch, two-run single. Ellsbury scored the final run on a passed ball.

Justin Masterson (1.1 innings, 3 strikeouts) and Hideki Okajima (clean ninth inning) didn't allow any baserunners and also saved Papelbon from making an appearance.

The Oakland A's come to Boston for three games and then the Kansas City Royals wrap up the first half with a four-game set at Fenway. These are very winnable series for the Red Sox, they need to take advantage of this break in the schedule before the All-Star game.

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