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Lowell, Red Sox close in on AL East title

Sep 27, 2007 - 2:50 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- Thanks to Mike Lowell, the Boston Red Sox have a stranglehold on first place.

Lowell continued his stellar season, driving in five runs as the Red Sox inched closer to their first American League East title in more than a decade with an 11-6 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.

Dustin Pedroia homered for Boston (94-64), which reduced its magic number for clinching the division title to two. The Red Sox lead the New York Yankees (91-67) by three games in the AL East with just four games to play.

The Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 12-4, on Wednesday to clinch a playoff spot.

"When we clinched in Tampa, we didn't want to get too far ahead of ourselves," reliever Mike Timlin said. "It's not that we are going to overdo it when we clinch, but I'm sure we'll let a little bit out."

It has been a huge year for Lowell, who would be a legitimate AL MVP candidate if it weren't for the astronomical numbers posted by Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Detroit Tigers right fielder Magglio Ordonez.

On Wednesday, Lowell set a club record for RBI by a third baseman with 116, passing former Boston manager and infielder Butch Hobson, who knocked in 112 runs in 1977.

"I take a lot of pride in (this record)," Lowell said. "I just didn't know about it. But it's kind of special when you throw names like Wade Boggs out there with all he did.

"And there's been a lot of very good players that have played third base for this organization. So to have the most runs driven in is a very satisfying thing, and it's something that I'll treasure."

Pedroia homered off Jerry Blevins (0-1) to lead off the decisive four-run sixth inning, and Lowell then lined a two-run single to make it 8-5. Rookie Jacoby Ellsbury capped the scoring in the inning with an RBI groundout.

That provided enough support for six Boston pitchers, including Timlin (2-1), who pitched 1 1/3 innings to pick up the win. Eric Gagne and Julian Tavarez hurled the final two frames to finish out the game.

After the contest, teammates were happy to push the focus on the All-Star third baseman.

"(Lowell's) been great all year," Pedroia said. "We've counted on him a lot, especially after Manny (Ramirez) got hurt. And he stepped up."

Red Sox starter Jon Lester allowed five runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out nine and walked three.

"He's still a young pitcher that is developing," manager Terry Francona said. "He can work himself into some binds but his stuff is good."

After Nick Swisher's sacrifice fly in the third started the scoring for the Athletics, the Red Sox answered back with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Lowell ripped a two-run single and J.D. Drew added a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1.

But Oakland regained the lead in the fourth thanks to Donnie Murphy, who belted a three-run homer off Lester to give his team a one-run advantage.

"I felt great tonight," Lester said despite the short outing. "The problem was the same as all season - two-out walks or walks in general. They're just killing me every start.

"It got better but it's one of those deals tonight, I got myself in a bad situation and couldn't get out of it."

Ramirez, who was playing his second game since August 28, delivered an RBI single in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 4-4. Lowell followed with a run-scoring hit of his own to give Boston a short-lived one-run lead.

Mike Piazza tied the game with towering homer to left field to tie the game at 5-5 for Oakland, which has lost three in a row.






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    ekabrazi Added 5 roots

    Athletics vs. Red SoxSep 28 12:06 AM


  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    OAKLAND 0 0 1 3 1 0 0 0 1 6 12 1
    BOSTON 0 0 3 2 0 4 2 0 x 11 17 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: OAK - JOE BLANTON, JERRY BLEVINS (6TH), RUDDY LUGO (6TH), ANDREW
    BROWN (7TH), COLBY LEWIS (8TH) AND KURT SUZUKI
    BOS - JON LESTER, KYLE SNYDER (5TH), JAVIER LOPEZ
    (

    Sep 26 8:32 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JACK HANNAHAN SCORED MARK ELLIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K SUZUKI ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 6
    BOSTON 11 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: D MURPHY (.222, 2-FOR-3, BB, HR, 3 RBI)

    Athletics vs. Red SoxSep 26 8:31 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY ANDREW BROWN SCORED BRANDON MOSS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J DREW ON SECOND, R CLAYTON ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 5
    BOSTON 11 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J VARITEK (.256, 1-FOR-3, BB)

    Athletics vs. Red SoxSep 26 8:02 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRANDON MOSS SCORED DUSTIN PEDROIA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B MOSS ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 5
    BOSTON 10 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D ORTIZ (.323, 2-FOR-3, BB)

    Athletics vs. Red SoxSep 26 7:52 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JACOBY ELLSBURY SCORED MIKE LOWELL.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, K YOUKILIS ON SECOND, J DREW ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 5
    BOSTON 9 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J LUGO (.238, 0-FOR-3)

    Athletics vs. Red SoxSep 26 7:38 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIKE LOWELL SCORED BRANDON MOSS AND DAVID ORTIZ.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, M LOWELL ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 5
    BOSTON 8 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J DREW (.267, 1-FOR-2, SF, RBI)

    Athletics vs. Red SoxSep 26 7:28 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY DUSTIN PEDROIA (8) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF JERRY BLEVINS.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 5, BOSTON 6
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M RAMIREZ (.298, 3-FOR-3, RBI)

    Athletics vs. Red SoxSep 26 7:21 PM
  • Jouie Red Sox will continue to stay away from the Yanks and will win de Division.

    Athletics vs. Red SoxSep 26 6:51 PM
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    Athletics vs. Red SoxSep 26 6:50 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MIKE PIAZZA (8) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    5TH OFF JON LESTER.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 5, BOSTON 5
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J CUST (.260, 0-FOR-2)

    Athletics vs. Red SoxSep 26 6:42 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIKE LOWELL SCORED MANNY RAMIREZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M LOWELL ON FIRST, D ORTIZ ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 4
    BOSTON 5 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J DREW (.267, 1-FOR-1, SF, RBI)

    Athletics vs. Red SoxSep 26 6:34 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MANNY RAMIREZ SCORED DUSTIN PEDROIA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M RAMIREZ ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 4
    BOSTON 4 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D ORTIZ (.321, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Athletics vs. Red SoxSep 26 6:30 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY DONNIE MURPHY (6) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 4TH OFF JON LESTER SCORED KURT SUZUKI AND JACK HANNAHAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 4, BOSTON 3
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: S STEWART (.289, 0-FOR-2)

    Athletics vs. Red SoxSep 26 6:23 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY J.D. DREW SCORED DAVID ORTIZ.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, M LOWELL ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    BOSTON 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K YOUKILIS (.288, 1-FOR-1)

    Athletics vs. Red SoxSep 26 6:06 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIKE LOWELL SCORED DUSTIN PEDROIA AND MANNY
    RAMIREZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M LOWELL ON FIRST, D ORTIZ ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    BOSTON 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J DREW (.267, 1-FOR-1)

    Athletics vs. Red SoxSep 26 6:04 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY NICK SWISHER SCORED DONNIE MURPHY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D BARTON ON FIRST, S STEWART ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    BOSTON 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M PIAZZA (.280, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics vs. Red SoxSep 26 5:53 PM
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