for this game

Varitek's pinch homer leads Red Sox past Indians

Apr 16, 2008 - 3:55 AM By Todd Krepop PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Jason Varitek had a very productive day off.

Varitek snapped a tie with a pinch home run in the ninth inning to help propel the Boston Red Sox to a 5-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.

Jed Lowrie had three RBI in his major league debut as the Red Sox swept the two-game set in a rematch of last season's American League Championship Series.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona had planned to give Varitek the night off with knuckleballer Tim Wakefield on the mound, but that plan changed.

"People don't quite understand - we can't have him catch 162 games," Francona said. "But we've talked enough to know how he feels."

With the game tied at 3-3, Varitek - who was warming up reliever David Aardsma in the bullpen the previous inning - entered the game as a pinch hitter.

"I warmed up Aardsma up in the bullpen," Varitek said. "If my body is loose enough to catch, it is loose enough to hit."

Indians reliever Jensen Lewis (0-1) quickly got ahead of Varitek 0-2, but the team captain took a pitch for a ball before blasting the next offering over the left field wall to give the Red Sox the lead.

"I have had my fair share of pinch-hitting," the 38-year-old Varitek said. "But I haven't done that very often."

"I tried to hit the outside corner and the pitch got too much of the plate," Lewis said. "It was a bad pitch. It was the story of the game."

It was the third career pinch home run for Varitek and helped extend Boston's winning streak to four games.

"You just have to try and slow everything down," Varitek said. "Be aggressive, but under control."

The Red Sox loaded the bases after Varitek's homer and Kevin Youkilis added an insurance run with an RBI single.

Aardsma (1-1) recorded the last out of the eighth and Hideki Okajima pitched a perfect ninth to record his first save of the season.

"It's always a bit tougher when you lose late, but it's a tough game," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "Our guys have to hang tough. They always have. I thought we played a good game, but they were able to push a couple of runs across when they needed to, and we didn't."

Prior to Varitek's blast, Lowrie had provided the Red Sox with their only offense of the night. The 23-year-old became the first Red Sox player to have three RBI in his major league debut since Merrill Combs accomplished the feat in 1947.

"I can't even describe (how it feels)," Lowrie said. "It is one of those moments you will always remember."

Both Wakefield and counterpart Paul Byrd were in line for the win, but their respective bullpens each squandered leads in the late innings.

Wakefield allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings while striking out four. Byrd also was impressive, yielding just an unearned run and six hits in six frames.

Byrd bounced back from two bad outings to start the season. The righthander, who normally has pin-point control, had walked four batters in 7 1/3 innings but did not issue one on Tuesday.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 2 5 13 1
    CLEVELAND 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 3 8 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BOS - TIM WAKEFIELD, JAVIER LOPEZ (7TH), MANNY DELCARMEN (7TH),
    DAVID AARDSMA (8TH), HIDEKI OKAJIMA (9TH) AND KEVIN CASH,
    JASON VARITEK (9TH)
    CLE - PAUL BYRD, JORG

    Apr 15 10:32 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KEVIN YOUKILIS SCORED COCO CRISP.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, 2 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 5
    CLEVELAND 3 END TOP, 9TH

    Red Sox 5, Indians 3  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 15 10:23 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Red Sox 5, Indians 3  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 15 10:23 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JASON VARITEK (3) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 9TH OFF JENSEN LEWIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 4, CLEVELAND 3
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: C CRISP (.308, 0-FOR-4)

    Red Sox 4, Indians 3  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 15 10:19 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 37 roots (Close Finish)

    Red Sox 4, Indians 3  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 15 10:19 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Red Sox 3, Indians 3  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 15 10:18 PM
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    Red Sox 3, Indians 3  Bot 8, 0 OutsApr 15 10:12 PM
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    Red Sox 3, Indians 3  Top 8, 0 OutsApr 15 9:54 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    RYAN GARKO HIT BY MANNY DELCARMEN PITCH WITH BASES LOADED
    SCORED TRAVIS HAFNER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R GARKO ON FIRST, J PERALTA ON SECOND, V
    MARTINEZ ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3
    CLEVELAND 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: A CABRERA (.188, 0-FOR-3)

    Red Sox 3, Indians 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsApr 15 9:42 PM
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    Red Sox 3, Indians 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsApr 15 9:33 PM


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    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JED LOWRIE SCORED KEVIN YOUKILIS AND JACOBY
    ELLSBURY.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J LOWRIE ON FIRST, J LUGO ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3
    CLEVELAND 2 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K CASH (.222, 0-FOR-2)

    Red Sox 3, Indians 2  Top 7, 0 OutsApr 15 9:10 PM
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    Red Sox 1, Indians 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 15 8:56 PM


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    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY VICTOR MARTINEZ SCORED CASEY BLAKE AND GRADY
    SIZEMORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, V MARTINEZ ON FIRST, T HAFNER ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    CLEVELAND 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: J PERALTA (.265, 1-FOR-2)

    Red Sox 1, Indians 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsApr 15 8:39 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JED LOWRIE SCORED JACOBY ELLSBURY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, 0 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    CLEVELAND 0 END TOP, 5TH

    Red Sox 1, Indians 0  Top 5, 0 OutsApr 15 8:26 PM
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    Red Sox vs. IndiansApr 15 6:46 AM
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    Red Sox vs. IndiansApr 14 9:36 AM