Daisuke Matuzaka got the start Thursday night and was working with a 5 run lead for much of the night thanks to a very productive 2nd inning that started off with an Adrian Beltre and was punctuated by a 2-RBI single from Big Papi. However, Baltimore would rally in the bottom of the 6th, making it a 1-run game and chasing Matsuzaka from the mound.
Scott Atcheson came on in relief with two away and caught Nolan Riemold looking at strike three to end the threat with the tying run on 2nd. After getting a little insurance on a Mike Lowell RBI groundout in the top half, Atcheson would have a 1-2-3 seventh inning and get the first two batters out in the eights before being relieved by Okajima, who got Luke Scott on a foul pop up along the 3rd base side, retiring the one and only batter he faced.
Papelbon made it interesting in the bottom of the 9th, starting off the inning by giving up singles to Felix Pie and Matt Weiters before Corey Patterson got down a sac-bunt to put runners on 2nd and third with one away before striking out Ceasar Izturis and Josh Bell to end the ballgame, good for his 35th save of the season.
The Sox will face the (Chi)Sox this weekend, which means we apparently traded in one Johnny Damon 'reunion' for two Manny 'reunions'. Friday's scheduled starters were supposed to be John Danks (11-9; 3.65 ERA) against Clay Buccholz (15-4; 2.21 ERA), but that was rained out and will probably be made up as a doubleheader Saturday. With
NCAA Football- My my! The games that count are already here with the NCAA Football kickoff on Thursday night. Just a cursory glance of the TV listings indicated that there were some Thursday night, but I was blindsided by just how many there were when I did some channel surfing.
Presbyterian 13- Wake Forest 53
Rhode Island 0- Buffalo 31
Murray State 10- Kent State 41
SE Missouri State 10- Ball State 27
Hampton 0- Central Michigan 33
Minnesota 24- Middle Tennessee State 17
Norfolk State 0- Rutgers 31
Florida A&M 0- #13 Miami (FL) 45
Marshall 7- #2 Ohio State 45
Towson 17- Indiana 51
Southern Miss. 13- South Carolina 41
Florida Atlantic 32- Alabama-Birmingham 31
SE Louisiana 21- Tulane 27
Northern Illinois 10- Iowa State 27
#15 Pittsburgh 24- Utah 27
North Dakota 0- Idaho 45
Eastern Washington 24- Nevada 49
#14 USC 49- Hawaii 36
NFL- Pats lost to the Giants 20-17 in the final preseason game on Thursday night. They will play host to the Cincinnati Bengals for opening day at Foxboro on Sunday, September 12. Kickoff is at 1PM Eastern, 10AM Pacific.