After ten agonizing pitches, Jonathan Papelbon eventually got Jones to ground out on a slider and end the game. The 8-7 victory, combined with the Tampa Bay Rays' 5-3 win over the New York Yankees, allowed the Red Sox to stay alive another day in the American League Wild Card hunt.
Boston went yard four times in the evening, including two homers off the bat of adorable rookie catcher Ryan Lavarnway. The Yale philosophy major who never even played a big league game before this August, nailed a three-run shot in the fourth before adding a solo shot for good measure to give his team an 8-4 lead in the eighth. The O's tried to rally late in the game, but Papelboner was having none of that.
The Red Sox will send workhorse Jon Lester to the mound on three days' rest to face Alfredo Simon in the season finale Wednesday night in an effort to punch their fourth ticket to the postseason in five years.
After making up nine games in the standings since September 4 thanks to the choking sound heard faintly from Boston, Tampa did it again with a little help from bombs by Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist. They even turned a nifty triple play. Wednesday, David Price will represent the Rays in the season finale.
So who will pop the champagne, Joe Maddon or Terry Francona? Or will we see a Game 163 at Tropicana Field this Thursday?
Also, this happened in Baltimore... What, did this dumbass decide to get undressed then change his mind halfway through before running onto the field?