Boston Red Sox - PlayerWatch
LF Daniel Nava walked to lead off the bottom of the 10th inning Thursday and came around to score the winning run on pinch-hitter Mike Carp's single to left. Nava has now reached base in three straight plate appearances as a pinch hitter.
RHP John Lackey (9-6) will look to rebound from three of his shortest starts of the season when he takes the mound Friday in the opener of a three-game series against Houston. Lackey has lasted just 3 2/3, five and 5 1/3 innings in his last three starts, respectively, going 1-2 over that stretch while allowing 16 earned runs. If the Red Sox hope to stay alive in the race for the postseason, their No. 2 starter will need to resemble the pitcher who allowed only eight earned runs during a six-start stretch between May 23-June 18.
David Ortiz recorded the 1,000th extra-base hit of his career earlier this month, and just keeps on hitting doubles. Ortiz hit a two-run double Thursday, his sixth double in his last seven games, over which he is hitting .370 (10-for-27) with six RBIs.
LHP Jon Lester continued his sizzling summer Thursday, but once again left with nothing to show for it. Boston's ace allowed one run in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox and nothing else. He gave up seven hits with no walks and 12 strikeouts but failed to pick up the win for the second straight start. He allowed no earned runs over eight innings in his last outing but took another no-decision. One of two All-Star selections from the Red Sox, Lester has permitted just five earned runs over his last six starts, a span of 44 2/3 innings in which he owns a 1.01 ERA. "I had pretty good command of my fastball to both sides," Lester said. "But I think the biggest pitch for me today was I was able to drop my curveball in for strikes."
RF Shane Victorino, limited to 21 games this season with back and right hamstring injuries, began a new rehab assignment with short-season Class A Lowell on Thursday night. He struck out in both of his at-bats. Boston manager John Farrell said Victorino likely would play two games with Lowell and two with Triple-A Pawtucket prior to the All-Star break.
SS Stephen Drew is batting just .128 on the season, but the veteran sure knows how to spoil an opponent's bid at history. Drew led off the sixth inning Thursday with a walk, breaking up Chicago White Sox starter Jose Quintana's perfect game. Drew also broke up Chicago Cubs starter Jake Arrieta's no-hitter on June 30 with a two-out single in the bottom of the eighth inning.
OF Mike Carp serves his role well. Carp pinch hit and delivered the game-winning hit in the 10th inning Thursday, leading the Red Sox to their second straight walk-off win. It was the second walk-off RBI of his career, with the other coming on April 20 against the Baltimore Orioles. It also was his 11th career RBI in 62 plate appearances as a pinch hitter. Carp, who spent 33 days on the disabled list in June and July with a fractured toe, said he came close to turning his TV off while watching the Red Sox drop 21 games, including seven by a single run, during his time on the couch. "It's tough being on the DL with a boot on my foot to watch those situations happen, knowing the team's scuffling offensively and not having an opportunity to help out or contribute in any way," he said. "It's nice to be back and be helpful."