Same situation for Eric Gagne: a lead in the eighth inning. The same result: a blown lead for the Red Sox (70-47).
Gagne coughed up a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth as Miguel Tejada whacked a two run homerun to tie it at 3-3. Kevin Millar added insult to injury with some poetic justice of his own hitting a three-run walkoff homerun against Kyle Snyder to beat the Boston Red Sox 6-3 in 10 innings.
This time for Manager Terry Francona the way he put together the puzzle in the eighth inning seemed to make more sense by playing the percentages using Hideki Okajima to face Corey Patterson and Nick Markakis, both lefties, and then use Gagne after both lefties finished their at-bats.
On Friday, Francona elected to use Gagne against Patterson and Markakis and it failed as Gagne gave up a 5-1 lead in that inning. Although some may have kept in Okajima to finish out the entire eighth inning, Francona, used Gagne to face Tejada and he cranked his 11th homerun of the season to left center field on a 3-2 fastball that was clearly gone off of the bat.
In his second start since the disable list, Curt Schilling pitched for 6 innings, giving up five hits, one unearned run, walked none, and struck out zero in the no-decision. For Schilling this was the first time in his career he has never walked anyone and struck out anyone in the same game. To add onto that this is the second time this season Schilling has not struck out a batter in an outing. The previous one was against the Atlanta Braves.
Baltimore scored the lone run off of Schilling in the first inning on a Melvin Mora grounder to shortstop Julio Lugo that went through his legs allowing Millar to score from the backdoor.
Boston put two on the scoreboard in the third on a Manny Ramirez two-RBI double and scored again in the fourth inning on a Lugo double to left center.
The New York Yankees are only four games behind the Red Sox after beating the Cleveland Indians earlier today 5-3.
NOTES: Just for discussion purposes on this blog. Who do you guys/gals think is to blame for these two losses: Gagne or Francona or both?