Jon Lester returned home to Fenway Park for the first time after battling cancer, but that was not the only delight Red Sox fans got to witness as Boston rallied back in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2-1 in a pitcher’s duel.
Mike Lowell homered off of Al Reyes (1-2) tying it at 1-1 and Coco Crisp drove home the game winning run on a single to right scoring Jason Varitek who got on base earlier with a ground rule double.
Eric Gagne (3-0) earned the win looking like his old-self striking out the side and only allowing one hit in the inning.
Maybe just maybe this win will boost the morale of this team as the whole team flew out of the bench to greet Varitek at home after sliding to score the game winner.
Lester pitched for 7 innings in the no-decision, giving up two hits, one earned run, one walk, and struck out four in his return to Fenway. That lone run came off a sacrifice-fly hit by Carlos Pena in the fourth inning.
Lester threw 97 pitches in the outing and 62 of them were for strikes.
Scott Kazmir also pitched well throwing for 6 innings, striking out eight, on four hits, and three walks.
Kazmir had Crisp’s number in the game striking him out two times out of the eighth spot but Crisp had the last laugh hitting home the game winning run and increasing Boston’s lead in the division to 5 games as the New York Yankees were blown out by the Baltimore Orioles 12-0 due in part to an Aubrey Huff grand slam.
Thanks in part to Mike Timlin, Boston, got a chance to win the game in the ninth as Timlin got out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth striking out B.J. Upton. Timlin relieved Manny Delcarmen who allowed the bases to get full before Timlin saved the game from breaking open to more than a 1-0 game.
Below is a video that Evan took of the game. He was at the game and videoed Jason Varitek racing home with the game winning run. Notice Kevin Youkilis going crazy!