Game One between the Red Sox and the A’s lasted well over four hours, and when it was all over—at approximately a 2:45 am est—Red Sox fans were not going to fall asleep easily. Pedro Martinez threw 130 pitches and left with a one-run lead, and Boston was one out away of putting the game away in the ninth, but Eubiel Durazo smacked a game-tying single off of Alan Embree to force extra innings.
Derek Lowe, Boston’s Game Three starter, pitched two innings. In the bottom of the 12th, with the bases loaded and two out, Oakland catcher Ramon Hernandez pulled the rug out from everyone by laying down a bunt. The squeeze was on, and Eric Chavez—who may have saved the game in the top of the 12th when he robbed Gabe Kapler of a double—raced home from third with the winning run. Oakland takes Game One in dramatic fashion, 5-4.
It was a familiar theme for Boston: the bullpen failed. According to The Boston Globe:
Kim blew the save by striking again – literally. After walking Jermaine Dye with one out in the bottom of the ninth, he drilled Chris Singleton on the left arm with a pitch to push Eric Byrnes, running for Dye, into scoring position at second base. The Sox protested that Singleton was swinging and should have been charged with a strike, to no avail.
Kim retired the next batter, Mark Ellis, before Little summoned Alan Embree to face the lefthanded hitting Erubiel Durazo. No sooner did Kim, visibly upset either at creating the mess, being lifted or both, depart than Embree let Durazo rip a 94-mile-an-hour fastball to left-center to knock in Byrnes and force extra innings.
Martinez and Oakland starter Tim Hudson were far from brilliant, but they pitched admirably all the same. Todd Walker backed up his boasting in a rather royal way, slamming two home runs.
While this can be seen as another devastating loss for the Red Sox, Boston has rebounded from tough losses all season long. They won’t have to wait long to bounce back, as Game Two will be played later this afternoon. But after Martinez threw so many pitches, I wonder how effective he will be if he started Game Four on three days rest. Derek Lowe also pitched last night, but I don’t think that will effect his Game Three start terribly.