Boston rightfielder J.D. Drew, vilified for years in Philadelphia for refusing to sign with the club when they drafted him second in 1997, and 3rd baseman Mike Lowell hit back-to-back homers, Drew’s being a 3 run shot, in the first inning off of young Kyle Kendrick. Boston added 2 more in the third inning off of Kendrick with Drew driving in 1 more in the fourth for good measure off of reliever Clay Condrey as the Red Sox held off the Phillies for a 7-4 win in their series final.
Meanwhile, with the loss, the teams beneath gained ground on the NL East first place Phils. 2nd place Florida is now 2 games behind. Atlanta and the Mets close to 5 1/2 games behind as all 3 teams won their inter-league games.
AP Sports Writer Rob Maaddi provides background on the Phillies fans’ fued with Drew as well as perspective on the two teams post-series for Yahoo sports;
Drew has been vilified in Philadelphia since refusing to sign with the Phillies after they drafted him with the second overall pick in the 1997 amateur draft. Now with his fourth different team, the rude treatment hasn’t changed. Drew even had to dodge batteries thrown from the stands the first time he came to Philly with St. Louis in 1999.
“They’re not going to forget, I know that much,” Drew said. “It’s always one of those situations where you go out there and battle and you’re going to hear things that you don’t normally hear at other parks. It makes it fun.”
After winning the opener, some Phillies talked about playing the defending champion Red Sox in the World Series. But they had a tough enough time against a depleted lineup.
Designated hitter David Ortiz (wrist) and first baseman Kevin Youkilis (back) missed the series. Left fielder Manny Ramirez sat out the final game to rest his sore hamstring and center fielder Coco Crisp left after feeling discomfort in his left hand following his first at-bat Wednesday.
Kendrick faced the first four hitters of the Red Sox lineup and let in 4 runs on Drew’s and Lowell’s back-to-back homers before notching the first out of the game.
The Phillies got a run back in their first inning against starter Justin Masterson on a two out RBI single to right by 1st baseman Ryan Howard. Kendrick seemingly settled down and retired the Red Sox in order in the second.
The Phils got runners on 1st and 2nd with one out in their second but Kendrick grounded into a first-to-shortstop (covering 2nd base) inning-ending doubleplay.
The Red Sox lead increased to 6-1 when the Red Sox loaded the bases with 2 gone in the 3rd inning and pinch-hitter Brandon Moss, batting for Crisp who left with left hand discomfort, drove in two runs with a two-out single in the third.
Meanwhile, staked to the early lead, young Justin Masterson held the lead through 5 innings only giving up the 2nd Phillies run in the fifth on pinch hitter Jayson Werth’s fielder’s choice RBI grounder. But Masterson, who was credited with his 4th win vs 1 loss, tossed 92 pitches in the process and was replaced as the Boston bullpen took over.
Clay Condrey, who relieved Kendrick to open the 4th inning, got the first hitters out. But then 2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia doubled to leftfield and Drew followed with his RBI single to rightfield to cap Boston’s scoring.
Reliever Manny Delcarmen entered and closed down the Phils with no further damage in the seventh and retired them in order in the eighth.
Closer Jon Papelbon finished up setting the Phils down in order in the ninth.
After Condrey gave up his one run in 2 innings of work, the rest of the bullpen; Chad Durbin, Rudy Seanez, J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge shut down Boston over the final four innings on 3 hits and 1 walk.
For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Wednesday’s games, click here.
After Boston, the Phillies have an open day on Thursday before inter-league play continues with 3 games against the tough L.A. Angels on Friday through Sunday. In Friday’s opener, Adam Eaton is opposed by Ervin Santana whith his 8-3 record. On Saturday, Brett Myers tries again to get his season back on track and is opposed by 3rd year lefthander Joe Saunders who sports a 10-3 mark. In Sunday’s final, ace lefthander Cole Hamels goes for his 8th win vs 4 losses and is opposed by Jered Weaver who sports a 6-7 mark.
Monday is another open date for the Phillies before they head West to play the Oakland A’s.
For the scores, boxscores and recaps on Thursday’s games, click here.