Bradford in the 8th, Timlin in the 9th

Some brief Saturday links after a relatively busy Friday night on the Boston sports scene.

The Red Sox held off the Tigers 9-8 in an ugly game over at Fenway that started an hour late due to the turf issues resulting from the pair of Rolling Stones shows earlier in the week. Tim Wakefield and the middle relief struggled though the offense came back to life upon its return home. In the Globe, Chris Snow has the game story, Marvin Pave focuses on the new bullpen combo and setup man Chad Bradford and closer Mike Timlin. In a story that must be reverberating throughout the PR conscious Sox front office, the Herald

No Worries

A grand slam from John Olerud and some clutch starting pitching from last minute replacement Bronson Arroyo powered the Red Sox to an 8-5 win over the Minnesota Twins at Fenway last night, again demonstrating that pitching, good and bad, can neutralize the impact of outside distractions.

The Globe

Sox Lose But Maintain Their Lead

Another loss for the Sox as they continue their win a few/lose a few pattern of the past month. Inconsistent starting pitching has been a large part of the problem and that was the case last night as Tim Wakefield surrendered a couple three run home runs in the sixth inning to the Major League leading White Sox and the Sox fell 8-4. The Boston Globe

Ugly Loss For Sox

Who know? Maybe it was the increased weight of his wallet, heavy with the All Star bonus he so desperately wanted. Whatever it was, Matt Clement was on the wrong side of that thin line of mechanical soundness on which he so perilously travels and the Yankees took advantage. Clement, having now given up 18 runs in his three July starts over 17 innings, only lasted 2 2/3 yesterday but his teammates, with their own baserunning and defense issues, were unable to pick him up despite great work from the bullpen.

Game stories from the Boston Herald

Sox wallop Yankees

Stories from an old-fashioned blowout at Fenway lead our posting this morning. We also have news on Scott Pioli’s contract extension, the New York sports headlines, and some more links in the blogosphere to yesterday Scott’s Shots article.

Plenty of good times at Fenway last night, as the Red Sox pounded the Yankees, 17-1 (box score).

Chris Snow writes in his game story that Trot Nixon’s son will be getting a new pair of Air Jordans, thanks to the right fielder

Ugly Loss for Sox

The Sox got beat in all phases of the game by the Orioles on Saturday afternoon with former Sox, Bruce Chen (5 appearances in

Jays Celebrate with Early Fireworks at Fenway

The Sox dove into a stretch of games against divisional rivals with a belly flop, a 15-2 spanking at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays, an unheralded team ranked twenty-fifth in salary yet with just enough pitching to hang around the wild card race at the midway point of the season. Starting pitching, relief pitching and offense were all problems for the Sox last night. In today

Red Sox win fifth straight

(Saturday links by Bryan: bryan @ bostonsportsmedia.com)

The Red Sox continued their winning ways in the City of Brotherly Love last night. We have your Red Sox links and catch up with the bloggers on an otherwise quiet Saturday morning.

Tim Wakefield blanked the Phillies for eight innings, and Manny Ramirez, David
Ortiz, and Doug Mirabelli all went deep for the Red Sox in an 8-0 victory (box
score
) that moved the Red Sox into first place in the AL East.
Gordon
Edes
, Jeff
Horrigan
, Steven
Krasner
, David
Heuschkel
, and David
Borges
deliver the game stories.

Michael
Silverman
and Dan
Shaughnessy
have columns on Terry Francona’s gracious return to
Philadelphia, a city where he made his share of enemies during a largely unsuccessful
managerial tenure (285-363 over four seasons).

Michael
Silverman
has a short article on Wakefield, who has allowed just
one run in his last three starts, a span covering 22 innings.

Borges writes that last night’s offensive performance by Boston would have
made Earl Weaver proud, as the Sox clubbed a pair of three-run
homers
.

The Sox notebooks by Krasner,
Edes
and, and Borges
lead with the story of an 84-pitch simulated start by Curt Schilling before
last night’s game. Schilling will make a rehab start for Pawtucket next Wednesday,
and Horrigan
writes that the righthander is anxious to “go and pitch.” Horrigan’s notebook
focuses on the big night – at the plate and in the field – by Ramirez, as well
as Johnny Damon’s return to the lineup.

In the Globe, Jackie
MacMullan
has a good column on the end of the eight-month tour
of the Commonwealth for the Red Sox World Series trophy, which reached its 351st
city/town in Massachusetts yesterday.

A leftover from yesterday: ProJo sports editor Art
Martone
returns to the winter of 1998, when Mo Vaughn signed with
the Angels and the Red Sox lost out on free-agent bids for Bernie Williams and
Albert Belle. Martone does this in the context of questioning the wisdom of
handing out long-term, big-money contracts, and he wonders how the Sox will
handle the cases of Johnny Damon this coming offseason, and David Ortiz in two
years. You can also hear Martone reading his column and see an amusing Vaughn
photo in Art’s
Audio Notebook
.

The Yankees weren’t Pedro Martinez’s daddies last night, as he beat them in
a Mets uniform at Yankee Stadium. See the coverage on the
New York Sports News
page.

NBA Finals and draft
Peter
May
looks back at the effort of Tim Duncan in Thursday night’s
Game 7, where the Spurs captured their third NBA title in seven years with a
win over the Pistons.

The Herald and Globe both have coverage of the upcoming NBA draft today.

Steve Bulpett
and Shira
Springer
have words from Danny Ainge, whose Celtics
are scheduled to make their first selection at No. 18. Mark
Murphy
also previews the top power forwards available for teams
in the draft.

If you missed the link earlier in the week, Jon Duke’s latest Full
Court Press
entry looks at some of the big men that the Celtics
could select with the 18th pick.

Around the web
It’s always interesting to check out the bloggers’ take on the Red
Sox and the Boston media.

The Singapore
Sox Fan
finds this quote from Pedro Martinez:

"I attract more attention from you guys and I don't understand why," he said. "To be honest, I dislike you all. I wish I could just live my
life and be a regular player like any other. ... I don't like being the icon."

Hart Brachen has a comical look – literally – at Manny Ramirez and John
Tomase
‘s follow-up column in his Soxaholix
blog. The site features a daily comic strip “set in a generic office/cube
farm inhabited by a collection of die-hard Red Sox fans who individually personify
a stereotyped and/or caricatured fan personality type.” Funny stuff.

Bill Mahoney takes a poke at Dan Shaughnessy in his parody blog, Call
of the Green Monster
.

On the air
Boston
Radio Watch
has more on WRKO becoming the new radio home of the
Boston Celtics. It notes that the station’s night signal west of Boston is poor,
and that an affiliate will need to be found.

Fox 25 and WEEI have the Red Sox-Phillies today at 1:20.

5 in a Row

The Sox continue to do what good teams need to do: destroy less talented competition. Raising their American League best home record to 21-9, the Sox overcame a sub-par start from Wade Miller with a big hit from Mark Bellhorn, a solid top half of the 9th from Keith Foulke and some clutch hits from Kevin Millar and Johnny Damon in the bottom half of the inning to win 6-5. Game stories in the local papers from the Herald

Damon’s double leads Sox past Angels

(Saturday links by Bryan – bryan @ bostonsportsmedia.com)

A two-out, bases-clearing double by Johnny Damon lifted the Sox to their second
straight dramatic win at Fenway–7-4 over the Angels. Sox stories make up most of today’s posting, but we also have a link on another potential suitor for the Celtics radio rights.

Nick Cafardo, Jeff Horrigan, Joe McDonald, Lenny Megliola, David Borges, and Paul Doyle deliver the game stories on the Sox victory (box score).

The game marked the return of Orlando Cabrera to Fenway, and the energetic shortsop was given a standing ovation by the fans in his first at-bat. Howard Bryant, Adam Kilgore, and David Borges have stories on Cabrera.

Ron Indrisano and Steve Conroy have more on the big hit by Damon.

In a subscriber-only column for the Herald this morning, Bryant writes that the last two wins for the Red Sox may be the start of a hot streak:

“While the details are always important, more important for the Sox was the feel that something big is brewing. It is a feeling that has been all to fleeting this season.”

Is it just me, or does the media really love talking about “turning points”–games or moments that somehow instantly shift a team’s “momentum” from one direction to another. Bryant doesn’t go that far, but talk has certainly been in the air the last two days that the walkoff home run by David Ortiz on Thursday meant more than just a single victory. Maybe it did; maybe it didn’t. The Sox also took back-to-back games from Oakland last month on the strength of walkoff home runs by Kevin Millar and Jason Varitek to cap a stretch of eight wins in nine games. Rather than “starting to get their swagger back,” as Ian Browne suggested, the Sox promptly lost four of their next six on the West Coast. Turning points and momentum are all fun to talk about – they make good sport talk-show fodder – but most often there is very little carry-over effect from one game to the next. I say let’s just enjoy each game on its own merits and hold off the “big-picture” talk for a while.

Speaking of the Ortiz blast, ProJo sports editor Art Martone talks about Big Papi’s penchant for delivering walkoff home runs in Art’s Audio Notebook. (You’ll need to click on the link at the bottom of the ProJo’s Red Sox page) I hope we’ll see these multimedia efforts from all the papers more often.

In their Red Sox notebooks today, McDonald and Paul Kenyon, Horrigan, and Cafardo have more on David Wells, who picked up strikeout No. 2,000 of his career last night.

Former Sox utility infielder and current Angel Lou Merloni is out for the season but was also in town last night. Horrigan and Borges have stories on Framingham Lou.

Indrisano and Conroy have words from Millar on his upcoming appearance on “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” (Tuesday night at 10:00 on Bravo).

Soccer/tennis/Celtics radio rights
Frank Dell’Apa and Gus Martins preview tonight’s Revolution-Wizards matchup. The Revs are off to their best start ever, at 6-0-3, but will be missing several key players tonight.

Bud Collins has coverage from the French Open for the Globe.

Boston Radio Watch has the news that WBZ is making a push to acquire the Celtics radio rights.

Today’s lineup
Fox 25 brodcasts the Sox and Angels at 1:00pm (1:20 start). The Revolution-Wizards tilt will be shown on Channel 56 at 7:30. TNT has Game 6 between Miami and Detroit at 8:00.