37-19: Reserves fall just short in extra innings

The Red Sox were pretty ragged from a late night of baseball on Sunday followed by an all-night flight cross country. Terry Francona went with a lineup full of reserves, and expectations were pretty low, especially with Julian Tavarez facing off against the A’s Danny Haren.

Well, it turns out Tavarez pitched a solid game and the Sox were in it. They were so in it, in fact, that Francona called on Julio Lugo, Jason Varitek and Mike Lowell to pinch hit. They just missed winning this one, as an eleventh-inning shot by Eric Chavez won it for Oakland, 6-5.

David Ortiz and Wily Mo Pena both hit home runs off Haren, powering the Boston offense, but it took a two-run ninth off former Red Sox (and Yankee) Alan Embree to force a 5-5 tie after nine innings. Varitek and Pena singled home those runs after a leadoff double by Papi.

Brendan Donnelly pitched admirably in relief, but both Joel Pineiro and J.C. Romero experienced some control issues, and Kyle Snyder allowed the game-winning home run on a mediocre fastball away and at the belt.

Second baseman Mark Ellis hit for the cycle yesterday, on a day when most of the bats on both squads were pretty quiet. He tattooed Tavarez each of his first three times up, and was just in the groove.


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