54-34: David and Manny knock Halladay around

It was a very good start to the second half for the Red Sox, beating Toronto 7-4 at Fenway.

Roy Halladay (10-4) uncharacteristically allowed the first four batters to reach safely, and the lineup jumped all over him for four runs in the first frame. Halladay walked four men in five innings or work, and ESPN notes that’s the most he’s walked in over three years. There is definitely something wrong with the Blue Jay’s ace this season. Boston added another in the second, and that would be all Tim Wakefield (10-8) and the bullpen would need in this one.

The bullpen looked great, with consecutive scoreless innings from Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon, who notched save number 21. Okajima did struggle a little bit in the eighth, giving up 2 hits and needing 25 pitches to end it, but end it he did. This young trio could be knocking out teams 7-8-9 for years to come. Add Craig Hansen to that group, and I think you’ll see that the Red Sox bullpen has a pretty bright future.

David Ortiz, despite admitting to playing with a torn meniscus since last summer, went 3-5 with a long double and 2 RBI, and Manny Ramirez contributed two hits and 3 RBI. And you know if these guys are good, the Red Sox are good. No doubt it’s painful, but Ortiz’s injury must be relatively minor, since he did manage 54 HR off that same knee last year. He did foul a ball off that knee in the eighth inning, which looked extremely painful, but Papi says he’s okay.

Manny also threw out Frank Thomas at second (pretty easily) when he played the Fenway carom perfectly. Manny surprises a lot of people that way, and he’s now got four outfield assists on the year (and just 1 error). Don’t be fooled, he’s not a great fielder, but he’s become pretty decent at Fenway.

Vernon Wells looked particularly bad on Ortiz’s double, as he misjudged the ball while running towards the wall. He got turned around in the wrong direction, and the ball went bounding by him, a rare play for the plus defender.

Julio Lugo had two hits, going over the Mendoza line for the first time since June 20th. His average now stands at .201 on the season. Let’s hope that this is the start of something big for Lugo, who is 5 for his last 7 and 8-22 (.364) since July 3.

Joel Pineiro has been reactivated, and first baseman Jeff Bailey was sent down to the minors.


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