Baseball Magazine

Endured All 16 Innings

By Theomnipotentq @TheMightyQuinn
I've watched more enjoyable baseball games in my life.
Josh Beckett was simply superb in St. Pete last night, going eight innings and allowing just an Evan Longoria single in the first inning. So this season, he has pitched 17 innings at the Trop and allowed just two hits.
But Jeff Niemann was equally superb, allowing just two hits in eight innings. But the real fun didn't get started until extra innings.
The Rays bullpen walked an amazing ten Red Sox, and it wasn't until the tenth man walked that the Red Sox finally scored. They had runners on all over the place in extra innings. The 11th inning was the most infuriating. The Rays pitchers loaded the bases on walks with no outs. But Josh Reddick and Jason Varitek both struck out and Marco Scutaro fouled out. (He flung the bat down as it was happening, nearly hitting Rays catcher Kelly Shoppach as he made the play.)
As bad as the Rays pen was, the Sox pen was stellar. In eight innings they allowed just two hits while walking just one. Alfredo Aceves pitched three innings for the win. (He hit two batters in the 15th but pitched around that.)
Dustin Pedroia lined a single to right with two outs and runners on first and third with two outs in the 16th for the first and only run of the game. Pedroia had two of the Red Sox' five hits. Jonathan Papelbon got Tampa Bay 1-2-3 to end the marathon at 1:54 AM this morning.
The game set all kinds of records. It was Tampa Bay's longest game ever, and it was the longest game the Red Sox had been held scoreless in since 1916. The Sox left an incredible (and at times infuriatingly) 17 men on base, while getting just 5 hits (and 12 walks).
The Red Sox remained 1 1/2 games up, and now head to Baltimore to play three with the Orioles, and Carl Crawford will be activated for the game tonight.

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