Five and a half hours, seven homers, 14 pitchers, some lead changes, two shaky starters, it all added up to 11 innings of ball, a walk-off sacrifice fly by B.J. Upton, and a tied series headed back to Boston.
That was an absorbing game, one in which managerial tit-for-tat with pitching (neither Josh Beckett nor Scott Kazmir were themselves on the mound, obviously) and it made the bullpens crucial — with Dan Wheeler throwing 3 1/3 of relief for the Rays, getting them into extras (although he gave up a run on a wild pitch) and Justin Masterson and Jonathan Papelbon keeping the Sox in it.
I imagine Sox fans cringed when they saw Mike Timlin come in to pitch the bottom of the 11th, and I had a feeling the game was going for the Rays once he put two runners on, walking Dioner Navarro (who was replaced on the base paths by Fernando Perez) and Ben Zobrist back to back. Jason Bartlett grounded to third as both runners took off, negating the double play and setting up Upton’s walk-off sacrifice.
Next game of this series is on Monday, and the Phillies and the Dodgers pick it up for Game 3 later tonight.