The battle of the Sox is set to commence in Fenway Park, as Red takes on White with both Carl Crawford and Kevin Youkilis making their returns to Fenway Park.
We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Boston.
Red Sox 5, White Sox 1, End 8th -- In an inning of great highs and, possibly, great lows, the Red Sox take a three-run lead. The good stuff comes thanks to Leyson Septimo's wildness out of the pen. Walking both Carl Crawford (!) and David Ortiz, Septimo is left facing Adrian Gonzalez with two on and nobody out. He falls behind 2-1, and offers up a high fastball. Adrian takes a big hack, and sends the ball up, back, and into the Monster seats for a big homer that was sorely needed both for Gonzalez and the Red Sox.
The low note, however, comes after contact. After rounding second, David Ortiz slowed down, and then started effectively limping home and into the dugout. The hope is a cramp, the fear is something much worse, possibly involving the knee.
The Sox would add a fifth run afterwards on a double from Cody Ross and Mike Aviles bloop single, but now all attention is turned towards Ortiz. That's a hit this team can't take.
Red Sox 1, White Sox 1, Mid 8th -- The Red Sox finally get Kevin Youkilis out, as Vicente Padilla gets him swinging for strike three and out three of the top of the eighth. The Sox will have their first real shot at the bullpen in the bottom half.
Red Sox 1, White Sox 1, End 7th -- Axelrod's night finally comes to an end on a two-out infield single by Pedro Ciriaco, but the Sox strand their shortstop at first as Leyson Septimo gets Jacoby Ellsbury to pop out.
Red Sox 1, White Sox 1, Mid 7th -- Aaron Cook allows just a one-out single, but with more of his outs coming through the air now, and his pitch count nearing 100, that may be it for him tonight.
Red Sox 1, White Sox 1, End 6th -- Boston matches the wasted double with a wall ball from Cody Ross that goes unrewarded as Jarrod Saltalamacchia lifts a weak fly ball to center field behind him for the third out.
Red Sox 1, White Sox 1, Mid 6th -- Kevin Youkilis continues to put on a show in Fenway Park, breaking up a long run of batters retired by Aaron Cook with a one-out double. Cook goes right back to work, however, sending Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko back to the dugout to end the top of the sixth.
Red Sox 1, White Sox 1, End 5th -- The Red Sox hit Axelrod hard in the fifth, but still don't get any runs across as they hit the ball straight to the defense. Mike Aviles gets things started with a line drive to left field that seems to catch Viciedo as much as he catche it. Pedro Ciriaco does find the ground in front of Viciedo for a single, but Jacoby Ellsbury strikes out and Carl Crawford hits a hard fliner to center which Alejandro De Aza doesn't even have to move to grab.
Red Sox 1, White Sox 1, Mid 5th -- Dayan Viciedo's fly ball out is an event in itself, as after two ground ball outs end the inning, Aaron Cook sits at twelve outs on the ground and two through the air. He's doing his Aaron Cook thing, and since the first couple innings the defense is doing its job as well.
Red Sox 1, White Sox 1, End 4th -- Axelrod is either dealing, or Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Cody Ross, and Will Middlebrooks are worse off than we thought in their respective slumps. The three go down on strikes in the fourth, with not a one looking particualrly comfortable at the plate.
Red Sox 1, White Sox 1, Mid 4th -- Aaron Cook has to battle with Alex Rios for nine pitches, keeping him from matching Axelrod's efficiency from the third, but with three more ground balls he enjoys his first clean frame all-the-same.
Red Sox 1, White Sox 1, End 3rd -- Though Carl Crawford puts a ball on a line to right field, it takes Dylan Axelrod just ten pitches to end the third inning. It's not the sort of start the Sox were hoping for against a rookie with an ERA over 6.00.
Red Sox 1, White Sox 1, Mid 3rd -- Kevin Youkilis adds a double to his first-inning single, knocking an Aaron Cook offering high off the Green Monster, but Adrian Gonzalez flashed some good leather for the first out of the inning, and did so again for the third, leaving the game still tied.
Red Sox 1, White Sox 1, End 2nd -- The Sox get just a two-out double from Pedro Ciriaco on a ringing line drive that is perhaps his loudest hit so far with the team. The bigger story might be the zone being utilized by home plate umpire Laz Diaz, which at the moment might involve the use of a flipped coin. Hopefully he'll find some consistency as the night goes on.
Red Sox 1, White Sox 1, Mid 2nd -- Aaron Cook is once again the victim of bad defense, but this time it's his own--throwing high to second base on a comebacker, trying to turn a double play but instead getting neither out--and doesn't end up costing him, as Mike Aviles takes care of the twin killing on the next ground ball.
Red Sox 1, White Sox 1, End 1st -- Perfectly matching the first-inning run of Kevin Youkilis is a first-inning run from Carl Crawford. Like Youkilis, Crawford got on base by singling up the middle with one out. The Sox, however, did the rest of the damage without the help of the Chicago defense, with David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez lining singles into center and right field respectively, moving Crawford first to third base, and then in for the tying tally.
White Sox 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 1st -- And, of course, Kevin Youkilis scores in his first inning back in Fenway. After receiving a standing ovation from the Fenway Faithful, with Aaron Cook stepping off the mound to give him his deserved time, the former Red Sox third baseman repays the kindness with a base hit up the middle. A ground ball moves him along to second, but with the shift on both Mike Aviles and Will Middlebrooks moved to cover second base, leaving third open for Youkilis. It would have been a largely unimportant (and unavoidable) incident had it ended there, but as Middlebrooks tried to reverse course to third, Adrian Gonzalez made an ill-advised throw behind him and into the outfield, allowing Youkilis to run home and score the first run of the game.