I know the Sox have beaten Scott Kazmir, but probably not in a fair fight. Kazmir left with a lead in the sixth, having largely shut down the Sox for 5 2/3 innings.
There wasn't a lot of good news for the Sox, who left Kevin Youkilis on base in the first after a leadoff double, and it just didn't get much better.
The good news? Willie Harris had a single to prolong the abortive ninth inning rally. Dustin Mohr took Kazmir deep on a solo shot, and Mike Lowell looked strong at third. Tim Wakefield pitched decently, throwing three perfect innings before the deluge. Coming into tonight's action, the Sox lead the majors in wins with 11. Not too shabby.
The bad news. The Sox couldn't keep Jonny Gomes in the yard, as he clubbed two dingers, and the bullpen was atrocious as Julian Tavarez got savaged. Josh Bard allowed a passed ball with a man on third in Tampa's two-run fourth. Rene Russo wasn't back tonight, except on replay, as Jerry and Don exchanged some good-natured ribbing.
Adam Stern went down to Pawtucket and Harris came up. Stern needs to play everyday, so that's a win-win for him and the Sox. If he can become a consistent hitter, he has a chance to become a pretty good player as he showed consistent defensive skill and flair in center.
Minors. Portland lost to Harrisburg 5-3 despite a David Murphy homerun as the Sea Dogs managed only four hits. John Lester pitched four innings allowing two hits, two runs and struck out six as the Pawsox lost 8-3 to Durham. Jeff Bailey hit his fifth homer for Pawtucket.