From D Magazine
Story Of The Game
A strike away from taking the lead in the AL Wild Card race, the Rangers watched as RHP Frank Francisco suffered a meltdown that had been unprecedented in his tenure as the club’s closer. Francisco, who resumed closing only last week, was handed a 4-2 lead going to the ninth. It was the first time he’s been asked to convert saves on consecutive days since April 27-28. Francisco, who has spent three stints on the DL this season with arm and respiratory issues, simply wasn’t up to the task.
Pitching mostly in the 90-92 mph range, Francisco allowed a leadoff double to David Ortiz. Slow-footed Jason Varitek was able to beat out a slow ground ball for an infield single. Jacoby Ellsbury lined a single up the middle to draw Boston within a run. After Francisco struck out Chris Woodward, the game got really intense. Dustin Pedroia drove a ball off the left field wall that a leaping LF David Murphy couldn’t quite reach. But he somehow fielded the ball on one bounce off the wall and fired towards home. 3B Michael Young cut it off and threw home to nail pinch runner Clay Buchholz for the second out. But with two on and two-out, 1B Victor Martinez fought off one two-strike pitch after another before doubling home the go-ahead runs with a double to right. Francisco also allowed a run-scoring single to Jason Bay and a two-run homer to J.D. Drew before being removed. It’s the first time in his career he had ever allowed more than four hits in an inning.