wild card's a done deal. either angels, a's or texas gonna have to take the west to see playoff action.and after last night...
******************September 22, 2004RED SOX 3, ORIOLES 2Red Sox Pull Out Victory With 2 Runs in the NinthBy THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
OSTON, Sept. 21 (AP) - Mark Bellhorn's line drive headed for center field, and his teammates were in hot pursuit.
Even before Dave Roberts and Bill Mueller scored to give the Boston Red Sox a 3-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night, players were pouring out of the dugout to celebrate Bellhorn's two-out single. The victory ended a three-game losing streak that threatened Boston's dwindling chances at an American League East title.
"It's not the time of year to lose four in a row," said Manager Terry Francona, whose Red Sox were an out away from doing just that after Javy Lopez hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to put the Orioles ahead, 2-1.
Curt Schilling cruised through eight innings, striking out a season-high 14; he was going for his major-league-leading 21st victory. But given a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Millar in the eighth, Keith Foulke (4-3) gave up a two-run homer to Lopez on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth.
B. J. Ryan (3-6) walked Kevin Youkilis in the bottom half, and Mueller doubled off the left-field wall for his career-high fourth hit. Pinch-hitter David McCarty popped up to first, then Johnny Damon struck out.
Jorge Julio came on to face Bellhorn, who had struck out twice in the game. He has 161 strikeouts this year, one short of the franchise record. Bellhorn laced a pitch to center field, out of the reach of Larry Bigbie.
"Up and down, up and down; that's playoff, late-September baseball," Schilling said. "Find a way. And we did."
Boston, which leads in the A.L. wild-card race, managed to keep pace with the Yankees, who beat Toronto, 5-3, to preserve their four-and-a-half-game lead in the A.L. East. The Red Sox and the Yankees will play three times this weekend at Fenway Park.
Schilling pitched eight innings of three-hit ball, walking one and allowing just two runners to reach second base; each time he struck out the remaining batters in the inning. Rodrigo Lopez nearly matched Schilling, allowing one run and five hits, striking out seven, in seven-plus innings.
He walked the first two batters, Damon and Bellhorn, in the eighth.
"I got tired and couldn't get the ball down," Lopez said.
Jason Grimsley came in to face Manny Ramirez and got him to bounce the ball to the left side. Third baseman Melvin Mora's only play was to first, allowing the runners to advance.
David Ortiz was intentionally walked, then Ryan came in to face Millar, who lofted a short, looping fly down the right-field line, and Damon scored.
Foulke came in for the save and allowed Miguel Tejada's one-out single, then got ahead, 0-2, in the count before Lopez drove a shot over the Green Monster for his 20th homer.
The Red Sox had allowed nine or more runs in each of their previous three games. But Schilling is 7-0 after a Boston loss, and he pitched well enough to win again....the division title is still within reach,
especially with 10 or a dozen games remaining and three more sox/yanks matchups.