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(June 28)

Short Take:  Sox avoid Sweep.

It's hard to describe the sensation of feeling yourself about to die for a second time, but Sox Fans were all reaching for defibrilators in the ninth inning of this one.  Thursday's matinee bore an eerie resemblance to the nightmare the team put its fans through Tuesday evening.  Thankfully the Sox pulled through and our Pale Hose escape the Hump Dome with a 6-3 victory over the Twins.  It's the first time we've beaten these jerks in nine attempts!

It was damned scary.  David Wells pitched two shutout innings but had to leave the game before the start of the third inning due to back spasms.  The Sox owned a 5-0 lead, but now would need at least six big innings of relief from the bullpen.  The first bit of nervous perspiration formed on every Sox Fan's brow.  We've been down this primrose path before!

The heartache--here's a strong early effort about to slip by the boards.  The Sox torched Brad "Mr. Payroll" Radke early and often.  The pitcher who makes more in a month than most of his team does in a full year was hammered by Jeff Liefer with a solo shot bomb to start the second inning.  The Sox squeezed maximum pain from a Twinkie defensive miscue to score two more runs on an rbi triple by Mark Johnson (!) and an rbi single by Chris Singleton.  These guys aren't so tough, but who could pick up the slack and pitch all these innings?

The answer was Sean Lowe.  After walking his first batter, Lowe settled in and retired in 12 of the next 13 tiny tots from Minnesota he faced.  Awesome.

Maybe Twinkie fans ought to know what getting creamed by the likes of Joe Mays feels like.  All the hard work by their ace was for naught as no-name Lowe made Twins hitters look like the punks everyone (including themselves) knows they are.  Knocking down a bit of their confidence is long overdue--just like that long-awaited trip to the woodshed for Mr. Mays.

Gary Glover let an inherited runner score on a wild pitch in the seventh to give the Twinks their first run.  Uh-oh.  In the eighth, Bob Howry gave up a lead-off triple but avoided a major meltdown by shutting down the Babes in the Woods for just one run, the Sox lead down to three runs.  The Sox got the run back in the ninth when Royce Clayton jacked a solo shot (his only hit of the day) that doubtlessly will earn him another week's worth of starts from head case Jerry Manuel.

Stomach acid levels reached ulcer proportions when closer Keith Foulke entered for the bottom of the ninth, greeted by three consecutive hits and another Twinkie run.  DAMMIT--we're going to blow this game, too!!!

Then a funny thing happened; the Twins revealed themselves for the pigs they are.  Luis Riva struck out and Quintin McCracken grounded into a double-play on an 0-2 pitch.  The game ended leaving Twins fans to contemplate what went wrong.  Leaving town, Sox Fans only regret the Minneapolis forecast isn't for 40 inches of snow.

It's back to playing real baseball on real grass featuring flat earth and true bounces and a sky overhead that isn't the color of a baseball.  What a novel concept!

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Sean Lowe

Pitched four hitless innings in relief of starter David Wells with 4 K's, 3 walks, and just one run charged.  

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

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