Bruins lose heartbreaker to Caps


Bruins lose heartbreaker to Caps

BOSTON -- The Bruins battled back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits on Saturday afternoon, but Capitals forward Troy Brouwer took advantage of a questionable penalty call on Benoit Pouliot in the final minutes of the third period, as he snapped a power-play shot over Tim Thomas' glove with 1:27 left in the game, leading to a 4-3 Washington win in Game 5 at the TD Garden.

The Capitals have a 3-2 series lead and a chance to close it out on Sunday back in D.C.

Mike Knuble gave the Capitals a 3-2 lead, just over three minutes into the third period, when skated hard to the net from the left wing and put home a rebound from a low Joel Ward shot that was taken at the right half-wall, with the purpose of a rebound being kicked out to Knuble. It was, and the Caps took a one-goal lead.

Not even six minutes later, Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk blasted a shot from the left point while on the power play that just got over Braden Holtby's glove to tie the game at 3-3.

Dennis Seidenberg had originally woke the Bruins up with 2:39 left in the second period, after he sniped the top-right corner with a shot from the right circle while jumping into the rush. The goal cut Washington's lead to 2-1, and gave Boston plenty of life.

So much life that Brad Marchand tied the game at 2-2 just 28 seconds after Seidenberg's goal. Marchand put himself in the dirty area and tapped home a Johnny Boychuk rebound through Holtby's five hole.

Before that, it looked as if the Capitals had completely rattled the Bruins' confidence, scoring two second-period goals on an Alex Semin rebound out front with 8:44 left in the period, and a Jay Beagle shot from the top of the left circle that hit Thomas' glove and trickled in with 5:33 remaining.

The B's battled back to tie it twice, but Brouwer's power-play goal was too much for Boston to overcome.

Weird umpire replay mistake helps Red Sox to record-tying 20 Ks


Weird umpire replay mistake helps Red Sox to record-tying 20 Ks

New York’s mistake helped the Red Sox, and they weren’t playing the Yankees.

The Red Sox struck out 20 in a game for the third time in franchise history on Thursday night, and they were able to do so only after MLB’s replay team — based in Manhattan — gave Craig Kimbrel an extra batter to strike out in the ninth inning.

A 6-2 win over the Rangers featured 16 strikeouts for Red Sox pitching heading into the top of the ninth at Fenway Park. Kimbrel came on for a non-save situation because he had five days off previously.

There’s always that outside chance for a four-strikeout inning, and it happened. Even for a four-strikeout inning, however, this was bizarre.

The first batter, lefthanded hitting Nomar Mazara, swung and missed at a back-foot breaking ball for strike 3 — a literal back-foot breaking ball, because it hit him in that foot after he whiffed on the pitch.

On a swing and a miss with a pitch that hits the batter, the ball should be dead. He should not have been able to reach first base. But the umpires didn’t catch the ball hitting Mazara, and instead saw it as a wild pitch. 

Sox manager John Farrell asked for a review and the umpires went for one, but came back empty-handed. The crew was told, erroneously, that the play could not be looked at and the batter was awarded first base.

“It was just a swinging strike three, ball that go away and he obviously reached first base,” crew chief Alfonso Marquez told pool reporter Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. “The only thing that I can tell you, and the only thing I will say is, this was a replay issue. New York will come out with a statement.”

You could say it worked out just fine. Kimbrel went on to strike out the next three, and got the Sox to 20 Ks.

Kimbrel and Tim Wakefield are the only Red Sox pitchers to fan four batters in a single inning. Wakefield did it in the ninth inning on Aug. 10, 1999. 

Kimbrel did it once before as well, when he was with the Braves on Sept. 26, 2012.

No one has struck out five in a major league inning, although Kimbrel has as good a chance as anyone.

“The guy strikes out the world,” Matt Barnes said. “It’s ridiculous. … His fastball is seemingly unhittable. Complement that with the breaking ball he’s got, which comes right off that same plane, when he’s commanding it like he is, the numbers kind of speak for themselves. It’s kind of ridiculous. It’s fun to watch.”

The Sox have struck out 20 in a nine-inning game three times since 1913. Roger Clemens' two 20-strikeout games are the other two.

Red Sox win 4th straight behind stellar outing from Pomeranz, 6-2

Red Sox win 4th straight behind stellar outing from Pomeranz, 6-2

BOSTON - Drew Pomeranz pitched six strong innings and tied his career high with 11 strikeouts to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 6-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Thursday night.

Xander Bogaerts and Deven Marrero hit their first home runs of the season helping Boston to their fourth straight win.

Pomeranz (4-3) made it as far as six innings for the third time this season and beat Texas for the first time in nine career outings.

Elvis Andrus homered and Nomar Mazara had two hits and an RBI for Texas, which has lost four of five overall and has lost 15 of 21 on the road.

Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland had RBI singles in the first inning as Boston got to Rangers pitcher Nick Martinez (1-3) early.