Pirates 2, Red Sox 0
BOSTON (AP)—Interleague play brought Humberto Cota to Fenway Park for the first time this week and gave him a chance to take aim at the Green Monster.
Just for fun, the Pirates catcher used one of his turns in batting practice to test his power. During the game, he put one off the wall that counted.
Cota doubled off Fenway’s famous left-field wall to break an eighth-inning tie and lead Pittsburgh to a 2-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night.
“You see the wall really close, but you can’t just get happy and go for it,” he said. “You’ve got to have a good approach.”
Cota did that, getting three hits to snap the Pirates’ five-game losing streak and give them their first victory in an AL park in more than two years.
Dave Williams and two relievers combined to stop Boston’s five-game winning streak and hand the Red Sox their first shutout since Sept. 12; Boston had been the last team in the majors to score in every game.
“That’s an impressive lineup, (No.) 1 through 9,” reliever Rick White (3-3) said after allowing one hit and in two innings. “It’s hard to shut anybody out in this game, especially those guys.”
Jose Mesa pitched the ninth to earn his 18th save of the season and the 310th of his career, tying Goose Gossage for 15th on the all-time list.
Facing the team that watched him became a rookie phenom in 1992, Tim Wakefield pitched seven shutout innings. But Alan Embree (1-4) relieved him to start the eighth and grazed leadoff batter Ryan Doumit on the arm.
Rob Mackowiak bunted the runner to second. On Jose Castillo’s grounder, third baseman Bill Mueller looked Doumit back to second and threw out the batter at first, but Doumit took off for third and beat the throw back across the diamond.
“It was a footrace between me and (shortstop Edgar) Renteria,” Doumit said. “When I was at second base, I was thinking I could be the winning run. All I had in my head was to get to third and be that much closer to scoring.”
Cota hit a high fly ball that bounced off the wall for a double, his third hit of the game. The Pirates added another run in the ninth on Doumit’s RBI single.
Embree has allowed 14 runs and 16 hits—including three homers—in his last 10 outings.
Wakefield was drafted by the Pirates as a first baseman in 1988 and he went 8-1 with a 2.15 ERA as a rookie in 1992, winning two more games in the playoffs. But he went 5-11 for Pittsburgh in ’93, spent ’94 in Triple-A and was released by the Pirates in ’95.
The Red Sox signed Wakefield that spring and he has since become the longest-tenured member of the team. He allowed seven hits, walked three, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch while striking out five.
“It is a wasted effort,” center fielder Johnny Damon said. “We came into this game on a nice high, a nice winning streak. They put us back in our place.”
Williams allowed five hits in six innings for his second consecutive no-decision.
Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez left the game with a bruised left leg after being hit by a pitch from Williams. He was hit in the third but remained until the fifth, when Kevin Youkilis pinch hit for him.
Doumit, a switch-hitter, batted righty against Wakefield. He leaned his elbow into a 1-1 pitch in the first inning and was hit, but home plate umpire Jerry Crawford ruled that he tried to get hit, so the pitch was ruled a strike. “I knew it wasn’t going to fly,” Doumit said. “I didn’t want to see that knuckleball again.” … Red Sox RHP Curt Schilling will throw a simulated game on Monday instead of batting practice. … The Red Sox signed 15 draft picks, none of them from the first six rounds, and three undrafted players. … Pittsburgh’s last win in an AL park was June 15, 2003.