And so it was that Julio Lugo began a rally in the 8th inning, which was followed with a quick pair of singles from Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia. Manny chose to keep his contribution minimal, grounding out but advancing the runners.
Behind him came Mike Lowell, who spanked the ball into left center, planting it off the wall and tying up the game. And none other than Mr. Byrnes fell all over himself chasing the ball around the outfield. It was a beautiful coincidence.
After that, Jason Varitek picked a great at-bat to be 2 for 20, lofting a single to right to score the go-ahead run, and it was Papelbon time. In the ninth, Cinco Ocho got to a full count on the Porn-'stache Host, but walked him, so we got a good look at Byrnes' now clean-shaven face while he hung around first base for the rest of the inning. And lo, it would seem we have exorcised the demon.
Papelbon then struck out JD's kid brother on a nasty elevated fastball, and got Orlando Hudson to ground to third. A thoroughly vindicated Mike Lowell put the seal on the game, fielding Hudson's grounder cleanly and throwing to first, where Youkilis was back, in a last-minute substitution, waiting to catch it for the final out.