Closing Time: No no-hitter for White Sox, but no win for Red Sox
|04.29.12 at 5:09 pm ET|
CHICAGO — It could have been a feat not accomplished by the Red Sox in 35 years — going undefeated on a road trip of more than six games (last accomplished by the 1977 team).
So close, yet so far away.
The Sox had to settle for a 6-1 road swing, dropping a 4-1 decision to the White Sox Sunday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field in a game where Chicago starter Gavin Floyd no-hit the visitors through 6 1/3 innings. It returns the Red Sox home at 10-11.
Taking the loss for the Red Sox was starter Josh Beckett, who pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings following a three-run first.
Here is all that went wrong (and right) for the Red Sox:
WHAT WENT WRONG
– It wasn’t until Dustin Pedroia’s one-out single in seventh that the Red Sox managed a hit, with the second baseman going opposite field to prevent the Sox from being no-hit for the first time since 1993 (Chris Bosio). Floyd would finish his 6 2/3-inning outing, giving up a run on three hits, striking out nine and walking one.
– With runners on first and third with two outs in the seventh, and the Sox trailing by a run, Nick Punto (facing reliever Addison Reed) grounded out to first base to end the threat. Punto had previously singled in his only other time at-bat with runners on first and third this season.
– Beckett got off to a slow start, allowing three first-inning runs while having to throw 22 pitches. The Sox’ starter gave up three hits, including a two-run blast to Adam Dunn. The first inning has been somewhat of an issue for Beckett this season, with the pitcher having totaled a 6.75 ERA in the frame coming into the game.
– It was the third time this season the Red Sox have struck out at least nine times in a game.
– Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine went to his bench twice for pinch-hitters in the eighth, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia hitting for Kelly Shoppach, and Darnell McDonald replacing Ryan Sweeney. Both pinch-hitters struck out, with McDonald’s punch-out ending the inning with Mike Aviles on first.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
– Beckett settled down after the first inning, only allowing three hits and no runs while striking out seven for his final 5 2/3 innings. The starter did run into trouble in the seventh, leaving the bases loaded after a 13-pitch at-bat to Brent Lillibridge that resulted in a walk. He finished throwing 126 pitches, tying a career-high (May 26, 2004).
– Scott Atchison came on for Beckett with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh and got Alex Rios to fly out to left on the at-bat’s first pitch. Since joining the Red Sox, the righty has limited hitters to two hits in 13 at-bats with the bases loaded.
– The Sox were able to break up Floyd’s perfect game in the fifth when Cody Ross drew a two-out walk.
– The Red Sox were able to drive up the pitch count on Floyd, forcing the righty to toss 90 pitches after six innings. He would be forced from the game in the seventh, having thrown 111 pitches.
– It was the birthday for both Kelly Shoppach (32) and pitching coach Bob McClure (60).
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