|Closing Time: More bad times for Josh Beckett, Red Sox||05.10.12 at 10:21 pm ET|
Bad just got worse … for both Josh Beckett and the Red Sox.
Thursday night at Fenway Park started with all eyes on the Sox’ starter following a controversial few days, and an hour after first pitch, morphed into a wave of boos showered down upon the Beckett. The end result for the series opener was a 8-3 loss to the Indians, dropping Bobby Valentine’s club to 12-19.
For Beckett, the 2 1/3-inning outing — in which he allowed seven runs on seven hits, allowing a pair of home runs while throwing 56 pitches. The trouble raised the righty’s ERA from 4.45 to 5.97. It also raised the Red Sox’ starters’ ERA this season to 6.01.
The start was Beckett’s first since being scratched for his scheduled May 5 start due to a strained right lat, as well as his first since questions were raised regarding the pitcher’s off-day golf outing one day after it was announced the ailment wouldn’t allow him to make his start. Prior to the game, Valentine said he wasn’t concerned about Beckett’s day on the links, saying, “I’ve never seen a pitcher get hurt playing golf.”
The sixth straight home loss for the Red Sox ties the longest home losing streak since 1994.
Here is what went wrong (and right) for the Red Sox:
WHAT WENT WRONG
- A one-out walk came back to bite Beckett in the second inning, with Shin-Soo Choo drawing a free pass and eventually coming in on Casey Kotchman’s sacrifice fly with the game’s first run. That paved the way for Jack Hannahan’s two-run homer into the right field corner, coming on an 87 mph changeup. It handed the Indians’ a 3-0 lead.
- As bad as the second inning was for Beckett, the third frame was worse. It started with a Jason Kipnis solo homer, which was followed by Choo’s RBI double. Michael Brantley then finished off the scoring in the inning with a two-run double, driving Beckett from the game in favor of Andrew Miller.
- Despite the fact every Red Sox starter had at least one hit, the hosts could do very little damage against Indians starter Derek Lowe. The former Sox hurler surrendered two runs over six innings, striking out three, walking one and inducing 12 groundouts with just one fly out. Lowe lowered his ERA to 2.47 on the season.
- With the bases loaded, with two outs in the eighth inning, and Dustin Pedroia representing the potential game-tying run at the plate, the second baseman worked a full count against Cleveland reliever Vinnie Pestano. But Pedroia ended the rally by popping up a 3-2 fastball weakly to first base.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
- In the bottom of the second inning, after the Indians claimed 3-0 lead, the Red Sox got on the board against Lowe when Mike Aviles singled in Adrian Gonzalez with two outs. Gonzalez had reached via a leadoff double.
- Dustin Pedroia launched his fifth home run of the season, leading off the home half of the seventh inning with a blast over the Red Sox’ bullpen.
- The Red Sox bullpen came through again, with the combination of Miller, Rich Hill, Scott Atchison and Franklin Morales holding the Indians scoreless until Alfredo Aceves surrendered a run in the ninth.
- Daniel Nava made his return to Fenway, and just missed his second major league home run, hitting the top of the Red Sox’ bullpen wall for a fifth-inning double.
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