|Closing Time: Jonathan Papelbon, Cinco Ocho, rest of Phillies top Red Sox||05.18.12 at 9:57 pm ET|
PHILADELPHIA — Daniel Bard couldn’t keep the starting pitching good times rolling Friday night.
The Sox starter struggled with his command from the get-go in his eighth start of the season, with the end result being a 6-4 win for the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Bard (who threw 94 pitches) finished his five-inning stint allowing just three hits, but he still gave up five runs to raise his ERA to 4.85.
It marked the first time since May 10 a Red Sox starter has surrendered more than four runs.
Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels got the win, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out nine over seven innings. Jonathan Papelbon (and his alter ego, Cinco Ocho) came on to pitch a scoreless ninth for his 12th save of the season.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was ejected for the 38th time in his career, arguing a play at first in the ninth inning in which Marlon Byrd was thrown out for the inning’s second out.
Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ 21st loss of the season:
WHAT WENT WRONG
• Bard struggled to find the strike zone all night long. By the unofficial count of Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal, the Red Sox starter hit the zone with just 36 of his 94 pitches. The Sox starter would finish with five walks, marking the fourth time in eight starts Bard has walked four or more batters.
• Bard came out of the gate walking three of his first four batters. The first-inning free passes were followed by a Carlos Ruiz single, Ty Wigginton sacrifice fly and John Mayberry double, giving the Phillies a four-run frame.
• Jarrod Saltalamacchia was forced to leave the game early. Saltalamacchia exited after being hit in the left side of the head with a Bard pitch that deflected off Ruiz’ forearm. The team later identified the injury as a left ear laceration. Saltalamacchia was replaced by Kelly Shoppach, who made his presence felt in the seventh inning by throwing out Shane Victorino trying to steal.
• After the Red Sox clawed within two runs, Hunter Pence widened the margin with a solo home run in the fifth inning against Bard. It was the outfielder’s 10th homer of the season, and just the second long ball given up by Bard this season.
• David Ortiz couldn’t make his presence felt, grounding out to first with two outs in the eighth inning while serving as a pinch-hitter for reliever Matt Albers. The slugger represented the game-tying run at the time.
• Franklin Morales‘ streak of 23 games of scoreless outings on the road was snapped when Freddy Galvis took him over the left-field fence with one out in the eighth inning.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
• Adrian Gonzalez closed the gap to a run in the eighth by breaking his career-long home run drought, powering his third homer of the season off the facade of the second deck. The home run, which came against Philadelphia reliever Chad Qualls, was Gonzalez’ first home run in 109 at-bats.
• Mike Aviles continued to stay relatively hot, leading off the game with a double and then launching his sixth homer over the left-field fence for the Red Sox’ first run. The shortstop came into the game with five hits in his last 11 at-bats.
• Cody Ross brought the Red Sox back within a pair of runs with his eighth home run — and second in as many games — in the sixth inning.
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