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Closing Time: Felix Doubront shelled as Red Sox fall to Blue Jays

06.26.12 at 12:10 am ET
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Felix Doubront had his worst stuff of the season, with the results to show for it in a 9-6 Red Sox loss to the Blue Jays. The left-hander struck out just two batters in six innings of work during which he permitted a career-high seven runs (five earned) and 11 hits, including a pair of homers. Though his fastball still registered as high as 95 mph, his stuff appeared flat, as demonstrated by his four swings and misses.

Home runs are starting to become an issue for the 24-year-old. He’s given up at least one homer in each of his last seven starts, yielding 10 homers in 41 1/3 innings over that time.

Given that he has now thrown 85 1/3 innings — after working just 87 2/3 last year and 105 in 2010 — it seems fair to wonder whether he might be hitting a bit of a mid-season wall. In his last four starts, he has a 6.95 ERA, and he’s allowed 31 hits in his last 23 innings.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX

Daniel Nava went 0-for-5, ending his seven-game hitting streak in which he was 12-for-23 (.522) to raise his average from .295 to .339 and his OPS from .909 to .969.

Matt Albers gave up a rocket of a homer to Jose Bautista, a liner to left that seemed capable of knocking down the Monster Seats. He’s now permitted runs in four of his last eight outings. He’s also given up five homers in 30 1/3 innings this year, including one in each of the last two days.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, giving him three straight games with two punchouts.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX

David Ortiz turned on a 96 mph fastball from Henderson Alvarez and blasted it over the bullpen in right-center for his 19th homer of the year in the first, and later launched a homer to straightaway center in the bottom of the eighth against left-hander Darren Oliver for his 20th homer of the year. He now has 37 multi-homer games with the Red Sox, tied with Ted Williams for the most in franchise history.

With 20 homers in 73 games, he’s also on a pace that would translate to 44 over a 162-game season. However, if his past history of hitting for more power in the second half than the first is any indication, he could exceed even that lofty projection. In 2006, he had 22 homers through 73 games en route to his career-high 54; in 2005, he had 19 through 73 team games on his way to 47 for the year; in 2004, when he hit 41 homers, he had 18 in the first 73 Red Sox games of the year.

Dustin Pedroia went 2-for-3 with a double, and also had a lineout to right on which Jose Bautista made a diving catch. Pedroia is now 6-for-11 with two doubles and two walks in his last three games, with both vastly improved contact and results.

Ryan Kalish went 2-for-4 and also stole his first base since coming back to the majors this year. He led the 2010 Red Sox with 10 steals.

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