Closing Time: Derek Holland baffles Red Sox, leads Rangers to win
|05.03.13 at 11:20 pm ET|
For just the second time this season, the Red Sox allowed an opposing starting pitcher to make it into the eighth inning, with Texas hurler Derek Holland shutting down the Sox en route to leading the Rangers to a 7-0 win over the Sox, Friday night in Arlington, Texas.
The Red Sox have lost 14 of their last 20 games against the Rangers in Texas.
The Sox came into the game with the best OPS against left-handed starting pitchers, having won their previous six games in which the opposition sent out a southpaw starter.
Conversely, the Red Sox got a rare poor performance out of their starting pitcher, with Felix Doubront lasting just 3 2/3 innings after surrendering six runs on 12 hits. The Sox’ lefty was driven from the game thanks to a five-run fourth inning, in which Adrian Beltre’s bases-loaded double proved to be the biggest blow.
The Rangers totaled 18 hits against Sox pitching — which also included relievers Alex Wilson and Clayton Mortensen — the most given up by Red Sox hurlers this season. (The previous high came on April 23 when Oakland finished with 13 hits.)
Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ ninth loss of the season:
WHAT WENT WRONG
– Even before Doubront’s rough fourth inning, he had once again struggled with his pitch efficiency. The starter, who was coming off back-to-back outings in which he made into the seventh inning, finished 3 2/3 innings throwing 96 pitches.
– The Red Sox’ offense mounted nary a threat, getting just two runners into scoring position. The Sox’ hitters didn’t manage a single extra-base hit, while walking once. Jacoby Ellsbury managed the only multi-hit night for the visitors, notching a pair of singles. Also collecting hits for the Sox were Shane Victorino, Pedro Ciriaco, Jonny Gomes and David Ortiz.
– The Rangers made the most of their opportunities, going 6-for-11 with runners in scoring position, with Belte (4 hits) leading the way. Coming away with three-hit performances for Texas were Mitch Moreland and Ian Kinsler.
– The Sox defense finished with two errors for just the fourth time this season, with Ciriaco and Will Middlebrooks committing fielding miscues.
– Doubront should have been out of the fourth with just a 1-0 deficit when it appeared Kinsler went around on a swing, that would have ended the inning. But it was ruled the Texas’ leadoff man checked his swing, leading to hit from the second baseman and ultimately the game-changing frame for the hosts.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
– Mortensen managed to not allow a run in his fourth straight outing, this time allowing a hit and a walk in his 1 2/3-inning relief appearance.
– Ortiz extended his hit streak to 23 games. The DH has hit .451 during the stretch.
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