BOSTON – Right-hander Ryan Dempster was the tough-luck loser Wednesday night, as the Red Sox dropped the series finale to the Rays, 6-2, at Fenway Park.
He went six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and two walks with three strikeouts, falling to 4-8, with a 4.23 ERA. He gave up two runs in the first inning, including a solo home run to Desmond Jennings on a hanging splitter. After that, he settled down until giving up a run in the fifth.
“I just made a mistake to Jennings that he hit for the home run and they got a couple of balls that feel in,” Dempster said. “Just the way it goes sometimes.”
“I think once he settled down after the first four or five hitters, where a few pitches found the middle of the plate, he gave us a quality outing, kept us in the ball game,” manager John Farrell said. “The third run they manufactured with [Jose] Molina scoring from second base. “
It was the fifth consecutive start in which Dempster has recorded a quality start, and given up three or fewer runs. He is 2-3 in that stretch, tied with the Angels C.J. Wilson for the most such losses in the American League. He has allowed three or fewer runs six of his seven starts this season against division foes this season, with a 3.67 ERA, allowing a total of 17 earned runs in 41 2/3 innings.
On Wednesday, the Sox offense, though, gave Dempster just two runs of support, a recurring trend for the right-hander. This outing was the eighth time in his 15 starts this season Dempster has received two or fewer runs of support.
“Seemingly there’s a guy on each staff that might be pitching on the wrong day, and that’s probably the case with Ryan on a few occasions,” Farrell said. “That’s something completely out of his control, but yet at the same time, we’re in position to win almost every time he walks to the mound.”
For his part, Dempster is not focused on the luck of drawing starts on those kinds of days.
“I’m going to continue to go out there and work hard and try and turn it around and pitch well enough to win,” he said. “That’s the goal. We won two out of three here. That’s good. That’s what we’re trying to do every time. Sweeps are tough to do no matter who you’re playing, especially against a tame like that. So we’ll bounce back tomorrow in Detroit and try and take that game.
“I just wish we were winning more of the games that I’m starting. That’s all I care about is the day I pitch that we win and were not winning those right now. So just got to keep working hard, keep trying to make better pitches and get better every time out, and go out there and give us a chance to win.”