BOSTON Felix Doubront wasted little time exhibiting that this start would be unlike his previous two.
In his last two outings, both against the Marlins, in Miami on June 13 and at Fenway Park on June 20, Doubront went a combined 13 innings, giving up a total of six runs on 12 hits and one walk with 13 strikeouts. In six innings in his last start he gave up four runs.
But against the Blue Jays Monday night, he gave up that many runs in his first inning, as the Sox lost to the Blue Jays, 9-6.
Doubront threw 27 pitches, 16 for strikes, in the first inning, allowing the first four batters to reach. He opened the game giving up a single to Brett Lawrie before Colby Rasmus 14th home run of the season, on a curveball. Jose Bautista reached on a Will Middlebrooks error, scoring on Edwin Encarnacions double. He retired Kelly Johnson on a flyout to Daniel Nava in left field before Yunel Escobars single to right, scoring Encarnacion. Rajai Davis reached on a fielders choice, erasing Escobar. With Ben Francisco batting, Davis was caught stealing to end the inning.
In all Doubront went six innings, giving up a seven runs, five earned, on 11 hits, a walk, and two home runs, with two strikeouts. In 18 career starts, it was a career high in runs allowed, and the first time he has allowed double-digit hits. The two strikeouts match a career low in a start.
Doubront threw 83 pitches, 61 strikes. His record falls to 8-4 with a 4.54 ERA.
I think he was trying to throw a lot of strikes and didnt want to waste a lot of pitches and it seems like a lot of them got hit, said manager Bobby Valentine. Not that they were all hit hard thats for sure. I'd say he gave up six or seven hits that were off the end of the bat or jammed, about four of them were hit hard. It wasnt his best outing but hell improve on that.
Despite the starkly different outcomes, Doubront said he took the same approach in this game as he has in others. The difference?
Couple of bad pitches, he said. One of those days, too.
I felt pretty good but one of those days when I felt good that nothing happened. Just let it go and move forward. Looking forward to my next start.
Doubront is at 85 13 innings pitched this season, nearly at his total of 87 23 last season, when he was limited by injuries. Valentine said he doesnt see that as a factor in Doubronts performance.
I think hes fine. I think hes still building, Valentine said.