BOSTON -- Three quarters of the outs Felix Doubront recorded Tuesday night were by strikeout.
Unfortunately for Doubront and the Red Sox, that translated into just 12 outs.
In the shortest outing of his career, Doubront fanned eight, but with 94 pitches after four innings, he was done early in a 5-3 loss to the Oakland A's (By comparison, Oakland starter Jarrod Parker 98 pitches, but lasted 6 23 innings).
"That was a little different Felix," said Bobby Valentine. "He never really had his two-seamer tonight. Tonight, he was behind virtually every hitter. He tried to battle through it without his real bread-and-butter."
High pitch counts have been an issue for Doubront in virtually all of his previous starts this season, but Tuesday night, was different, according to Valentine.
"This was not what we've seen the entire time with his pitch count," the manager said. "His pitch count was up today because he was behind in the count. Normally, we've seen him get ahead in the count and not (be able to) put the guy away. He'd be one ball, two strikes then go to 3-and-2 and get some foul balls before (he got the out) and have the pitch count accumulate.
"But today, the strike zone was a little elusive."
Part of the problem was the cold, raw weather conditions which made getting the proper grip on his two-seamer tough at times.
"I couldn't feel my grip sometimes," said Doubront. "I left a couple of balls out over the strike zone. I was behind the hitters a lot of time and it's important to throw the first two pitches in the strike zone."
Doubront was nicked for a run in the first thanks to two singles, a wild pitch and a walk.
He managed to strand Kila Ka'aihue on third following a leadoff double in the second, and retired the side in order in the third before the A's erupted for four runs in the fourth.