Pitching struggles in latest loss

Pitching struggles in latest loss
September 8, 2012, 5:00 am
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BOSTON -- It's been a while since Felix Doubront has earned a win. July 18 to be exact.

Friday night marked Doubront's seventh consecutive start without a win, while picking up his eighth loss of the season. He allowed five runs on six hits, two walks, and two home runs in four-plus innings.

"They're a home-run hitting team, and we were trying to stay away from the home run," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine after Boston's 7-5 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.

And the home-run ball did Doubront in.

After allowing one run on a sacrifice fly in the first inning, Doubront allowed a solo home run to Edwin Encarnacion in the third inning, and a two-run shot to Moises Sierra in the fourth that put Toronto up 4-0.

The fifth run charged to Doubront came in the fifth inning, as Clayton Mortensen replaced him following a Colby Rasmus triple to lead off. Mortensen then allowed a Yunel Escobar single that scored him.

"I think his stuff's pretty good," said Valentine about Doubront. "The first run of the game there, he jammed all four hitters and he gave up a run. The two-run inning, he got the first two guys out in nine pitches. Then he just kind of lost the concentration. So I think his stuff's alright. He says his arm's fine. He's just got to bust through those middle innings there."

Mortensen settled down though, and pitched two full innings while allowing just that one hit and striking out four.

"He got a lot of swings and misses, and continued to be a good pitcher for us," said Valentine.

Essentially, the Red Sox could have tied the game at 5-5, thanks to Mauro Gomez' two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth. But reliever Daniel Bard had previously allowed a two-strike, two-out home run to Rasmus in the top of the ninth that provided that extra cushion for Toronto.

Bard got ahead of Rasmus 0-2, and then Rasmus ripped a 2-2 pitch into the seats in right field.

"Two-strike pitches at the end there and Daniel's one pitch away from getting out of that darn thing," said Valentine. "And he left a slider up."

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