Sox pitchers struggle to gain control

Sox pitchers struggle to gain control
June 8, 2013, 7:30 pm
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BOSTON – It was a tough afternoon for Red Sox pitchers, who combined to issue eight walks, matching their season high for the sixth time. Four of those walks eventually came around to score.
 
“I think any time you walk that number of guys, we’re asking for trouble,” said manager John Farrell.
 
Left-hander Felix Doubront took the loss, falling to 4-3 with a 4.84 ERA, as the Sox fell to the Angels, 9-5. Doubront went six innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts. He left after six innings with the Sox trailing by a run. Doubront threw 97 pitches, 62 for strikes. He has not completed the seventh inning in any of his 10 starts this season. He was surprised to be taken out at that point, he said.
 
“A little bit surprised, but it’s the manager’s decision,” Doubront said. “At that moment I was feeling good though.”
 
“I though Felix did his job,” Farrell said. “He gave us a quality start. He was right shy of 100 pitches. And I thought four of those six innings he had to work fairly hard to get through it. Down a run and in the spot in the lineup where we were with Franklin [Morales] coming in, felt like it was an opportunity to get him some work in advance of a potential spot start next week and then obviously we saw what happened in the 7th inning, lost the strike zone as we got deeper into it. And that ended up being the difference in today’s game.
 
Morales, who was making just his second appearance after starting the season on the disabled list, quickly turned that into a five-run deficit. Morales faced eight batters, recording just two outs. He gave up two hits, with four walks, one intentional to Albert Pujols with a runner on second  and two outs to pitch to Mark Trumbo, whose RBI double scored the first of four Angels runs in the inning. Morales walked in two runs, walking the final three batters, throwing 10 straight balls. Of the 30 pitches he threw, just nine were strikes.
 
“I try to throw strikes,” Morales said. “I was just trying to do my job. I miss a couple of pitches. I couldn’t find the zone. I try to throw different pitches. I move on the [pitching] rubber. Things [like wildness] happen in baseball.”
 
“Benefit of the doubt for him, a number of days off in between game appearances,” Farrell said. “We put Pujols on out of respect for the way he was swinging the bat today and Trumbo just finds a hole inside the first base bag. But after that I think he tried to pitch a little bit careful and missed the strike zone.”
 
Clayton Mortensen replaced Morales, giving up a single to Erick Aybar, allowing a run to score. He went 1 2/3 innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on four hits. Andrew Miller finished the game, going a scoreless two-thirds of an inning with two walks.