Sox rally but can't overcome Beckett start

Sox rally but can't overcome Beckett start
August 8, 2012, 9:51 pm
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BOSTON Will Middlebrooks' three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh saved Josh Beckett from his 10th loss of the season.

But it was not enough to save the Red Sox from a 10-9 loss, ending the 10-game homestand with a 4-6 record, falling to 55-57 this season. The Sox are 7-12 in Becketts starts.

Beckett turned in another poor performance Wednesday afternoon, going five innings (plus two batters in the sixth), giving up eight runs on eight hits and two walks with three strikeouts and one hit batter. His ERA went up from 4.54 to 4.97.

The eight runs were a season high. The three home runs, though not a season high, were the most since giving up five homers in his first start of the season, April 7 at Detroit. Beckett had allowed just three home runs combined in his last 14 starts, and had not given up any in his last 12.

Neither starter was around for the decision. Texas left-hander Matt Harrison lasted just 4.2 innings, giving up five runs, four earned, on eight hits and three walks with three strikeouts and a home run.

Oswalt replaced Harrison, and, after retiring the first four batters he faced, faced four more without recording an out. With the by four runs in the seventh, Oswalt gave up a lead-off single to Dustin Pedroia, an RBI double to Adrian Gonzalez, and a walk to Cody Ross, before Middlebrooks three-run blast to left to tie the score, getting Beckett off the hook.

The home run was Middlebrooks 15th of season. Tuesday against the Rangers he hit the first pinch-hit home run of his career.

But in the ninth, Clayton Mortensen, who was called up earlier in the day and who replaced Beckett, opened with a walk to Elvis Andrus and a single to Josh Hamilton, before being replaced by Alfredo Aceves.

Aceves allowed a sacrifice fly to his first batter, Adrian Beltre, giving the Rangers a 10-9 lead.

Mortensen took the loss, falling to 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA.

Alexi Ogando, who came in after Oswalt, earned the win, improving to 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA. Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his 23rd save.