Sox rally but can't overcome Beckett start

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Sox rally but can't overcome Beckett start

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.

Quotes, notes and stars: Pedroia was focused on winning, not streak

Quotes, notes and stars: Pedroia was focused on winning, not streak

BOSTON -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 8-3 win over the Royals:

QUOTES

“I hadn’t really thought about it. Trying to win games. It’s late in the year . . . I don’t really have time to sit back and pat myself on the back for anything. We’re trying to win as a team.” - Dustin Pedroia on the importance of the 11-for-11 stretch in his career.

“It’s fun. It’s why you go to work in December, January, February. It’s all the work you put in up to this point. It feels good to go out there and get the results you expect to get, especially against a team like [the Royals] who is hot as they are right now.” - David Price on pitching meaningful games with a playoff-like atmosphere.

“Yeah, yeah we [knew about the streak] . . .  It was an awesome roll and it was fun to see . . . Every time I went up to hit, I let Salvador Perez know.” - Xander Bogaerts on Dustin Pedroia’s 11-for-11 streak.

“I think we’ve been able to handle velocity very well. We’ve got good bat-speed in out lineup, and we’re able to handle that.” - John Farrell on the offense thriving against good pitching.

 

NOTES

* David Ortiz played in his 1,000th game at Fenway Park, becoming the fifth player to do so.

* Ortiz also became the first player ever to play 2,000 games as the designated hitter.

* Mookie Betts scored his 100th run of the season off his 29th home run of the year, joining Fred Lynn, Johnny Pesky and Ted Williams as the only players to reach 100 runs before turning 24.

* The Red Sox hit back-to-back home runs for the fourth time this season with Betts and Hanley Ramirez going yard in the fifth.

* With his 2-for-4 day at the plate, Jackie Bradley Jr. improved to 34-for-94 (.362) batting ninth.

 

STARS

1) Dustin Pedroia

Pedroia finished 4-for-5, extending his streak to 11 hits in 11 at-bats, finishing one shy of tying the MLB record.

2) David Price

Price logged his fourth straight quality start with his six-inning, two-run start. He also dropped his ERA below 4.00 for the first time since his Opening Day start with Boston.

3) Salvador Perez

Perez finished 2-for-3 with two home runs. Saturday marked only the second multi-home run game of his career.

First impressions: Price, Pedroia lead Red Sox to 8-3 win over Royals

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First impressions: Price, Pedroia lead Red Sox to 8-3 win over Royals

BOSTON -- First impressions from the Red Sox 8-3 win over the Kansas City Royals:

 

David Price has found a groove.

Price finally brought his ERA below 4.00.

He’d been about that mark since his second start of the season. Twenty-six starts later, he finally reached the mark.

Saturday’s start marked Price’s fourth-straight quality start. Price will soon eclipse the 200-strikeout, reaching 186 K’s with his seven-strikeout performance.

Although the lefty hasn’t been at his best throughout much of the year, he’s caught fire of late.

Possibly at the most important part of the season, too.

 

Dustin Pedroia just missed making history, can’t buy an out.

Boston’s second baseman entered Saturday with seven hits in his last seven at-bats. He stretched that streak to 11-for-11 with a 4-for-4 game.

He had the chance to go 12-for-12 in the eighth, but weakly grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.

He’s also the first Red Sox player with three straight four-hit games at Fenway Park since 1913.

Boston’s second baseman continues to prove that his struggles in recent years were directly related to injuries, not diminishing performance.

 

The offense passed a big test.

It might’ve appeared that Danny Duffy was a middle-of-the-road pitcher with the way Red Sox hitters tattooed him in Saturday’s win.

But the right only had one loss in 19 starts, with a 2.66 ERA (2.61 as a starter).

Between the long balls and Dustin Pedroia’s incessant ways of late, they ballooned his ERA to 3.01.

A respectable number, still, but a jump of nearly a half of a run.

 

Sandy Leon’s in a minor cold spell.

Possibly the greatest story of Boston’s 2016 offense, Leon hasn’t had too many struggles along the way.

But after finishing 0-for-4 Saturday night, he’s only 2-for-21 (.095) in his last five games.

Saturday also marked only the third time all season where he was held hitless in back-to-back games.

These things happen to everyone, but it was starting to look like Leon didn’t fall under the category of “everyone.”