Beckett, Sox fall flat, 6-1

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Beckett, Sox fall flat, 6-1

BOSTON Josh Beckett continued his first-inning struggles, giving up two runs against the Blue Jays Friday night at Fenway Park.

That was all Toronto would need on its way to a 6-1 victory.

Beckett went six innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks with seven strikeouts. His record fell to 5-8 as his ERA rose from 4.44 to 4.53.

Beckett now has an ERA of 10.69 in the first inning this season, giving up a total of 19 earned runs in his 16 starts. He has also allowed an opponents batting average of .343 (23-for-67) in the first inning.

With one out in the first Colby Rasmus tripled to right field. Rasmus scored when Edwin Encarnacion, the next batter grounded to third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who attempted to throw out Rasmus at the plate. While replays appeared to show Rasmus missed the plate and catcher Kelly Shoppach tagged him, Rasmus was called safe with the Blue Jays first run. Adam Linds double to right put runners on the corners, with Encarnacion scoring on J.P. Arencibias single to left, giving Toronto a 2-0 lead.

Yunel Escobar led off the second with a double. With two-outs Anthony Gose walked and Rasmus double scored Escobar and Gose, giving Toronto a 4-0 lead.

Toronto added a run in the fifth when Encarnacion singled off Middlebrooks glove, advancing to second on Middlebrooks throwing error. Linds single drove in Encarnacion, putting Toronto ahead, 5-0.

Left-hander Aaron Laffey earned the win, improving to 2-1, with a 2.77 ERA. He went seven scoreless innings, giving up eight hits with no walks, and four strikeouts.

The Sox had runners on in every inning except the second against Laffey, but couldnt score. Their best chance came in the third when Mike Aviles led off with a single, taking second on Jacoby Ellsbury's one-out single, and advancing to third on Carl Crawfords fly out to right. But Aviles was stranded there when Dustin Pedroia flied out to right to end the inning.

The Sox squandered another opportunity in the seventh when Middlebrooks and Shoppach led off with singles. But, Mike Aviles was called out on strikes, Pedro Ciriaco grounded into a fielders choice, and Jacoby Ellsbury popped out in foul territory to end the threat.

Andrew Miller pitched a scoreless seventh. Mark Melancon pitched 1 13 innings, giving upa run on two hits and two walks with a strikeout, before Junichi Tazawa finished the ninth.

The Sox finally got on the scoreboard in the ninth. With runners on the corners and one out against Jays closer Casey Janssen Mike Aviles fielders choice scored Middlebrooks for the Sox lone run.

Pomeranz gives up three runs in Red Sox loss to Blue Jays

Pomeranz gives up three runs in Red Sox loss to Blue Jays

Starter Drew Pomeranz gives up three runs on five hits in four innings of work in the Red Sox' 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Friday.

Lou Merloni breaks down Pomeranz's start and explains why he should be in the starting rotation to begin the season.

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem to Yanks' Cashman

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem to Yanks' Cashman

The dearth of homegrown starting pitching for the Red Sox is talked about almost as much as every Tom Brady post on Instagram.

Red Sox fans may take some solace in knowing their team isn’t the only one dealing with this problem.

In an interview with MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman didn’t talk about his team’s pitching problems in context of the Red Sox. But the explanation the longtime Yanks boss offered should sound familiar. 

In the biggest of markets, time to develop properly is scarce.

“Yeah. It's a fact,” Cashman said when asked if criticism of their pitching development was fair. “I think part of the process has been certainly where we draft. Because we've had a lot of success, we've not been allowed to tank and go off the board and therefore get access to some of the high-end stuff that plays out to be impactful. Part of it is we can't get out of our own way because we don't have the patience to let guys finish off their development, because if you possess some unique ability that stands out above everybody else -- whether it was Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, now [Luis] Severino and before that [Bryan] Mitchell and Shane Greene -- we're pulling them up before their development is finished.

“Teams like Tampa Bay, for instance, they're going to wait until they have their four pitches down and their innings limits are all exceeded at the minor-league level; they're very disciplined in that approach as they finish off their starters. For us, if I'm looking at my owner and he says, ‘What's our best team we can take north?’ 

“Well, ‘We could take this guy; he's not necessarily 100 percent finished off, but we can stick him in our 'pen. He can be in the back end of our rotation, because he's better than some of the guys we already have,’ and then you cut corners, so I think that probably plays a role in it.”

Not everything is circumstantial, though -- or a deflection. 

“And sometimes we don't make the right decisions, either, when we're making draft selections and signings and stuff like that,” Cashman continued. “On top of it all, playing in New York is a lot different than playing anywhere else.”

We’ve heard that last part about Boston too, here and there.

Cashman was complimentary of his current Sox counterpart, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, whose team Cashman has compared to the Golden State Warriors.

On his feelings when he first heard the Sox were getting Chris Sale:

“When that trade was consummated, that was the first thing I thought about, which was, 'Wow, look at what they've done,' ” Cashman said. “I know how it's going to play out for them. Listen, Steve Kerr does a great job managing that team -- oh, I mean John Farrell. It's a lot of talent and with talent comes pressure to perform. I think Dave Dombrowski has done everything he possibly can to provide that city with a world championship team. They've got 162 games to show it.”