NEW YORK -- In the first few innings of Sunday's start, it looked like it might be a rough outing for Felix Doubront.
Doubront needed a baserunner blunder by Jacoby Ellsbury in the first to avoid a run being scored, issued a wild pitch in the second and gave up a two-run homer to Carlos Beltran in the third.
But Doubront managed to hang around for a while, getting into the seventh inning while allowing three runs on seven hits in a 3-2 loss to the New York Yankees.
"He struggled to find his rhythm early,'' said John Farrell, "but he settled in to give us (almost) seven innings of work. Early on, you might not think he's going to get that deep, but he found a way to do it, kept us in the ballgame and put up a quality outing in the end.''
Doubront's biggest regret was a changeup he threw to Beltran with Brett Gardner on first in the bottom of the third.
"I left that one up and I think he was looking for that,'' said Doubront. "Mistake. But it was a challenging game, pretty tough, but I got through it.''
"When he throws the ball over the plate,'' said catcher A.J. Pierzynski, "he's as good as anybody. [Walks] drive his pitch count up and puts him in situations he shouldn't be in. But other than that, he battled and gave us a chance to win the game. He only gave up three runs and it could have gotten a lot worse. But he gave us a chance and hopefully he learns from this and he's better in five days.''
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The Sox had themselves a big chance to tie the game or better in the eighth when they loaded the bases against Yankee reliever David Phelps.
With Ryan Roberts due against the right-handed Phelps, Farrell went with lefty Mike Carp to pinch-hit.
Phelps fell behind 2-and-0, but battled back to even the count before it ran full. On the eighth pitch of the at-bat, he got Carp swinging on a slider to end the inning.
The Sox then went quietly in the ninth against Shawn Kelley.
"He put up a very good at-bat,'' said Farrell. "An eight-pitch at-bat. It was the right call to make to put him up in that situation, particularly with the short porch in right. He put up a very good at-bat, I thought.''
"I was looking for a pitch to drive, something I could I put a good swing on,'' said Carp explaining his approach to the at-bat. "I felt I put myself in a good postion. Obviously, it didn't work out that way in the end. That's the nature of the game. He got behind, but he made some pitches.''
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In the top of the ninth, with the Sox already down an infielder with Dustin Pedroia unavailable, Carp took over at third for Roberts, marking his first major league appearance at the position. He had made one start at the position in Single A ball.