Even before he took the mound Thursday night at Fenway, Josh Beckett had a target on his back. It didn't take long for the Cleveland Indians to find the bullseye.
Beckett, who found himself in the middle of a public relations nightmare following a report that he went golfing a day after he was scratched from his next scheduled start, was rocked for seven runs on seven hits in just 2 13 innings, taking the loss in an 8-3 loss by the Sox.
Beckett, 24, was booed lustily by the crowd at Fenway as he left. His ERA soared to 5.97. For the pitching staff, it marked the seventh time the Sox had allowed eight or more runs in the first 31 games.
Former Red Sox starter Derek Lowe, meanwhile, shackled the Sox for six innings, allowing two runs while recording 13 of 18 outs on the ground, thanks to his trademark sinker.
Michael Brantley led the Indians with four hits while adding two RBI. Jack Hannahan (homer) also knocked in two runs.
The Boston bullpen, called on in the third inning, contributed 6 23 innings in relief of Beckett and allowed just one run, but the Red Sox offense couldn't come up with a big when it mattered. The Sox left the bases loaded twice including the eighth inning and stranded 11 for the game.
The defeat was the sixth straight at Fenway for the Red Sox and 11th in the 15 home games this season.
More to come . . .