Lackey, Doubront roughed up by Rangers bats

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Lackey, Doubront roughed up by Rangers bats

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
BOSTON -- After 35 career starts and a 6.04 ERA against them, John Lackey had seen the type of offensive production the Texas Rangers were capable of.

They proved it again in start number 36 on Sunday.

Lackey gave up six earned runs to the Rangers in five innings in the Red Sox 11-4 loss. His one strikeout was contrasted with eight hits and three walks.

Theres a lot of history there, and theres a lot of guys that have some pretty good numbers, Terry Francona said after the game. That doesnt mean you cant beat them, but they work you pretty good. Theyre a good team.

Lackey (12-11, 6.11 ERA) pitched against the Rangers less then two weeks ago -- a win on August 23 in Texas. Even though he had success in that game, the proximity between the two starts gave the Rangers familiarity on Sunday. Lackey threw 103 pitches and left in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and no outs.

I dont have a whole lot of tricks left, he said. You try to change sequences and theyve got a good lineup. Theyre tough and they definitely worked me, had my pitch count up quite a bit there in the sixth inning. Just got enough of some hits to get me out of there and then things didnt go real good after that. It didnt contribute to being great.

Francona turned to Felix Doubront, who was called up from Pawtucket last week, to take back control of the game. While Lackey had seen the Rangers plenty of times, Doubront had faced them just three times in his career.

In only his second appearance with the Red Sox since being recalled, Doubront gave up three earned runs off of just 19 pitches. Francona acknowledged the pressure of the situation, but he sees Doubront playing in that type of circumstance.

Thats probably what hes going to have to do, he said. He just didnt throw enough strikes. . . . I think a strength of his is coming in, establishing fastball command, able to pitch with the fastball, both sides of the plate, and he just fell behind and he hung a breaking ball.

Lackey sympathized with his young teammate.

I left three runners out there with nobody out, so Felix came in there in a tough spot, especially for a young kid, he said. And to get booed after that, for a young kid thats pretty -- hes going to do a lot good things here. I felt bad for him.

As Lackey looks ahead to the remainder of the season, his expectations and goals stay the same, regardless of whether it is September or April.

To win. Thats what they always are, he said. Damn thing doesnt change (this) time of year. Im going to go out there and compete my butt off and see what happens.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA

Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'a pitch or two from finishing the job' vs. Rays

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Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'a pitch or two from finishing the job' vs. Rays

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay Rays:

QUOTES:

"Part of that job is, when you miss, you have to miss to the extreme.'' - John Farrell on the role of eighth-inning reliever Clay Buchholz, who mislocated a fastball to Evan Longoria.

"We're putting ourselves in position to close games out and yet we've found ourselves a pitch or two from finishing the job.'' - Farrell on the team's bullpen woes.

"Fastball. I was trying to throw it up-and-away, and I pulled it, more inner-third. That's a spot where he hits the ball a long way.'' - Clay Buchholz on the game-winning homer by Longoria.

 

NOTES:

* The Rays and Sox have played 21 one-run games in the lasr four seasons and four in the last week.

* David Ortiz's sacrifice fly in the sixth was his 26th go-ahead RBI, fourth-best in the A.L.

* Xander Bogaerts collected his 500th career hit, and became the fifth Red Sox player to reach that milestone before turning 24.

* Brock Holt's double in the fifth lifted his average to .337 with two outs.

* Hanley Ramirez's home run was his first against Tampa Bay since May 21, 2011 when he was with the Marlins.

* Ramirez has 19 extra-base hits in the last 27 home games.

* Dustin Pedroia was 1-for-3 and and is now 15-for-his-last-19 at Fenway.

* The Sox dropped to 7-37 when they score three runs or fewer.

* Brad Ziegler was unavailable, suffering from the flu.

 

STARS:

1) Evan Longoria

It wouldn't be a Rays win over the Red Sox without the third baseman doing some damage. Sure enough, he smoked a tape-measure shot over everything in left in the eighth to provide the winning margin for the visitors.

2) Luke Maile

Drew Pomeranz struck him out twice, but Maile more than got revenge in the seventh with a two-run homer into the Monster Seats to tie the game.

3) Hanley Ramirez

The first baseman had a three-hit night, including a solo homer and a run-scoring single, accounting for two of the three Red Sox runs.

 

First impressions: Longoria makes Buchholz pay in Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Rays

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First impressions: Longoria makes Buchholz pay in Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Rays

BOSTON - First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay:

* There's a steep learning curve for a set-up man, as Clay Buchholz discovered.

Although he's pitched out of the bullpen for the last couple of months, most of those appearances weren't of the high leverage variety. More often than not, the Sox had a sizeable lead, or Buchholz was brought in earlier in the game. Or they were behind and he was mopping up.

But Tuesday was different. The Rays had battled back to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh, and after Matt Barnes got the final out in that inning, Buchholz came in to start the eighth.

After getting Kevin Kiermaier on a groundout to lead off the inning, Buchholz threw a four-seamer to Evan Longoria that the Tampa Bay third baseman launched toward the Charles River, clearing everything and putting the Rays up by a run.

It was a reminder that in late innings of close games, one pitch, with missed location, can really hurt.

 

* Hanley Ramirez knocked in two runs. He was sort of lucky.

In the fifth inning, Ramirez hit a twisting opposite-field fly ball down the right field line. It landed just past the Pesky Pole in right, measured at 307 feet, the shortest homer in baseball this season, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

Then, an inning later, Ramirez hit a pop fly that drifted into shallow right. Three Rays defenders converged -- first baseman, second baseman and right fielder -- and somehow the ball dropped in between all three for a run-scoring single.

Two cheap hits, two RBI.

At times, you'll see hitters mash the ball, only to have it hit right at someone for an out. Rotten luck, and all.

Tuesday night, Ramirez got to experience the flip side of that.

 

* Drew Pomeranz had an excellent outing -- until his final pitch of the night.

Through 6 2/3 innings, Pomeranz had allowed a single run on four hits while walking two and striking out eight.

He had retired 10 of the previous 11 hitters he had faced, and while he was approaching his 100th pitch, showed no evidence of tiring.

Then, Pomernaz hung a curveball to No. 9 hitter Luke Maile -- with two strikes, no less -- and Maile hit into the Monster Seats for a game-tying, two-run homer.

It was the first homer on a curveball allowed by Pomeranz in 153 innings this season, and all of a sudden, the outing wasn't so special.