55-36: Offense stalls on a windy day in Fenway

Josh Beckett (12-3) turned in a very good outing, but a second-inning hiccup ended up costing him the game, as the Red Sox struggled to score runs yet again and lost, 2-1.

Beckett went eight innings yesterday, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks. He pitched well, striking out eight, but the two-run second was the difference in this one. With two outs, Lyle Overbay and Aaron Hill reached on consecutive doubles, and then Royce Clayton scored Hill on a single to right field.

The Red Sox lineup actually outhit Toronto 11 to 8, yet we left 15 men on the bases (again). The lone Red Sox run came on a double by David Ortiz in the bottom of the 6th, when Alex Cora scored from second base on a misplayed ball in right center. Boston nearly tied it two outs later, when Eric Hinske singled to right field, and Ortiz was gunned down at the plate by Alex Rios. End of the rally, end of the inning. Third base coach Demarlo Hale had no business sending Ortiz, a slow runner with a bum knee, no less, against an arm like Rios. This is not the first incident when Hale’s judgment has been questionable. Why can’t we ever hire a decent third base coach?

Who the heck is Jesse Litsch (2-3)? I’m so sick and tired of every so-so pitcher looking like an ace against our lineup. It’s not the lack of baserunners, but the lack of clutch hitting. How much longer can this go on? When we were rolling in April and May, we were a great comeback team; but that’s no more. I don’t remember the last game we came back to win in the late innings.

Coco Crisp had two more hits from the leadoff spot, and is now hitting .286/.342/.386 from that slot, though his best production has been when he hits seventh in the order thus far.

Mike Timlin came on and pitched a scoreless ninth, lowering his season ERA to 3.86. He’s now pitched 11 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings, dating back to June 26th. That’s great news for Red Sox Nation.

Doug Mirabelli, filling in for Jason Varitek in the day game after a night game, deserves credit for calling a good game and keeping it close.


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