The Red Sox fell to the Indians 8-3 Thursday night, dropping them to 12-19 on the season.
While Josh Beckett got off to a fast start, striking out Johnny Damon on three pitches to lead off what would be a scoreless first, things fell apart for him with one out and an 0-2 count to Shin-Soo Choo. Losing the strike zone, Beckett walked Choo, gave up a double and sacrifice fly, and then saw no. 9 hitter Jack Hannahan take him deep to right field for the 3-0 lead.
The Sox would grab a run back in the bottom of the second, but by the time the top of the third was over all hope for a win was lost. Beckett would give up another home run to Travis Hafner to lead off the inning, and then allowed three more runs to come around and score before he was yanked unceremoniously from the game for Andrew Miller.
The Sox bullpen was up to the task of holding down the fort, only allowing an eighth run in the ninth inning, but the offense could not cash in on its opportunities to get back in the fight. Ryan Sweeney grounded out with the bases loaded in the fourth to squander one opportunity, and after going deep to right in the seventh, Dustin Pedroia popped out on what would have been ball four in the eighth.
Old Friends: Derek Lowe was in good shape tonight, getting twelve outs on the ground in six innings as he returned to Fenway Park. Johnny Damon was not, going 1-for-5 with his only hit a pop-up that barely made it past the mound. If the Sox had to lose tonight, I'm sure that Boston fans are glad they lost because of Lowe and not Damon.
Nick Hagadone also made an appearance, closing out the ninth in short order. He was part of the 2009 trade for Victor Martinez, going to the Indians along with Justin Masterson and Bryan Price.
Lowest Point: At 12-19, the Red Sox are now seven games below .500--the furthest from even they've been all season. It's hard to remember that, just a few short series back, they were actually gunning for a winning record.
Relief: For all the problems the pen put the Sox through early on, they've really rounded into form over the last few weeks. It's almost to the point where you'd rather have the likes of Andrew Miller starting the game in long relief rather than the current rotation.