Rangers 11, Red Sox 4
In many ways, Friday's game was better, if only because it did not tease a sense of competition. Sunday's blowout loss, however, started slow, suggesting that the Sox might have a chance, only to come apart in sudden, violent fashion in the middle innings.
The slow start still did not exactly look good for Boston. The Sox were held scoreless through the first six innings of the game by Matt Harrison, despite having a number of decent scoring opportunities. Meanwhile, the Rangers scored in the second and third innings against John Lackey, leaving Boston down 2-0 entering the sixth.
That's when things fell apart. The first nine pitches of the frame resulted in three singles and a run for the Rangers. One walk later, and Lackey's decent start had turned into a nightmare, with three runs on the board, the bases loaded, and Felix Doubront coming in from the pen to try and turn things around. In this endeavor he would not succeed. The Rangers would have only one of their next five batters fail to reach at least first, with Josh Hamilton's triple capping off a seven-run frame that left Texas up 9-0.
The Red Sox received a few consolation runs in the seventh and eighth innings, but nothing that could change the makeup of the game, especially with Michael Bowden allowing a couple mammoth shots to Mike Napoli and Ian Kinsler in the ninth.
Three For The Road
Lackey On The Outside?
The playoffs are an interesting beast, especially when it comes to the starting rotation. The #5 is automatically out, and the #4 might well make only minimal contributions. At the moment, it's hard to imagine John Lackey starting over Erik Bedard, and who knows? If Clay Buchholz makes a comeback, he could be missing completely.
Conor Jackson's Contribution
Having left the game after two innings following a collision with the bullpen wall in right, Conor Jackson's contribution to the day is a wasted roster spot, and a rally-killing double play grounded into. The question as to why he's on the team remains...
Kevin Youkilis Rebounds
If there was one good sign to take from Sunday's game, it was Kevin Youkilis' 2-for-4 performance with a double. He'd gone hitless in his first couple of games, so to see him contributing at the plate was a definite positive.
Red Sox MVP -- David Ortiz
The man had two infield hits and one of the four RBI. In a crowd of weak claims, Ortiz at least has an interesting resume.
Up Next -- Monday, 1:05, at Toronto | Josh Beckett (12-5, 2.54 ERA) vs. Henderson Alvarez (1-2, 3.52 ERA)
The Sox will be looking for Beckett to play the stopper Monday afternoon, even though they won their last game, the Sox are 2-4 in the last six, and 1-3 over their last four. They'll have a shot to give newbie to the MLB a warm welcome, but Alvarez is perhaps not to be taken lightly, having allowed just three baserunners in his eight-inning outing against the Orioles.