The Boston Red Sox fell 7-1 to the Baltimore Orioles after coming up empty with runners in scoring position as Josh Beckett and Mark Melancon combined to surrender five runs in the sixth inning.
What began as a promising start for Josh Beckett would be marred at first by just a pair of bad pitches. Each of them fastballs that seemed almost to float in to Omar Quintanilla and Mark Reynolds. The first came in the third to Quintanilla on the first pitch of the inning, the second to Reynolds on the second pitch of the inning. Each ended well over the wall in right field.
The Red Sox had enough in the tank to respond to the first homer, scoring in the fourth on hits from Cody Ross and Carl Crawford, but for the rest of the night they were woefully absent in big moments, stranding at least one baserunner in each of the first eight innings. Two were left hanging in the third as Adrian Gonzalez flew out to deep left, and two more in the sixth when Mike Aviles struck out and Danny Valencia flew out, each with a runner on third.
The worst failure would come in the seventh, when the Sox failed to score with the bases loaded and one out. By that time, however, the game was all-but-over. Facing his sixth inning of work, Beckett gave up a walk and a single, and then with one out had a chopper get by him and Mike Aviles, with Dustin Pedroia only able to put a glove on the ball much too late to record the out. Another single saw him out of the game facing a 4-1 deficit, and when Mark Melancon allowed a three-run shot with his first pitch of the game, it was all over.
After a day already marked by the nasty Jeff Passan story, the Sox played down to the tenor of the day. A disaster game for a disaster night, and an unfortunate way to honor the late Johnny Pesky.
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