The Red Sox fell to the Rangers 10-9 Wednesday afternoon thanks to disaster games from both Bobby Valentine and Josh Beckett.
In a game where he had to prove himself, Josh Beckett came out and did the exact opposite. Where much of the rest of the team seems to have overcome the first-inning issues that plagued them around the trade deadline, Beckett has clearly not. A nine-pitch walk to Ian Kinsler, a bunt single, and a Josh Hamilton triple to the triangle quickly put the Sox in a 2-0 hole before an Adrian Beltre sacrifice fly made it 3-0.
The Red Sox would respond quickly, however, picking up two in the bottom of the first with a two-out rally, the runs being driven in by an Adrian Gonzalez double to right and Cody Ross single up the middle off of Ian Kinsler's glove. Ross would pick up another big hit in the third, hitting his first homer in 16 games into the Monster seats to make it three-all.
Beckett, meanwhile, had gotten through the second on six pitches, and then escaped a major jam after putting runners on the corners with no outs in the third. The fourth proved almost as quick as the second, but then came the fifth, and everything unraveled. Mitch Moreland led off the inning with a homer to dead center, Elvis Andrus singled up the middle, and Josh Hamilton made it another three-run frame by launching another shot into the right field stands to make it 6-0.
Once again, the Sox were up to the task of responding, at least well enough to keep it close. A leadoff Carl Crawford triple would lead to one run after an Adrian Gonzalez double, and with a pair of walks being enough to both chase Matt Harrison from the game and move Gonzalez to third, a passed ball from Geovany Soto let the first baseman come in to score another, making it 6-5.
Unfortunately, for some reason Bobby Valentine decided to let Beckett come back out for the sixth, and it was just more of the same. A well-hit single from David Murphy, and a big homer from Geovany Soto left the Sox back down by three without an out in the sixth to show for it. Clayton Mortensen would settle the Rangers down in the sixth, but gave up a solo shot to Geovany Soto to make it 9-5 in the seventh.
For the third time, however, the Red Sox were not ready to give up on the game just yet. Dustin Pedroia led off the inning with a ground ball single, and then quickly scored on an Adrian Gonzalez double to cut the lead back down to three. Cody Ross drew a walk, and up came Will Middlebrooks. With two men on base, just like in his pinch-hitting appearance on Tuesday, Will Middlebrooks took a big swing and provided the Red Sox with three runs, launching a high Roy Oswalt fastball over the Monster and into the Sports Authority sign for his fifteenth homer of the season.
Mortensen would provide a solid eighth for the Sox, but with the bullpen in rough straits would be called on for one too many, and ultimately that was the straw that broke the camel's back. Elvis Andrus walked, Josh Hamilton singled, and just like that the go-ahead run was at third. An Adrian Beltre fly ball off Alfredo Aceves was all they needed to take the lead 10-9. The Sox would get a double out of Cody Ross in the bottom of the inning, but could not push across the run they needed to tie the game, falling to the Rangers once again.
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