Josh Beckett allowed one earned run on seven hits and one walk, but it wasn’t enough as the Boston Red Sox were defeated by the Pittsburgh Pirates, 7-5, in a Spring Training contest in Bradenton, Florida on Saturday afternoon.
Boston (12-12-1) allowed four unearned runs to cross the plate in the fourth inning as a result of an error from Red Sox first baseman Nate Spears. Pittsburgh (9-14) had lost four games in a row and is 2-8 in it last ten contests, but both wins have come against the Red Sox.
The error by Spears, a two-base throwing error, allowed Neil Walker to reach at the top of the inning. Andrew McCutchen walked and Lyle Overbay hit a two-run double to left to bring both Walker and McCutchen around to score. Matt Diaz and Dusty Brown both singled and Pirates starting pitcher Kevin Correia had his second hit, this time driving in both Diaz and Brown home.
"I think if that inning would’ve probably dragged on a little bit longer, I probably would’ve ended up having to finish up in the bullpen," said Beckett, who threw 34 pitches in the fourth. "I don’t think anybody likes to have the pitches extended that much in one inning." (via MLB.com)
The Red Sox answered with three runs in the top of the fifth, as singles by Daniel Nava, Spears and Scutaro plated two runs. Walker then made an error which allowed Boston’s third run to score.
Pittsburgh added two runs in the bottom of the seventh while Boston scored one run in both the seventh and ninth innings.
Correia struck out four and gave up seven hits in five innings for Pittsburgh, which had 10 hits and one error.
Dustin Pedroia and Marco Scutaro both had two hits for the Red Sox, who had 11 hits and two errors in the loss.
Boston faces the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:05 p.m. EDT on Sunday in Fort Myers, Florida. Daisuke Matsuzaka gets the start for the Red Sox. In addition, Scott Atichison, Andrew Miller, Rich Hill and Dennys Reyes are scheduled to pitch for Boston. Kyle McClellan will start for the Cardinals.