Andrew Miller could not escape the third inning, leaving the Sox with a big deficit they could not overcome as they started off the second half on the wrong foot with a 9-6 loss to the Rays.
While Miller had brought some excitement to the team after a few strong starts to begin his Red Sox career, in his last couple performances his stock has been falling fast.
Miller’s problems were much the same as they were against the Orioles, but this time he wasn’t about to be let off easily. The Rays worked a pair of one-out walks against Miller, and then made him pay with a first inning run. Then, in the second, it was a single, a walk, and a poor play on a sacrifice bunt by Jarrod Saltalamacchia that left the bases loaded with no outs on the board. Ben Zobrist came up, and all but put the game away, launching a grand slam to left. Miller would leave the game after loading the bases again and letting a run in in the third.
What’s most disappointing is that the Sox did manage to mount a good deal of offense, picking up a homer a piece from Darnell McDonald, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, and Marco Scutaro as they tried to claw their way back. Unfortunately, only one of them came with even just one man on, and Dan Wheeler gave up a pair of runs on a shot from Casey Kotchman to keep their efforts from ever really bringing them within easy striking distance.
The Sox will move from one uncertain pitcher to another Saturday as John Lackey takes the mound against James Shields, hoping to put the Sox into a rubber match scenario.