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Monday, August 17, 2009

Winning on the road is overrated

The Red Sox concluded their weekend series in Texas yesterday with a 4-3 loss.

Boston (66-51) has now lost three series in a row and four out of five but who's counting?

Pitching hasn't been the issue lately as the Sox' starters for the most part are having decent outings. The offense is the culprit is timely hitting seems to be a foreign concept. It seems like the only way Boston scores on the road is via solo homers.

Rookie Junichi Tazawa (1-2) made his third appearance, second start, and it wasn't as good as his first start against the Tigers last week.

In five innings, he allowed four earned runs on ten hits with three walks and no strikeouts.

With the win, the Rangers (66-50) flip-flopped with the Sox and now lead the AL wild card by half a game. The season series is over and Texas won seven of the nine games between the teams. It's also troubling that the Sox' biggest competition for the wild card, Tampa Bay and Texas, own Boston this season.

Dustin Nippert (4-1) pitched well for Texas, going six strong innings. In 95 degree heat, he allowed two earned runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

After the worst outing of his career on Friday night, Rangers closer Frank Francisco bounced back with a 1-2-3 ninth yesterday for his 17th save.

David Ortiz (2 runs, 2 walks) hit his second homer of the series, a solo homer in the second which gave the Sox a 1-0 lead.

Ian Kinsler responded with a solo shot of his own in the home half of the inning. Texas went up 3-1 in the third with a Josh Hamilton (everybody's favorite recovering addict) RBI double and Kinsler's RBI single.

Recently promoted Brian Anderson cut it to 3-2 Texas with a sacrifice fly in the fourth but Taylor Teagarden hit a bomb of Tazawa to open the sixth.

Dustin Pedroia hit a solo homer in the seventh (see the theme?) but that was as close as the Red Sox would get.

Victor Martinez (2 hits) was the only Boston player with more than one hit in the game.

An off day today is followed by three in Toronto beginning tomorrow. The Blue Jays are playing the role of spoiler as usual but the Sox will have their hands full as they have to face Roy Halladay and Ricky Romero.

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