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Thursday, September 3, 2009

What is going on with Josh Beckett?

As sweet as the win Tuesday night was, last night left a bitter taste in Red Sox fans' mouths since Josh Beckett continued to scuffle (at the most important time of the season).

Tampa Bay won 8-5 last night at the Trop, evening the score in this vital series that the Rays (72-60) have to win.

Beckett was down 5-1 after three innings but he struck around long enough to go six respectable innings. He gave up five runs (four earned) on seven hits with nine strikeouts.

Rays starter Matt Garza has had a forgettable season but he always seems to pick it up a notch vs. the Red Sox. He lasted 6.2 innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

One of the trademarks of Beckett not pitching well is the abundance of homers he gives up.

Carl Crawford hit a solo shot in the first. Jason Bay tied it with an RBI triple in the second. The Rays scored three times in the third: Pat Burrell (2 hits, 2 RBIs) hit a solo homer, Akinori Iwamura had an RBI single and Gregg Zaun (3 hits) scored on B.J. Upton's sacrifice.

Zaun's RBI double in the third made it 5-1 but the Red Sox slowly started to comeback. Two in the fourth on a David Ortiz groundout and a J.D. Drew RBI single cut it to 5-3.

Victor Martinez hit an RBI single in the seventh and pinch runner Joey Gathright (former Rays great) tied it in the eighth after J.P. Howell threw a wild pitch.

Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen blew it in the eighth as Burrell touched up Ramirez with a run scoring single and Evan Longoria blasted a two-run bomb on the first pitch from Delcarmen.

The rubber match tonight is between both team's promising young pitchers: Clay Buchholz vs. David Price. It's a meaningful one since a Boston win is up 2.5 games on the Rangers in the wild card and 5 on the Rays.

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