This game was lost on Thursday.
Between an hour-long rain delay, 92 pitches, and an errant throw on an attempt to double up a runner at second that left Felix Doubront apparently wincing, Terry Francona decided to pull his starter for recent call-up Fernando Cabrera from Pawtucket.
With two outs and runners at second or third, all Cabrera needed to do was record one out. Instead, he walked the next two batters to tie the game before allowing a grand slam to Bengie Molina. Just like that, a 3-2 lead became a 3-7 deficit.
Cabrera's appearance was necessitated by the long outing from the bullpen on Thursday, when Tim Wakefield gave up seven earned runs in the first three innings. Had a reliever like Scott Atchison--who has emerged as at least a serviceable long man in recent weeks--been available, holding a lead for four innings might not have been quite so impossible.
The Red Sox did manage some offense despite a strong strikeout night from the Texas staff. J.D. Drew brought the Red Sox back from an early two-run deficit with a game-tying single, Adrian Beltre jacked his fourteenth home run of the year, and Kevin Youkilis picked up three hits of his own.
Felix Doubront, for his part, once again looked good even if he didn't quite get the results. With five strikeouts in five innings, Doubront was hurt primarily by his own errant throws, and a lot of ground ball hits. He looks very much like a guy who just needs it to click a little more.
The Red Sox head into today's matchup against Cliff Lee with only the possibility of a split. Not exactly an enviable position.