Where's The Relief?: Boston Bullpen Can't Hold Tie, Indians Split Series With 7-3 Win

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 4: Franklin Morales #46 of the Boston Red Sox waits to be relieved after giving up a home run in the sixth inning during a game against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park on August 4, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

In the bottom of the ninth inning, there was absolutely no chance for Jacoby Ellsbury to hit a third consecutive walk-off hit. For one, Ellsbury didn't even get a chance to bat in the ninth inning, and two, the run deficit between the Indians and Red Sox was so great that Ellsbury couldn't possibly get a walk off hit if he came to bat.

After scoring three runs through the first four innings off Cleveland starter Justin Masterson, the Sox offense couldn't overcome a horrendous performance from the bullpen in the late innings, falling to Cleveland, 7-3 in a series split. Masterson quietly remains undefeated against his former team.

Erik Bedard made his Red Sox debut this evening and did a pretty good job overall. He did have a moment where he did not cover first base on a groundout by Matt LaPorta, but other than that it was a very encouraging start tonight. Bedard only pitched five innings and gave up three earned runs on seven hits. Bedard hit 93 mph on the fastball and had a very effective curveball as he recorded five strikeouts and zero walks.

With the game tied at 3-3, Bedard was pulled in the sixth inning because of a strict pitch count and gave way to Franklin Morales out of the bullpen. After giving up a leadoff double to Travis Hafner, Morales served up an ugly pitch to Carlos Santana who promptly drilled it to center field for a two-run home run. The Indians now lead 5-3.

After two more quiet innings from the Red Sox offense, Andrew Miller entered the game in relief in the seventh inning. After getting the first two men in the inning, Miller allowed an Asdrubal Cabrera single that set up an RBI double by Hafner. 6-3, Cleveland.

With Miller still in the game, the Indians tacked on another run with a Kosuke Fukudome RBI double that drove in Cabrera from second base. The offense didn't have an answer for Cleveland pitching the rest of the night, as they fall 7-3 to Cleveland.

With the Yankees winning this evening, the two teams are now tied atop the A.L. East standings and will play each other this weekend at Fenway Park, starting tomorrow. Jon Lester will look to get the Red Sox back in the lead as he opposes Bartolo Colon from the Yankees. First pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m.

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