BOSTON, MA - MAY 1: Felix Doubront #61 of the Boston Red Sox walks to the mound as Kurt Suzuki #8 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates with teammates after he scored a run in the fourth inning at Fenway Park May 1, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
The weirdness stems primarily from Felix Doubront, who put on a veritable Jekyll and Hyde performance on the mound. Facing 20 batters on the night, Doubront had six of them collect hits, two of them walk, and eight of them strike out, leaving just four outs on balls in play. One moment untouchable, using a dominant changeup to earn swings-and-misses, the next unable to find the zone until he was forced to throw a get-me-over fastball, the result was unfortunately five earned runs in just four innings of work.
Jarrod Parker was rather more successful in keeping runs off the board with a little help from his defense. The Sox would threaten a few times, and bring one across in the fifth, but stranded leadoff baserunners in the fifth and seventh innings.
The Boston bullpen did manage to keep the Sox in the game in an unexpected display of...recording outs...The success of Rich Hill in particular is encouraging, with the southpaw striking out three batters after giving up a loud double to Josh Reddick.
That they were able to hold the Athletics down gave the Sox a chance in the ninth, which they almost took advantage of. A bases loaded single from Mike Aviles scored two, but Kevin Youkilis could not get ready to pinch hit for Lars Anderson, resulting in the young first baseman swinging at strike three and leaving the Sox with just one out, which Dustin Pedroia provided with a weak ground ball to second.