Red Sox fans may have expected that last night's lengthy game would leave their pitching staff tired--particularly Ryan Dempster, who went so far as to warm up in the last innings. Not so. Instead, it was the offense that never woke up, leaving the Red Sox 6-1 losers at the end of the day.
If there was a blueprint game for Scott Diamond, this was it. The Twins' starter struck out all of two batters in his seven innings of work, but it didn't matter, because the Red Sox just never made strong contact. David Ortiz put just about the best swing on Diamond all night, extending his hitting streak to 27 games with a second inning single. Other than that, the Sox managed just two ground ball singles off of him, one of which never even left the infield.
For four innings, Ryan Dempster was up to the challenge of matching Diamond. All that would change in the fifth, however, thanks to a leadoff double by Ryan Doumit. The Twins' catcher would advance to third on a balk, meaning Dempster would need to avoid so much as a fly ball or well-placed grounder to get out of the inning unscathed. The first out would come as needed, with Will Middlebrooks sliding in foul territory to make the grab. Unfortunately, this would also be when the Red Sox made their hardest contact of the night, with David Ross trying to make the same play, resulting in a familiar knee-to-rib connection that has caused such grief in the past. Both men would leave the game shortly thereafter,
Unfortunately, the second out was not so fast in coming, with Wilkin Ramirez singling past Stephen Drew to make it 1-0 before Dempster could retire the side with strikeouts. Doumit would strike again in the seventh, making it a 2-0 lead on a solo shot. The real killer, however, came in the eighth, when bad defense from Pedro Ciriaco ended Dempster's night with two undeserved baserunners, and an ineffective Craig Breslow allowed four of his own, leaving the score at 6-0. Only a Jarrod Saltalamacchia homer in the ninth would prevent the shutout.
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