Coming off an exciting walk-off win on Tuesday night, the Sox came in trying to build some momentum and break this early season slump, but in the first two innings it looked like more of the same out of the Sox, as Beckett gave up 4 quick runs to the rangers, digging an early hole.
The Red Sox were not about to go lying down though. Mike Lowell, getting a rare start at DH, helped his case for more playing time by taking a 3-2 fastball up and over the monster for his first home run of the season, bringing the Red Sox within 3.
The Sox threatened again in the 3rd inning, loading the bases with nobody out with J.D. Drew coming to the plate. Drew has started the season as slow as anyone, with an OPS under .500 coming into the game. But with one swing of the bat, J.D. undid all that frustration, nudging a misplaced changeup around Pesky's pole, and putting the Sox on top with another statement Grand Slam.
With the Sox up one run, the 4th inning belonged to last night's hero Darnell McDonald, who threw out Julio Borbon at home to end the top of the inning (on a fantastic block by Jason Varitek), and then hit one into the monster seats for his second home run in as many games.
The Rangers came storming back against a struggling Josh Beckett, though. Pitching a questionable 3rd inning after Mike Lowell had added on another run in the 6th, Beckett allowed a 3-run dead-center home run to Josh Hamilton to tie the game at 7.
The bullpens would engage in an impressive duel from there, with the Rangers relievers headed by an untouchable Neftali Feliz matching the 4 impressive innings contributed by Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard.
After Hideki Okajima managed a scoreless 12th, though, Dustin Nippert couldn't match it. Marco Scutaro reached with one out on a ground ball single to short, and then tagged up and moved to second on J.D. Drew's flyout, barely beating the throw in by Borbon.
The Rangers opted to walk Dustin Pedroia (who had great career numbers against Nippert) to pitch to Kevin Youkilis. Big mistake. Youkilis jumped on a 3-2 curveball, and put it off the wall in left-center for the second walkoff win in 2 games.
- Josh Beckett's bad outing puts all 3 "aces" over a 4.50 ERA. Beckett is the lowest at 4.91, Lackey is second at 5.63, and Lester stands at 8.44. Clay Buchholz' ERA is far-and-away the lowest of the rotation at 1.80, but he had 4 unearned runs in his last start thanks to Mike Cameron's dropped fly ball.
- 3 more stolen bases against Red Sox catchers. Not nearly as bad as last night, though.
- Neither David Ortiz nor Victor Martinez were called on to pinch hit, while Josh Reddick came in to play left field for Bill Hall
- Darnell McDonald, for all that he did "throw out" a runner (the throw was late, really. Varitek just made a great block), looked lost in center.
- Jonathan Papelbon's 2 innings came on 15 pitches--13 of them strikes.
- Daniel Bard, meanwhile, is on pace for 108 innings. The Sox are gonna have to be a lot more conservative with him going forward.