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Wild Daisuke, Slow Francona Help Rays Overcome Patterson's Dingers

Once again, the wrong guy is out there. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Once again, the wrong guy is out there. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Eric Patterson isn't expected to do much. The Red Sox aren't expected to do much against Matt Garza. So when Patterson hits two solo shots and the Sox chase Garza after scoring four runs in three innings, you kind of have to win the game.

The Red Sox did not, however, as the Rays came back against Daisuke Matsuzaka and Ramon Ramirez to down Boston 6-5.

Daisuke was very shaky early on, but allowed only one run in a 30-pitch first inning. As has been the case with Matsuzaka this year, after the difficult start, he settled down with a few quick and scoreless innings before running into trouble again in the fifth, allowing a pair of runs partially thanks to a run-scoring passed ball by Kevin Cash. Coming back out in the sixth, the Rays put four straight runners on base before Francona came out with the hook, leading to a game-tying two run inning.

Now, unlike on Sunday when Terry Francona brought John Lackey back into the game with a high pitch count, leading the Orioles to blow the game open, Daisuke Matsuzaka came back in with only 90 pitches. Still, when Daisuke had already allowed a pair of runs in the fifth, he was allowed way too much of a leash. The leadoff double probably should have been enough.

Dustin Richardson held the tie for two outs before being replaced by Ramon Ramirez, who recorded the final out in the sixth after walking Evan Longoria. The seventh inning wasn't nearly as successful, as two straight singles led to a game-winning sacrifice fly by Jason Bartlett.

This was a game the Sox were supposed to lose in a lot of ways. But after scoring four in the third inning, there's no excuse for letting it slip away. Daisuke was his usual disappointing self, the bullpen gave up a winning run, and Terry Francona spent was once again slow with his trigger finger--though given the quality of who he has to turn to, can you really blame him?