On Friday night, the Rays gifted the Red Sox a pitcher meltdown and a win. On Saturday night, the Red Sox returned the favor in the form of a six-run disaster from Allen Webster in a 7-0 rout.
It's about what we've come to expect from Allen Webster. He's put together a few halfway decent starts, but more runs than innings pitched is an all-too-common occurrence.
The first frame held no sign of the disaster to come, as Webster retired the side on eleven pitches, missing a couple of bats with his fastball and striking out Matt Joyce in the process. But when things go bad for Webster, they tend to go very wrong. Boston's shaky young starter hit Evan Longoria with just his second pitch of the inning, then surrendered a bullet down the right field line to James Loney that brought Longoria all the way home from first. Webster would proceed to give up a single and two walks before he could end the inning, with two runs coming in on a pair of productive outs, leaving the Sox behind 3-0.
Webster might have been able to salvage his night at that point, and another 1-2-3 inning in the third gave some hope for such an outcome. But a pair of ground ball singles and another hit batter led to a fourth run, and the fifth saw Webster put the first two batters of the inning on base, leading John Farrell to finally turn to the bullpen and Alex Wilson.
Wilson, for his part, wasn't exactly able to stem the bleeding. Both of Webster's runners were allowed to come around to score, as was Brandon Guyer, who reached base on a bunt single. By the end of the inning, the Rays were in possession of a commanding 7-0 lead.
The big difference between Saturday's game and Friday's? On Friday, the Rays fought back, scoring four runs by the end of the game. The Red Sox did no such thing against Jake Odorizzi. The young righty dominated the Red Sox for seven innings, allowing just one hit. It's an event made less surprising by the fact that Odorizzi was enjoying a strong season before allowing eight runs in four innings of work against the Orioles last time out, to say nothing of the fact that he was also facing the Boston Red Sox, who are not very good at hitting baseballs.
Really that last bit is the crux of the issue.
Adding injury to insult, the Red Sox lost Dustin Pedroia in the second inning when he took an elbow from Logan Forsythe as the Rays' infielder slid into second base. I'm sure plenty of ink will be spent on the motivations behind the play if, indeed, there were any. But putting aside any nefarious intentions, it's just one more awful event on an awful night of Red Sox baseball. Thank goodness there are relatively few left in this season.