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Sox tie record for passed balls

HOUSTON -- The Red Sox tied a major-league record on Tuesday night, but not one they will celebrate.

Catching knuckleballer Steven Wright, Ryan Lavarnway had four passed balls in the first inning, marking just the third time in league history that four passed balls occurred in the same frame.

Despite using an oversized mitt, Lavarnway struggled to stay in front of the fluttering pitches. In his first big-league start, Wright had two walks, hit one batter, gave up a hit and quickly put the Red Sox in a 3-0 hole.

He was pulled after the first inning as reliever Brandon Workman took the mound.

The last time a catcher had four passed balls in an inning was Aug. 22, 1987, when knuckleballer Charlie Hough was pitching. Before that, knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm was on the mound when it happened in 1954.