BOSTON -- Against the New York Yankees, a team that he had beaten twice in two previous starts this season, Boston Red Sox pitcher Felix Doubront had earned manager John Farrell's faith heading into the first game of what could be a pivotal three-game series.
"Over the course of Felix's career he's pitched well against New York," Farrell said before Friday's game. "We'll need him to be that same guy again tonight. We're confident with Felix going to the mound here."
Instead, a different Doubront was on the mound Friday night as the left-hander allowed a season-high seven runs (six earned) in four innings in the Red Sox's 10-3 loss to New York. The outing was Doubront's first against the Yankees that wasn't a quality start, a span of seven starts.
"I feel like today I was a little bit off with my mechanics," Doubront said. "I couldn't get the release point of the ball."
From the start of the game Doubront struggled with his command, falling behind the first three batters he faced on his way to giving up an RBI single to Yankees outfielder Alfonso Soriano that put the Red Sox behind 1-0 in the first. Things didn't get easier from there either, as the Yankees got home runs from new acquisition Mark Reynolds in the second inning and Soriano in the third to put the Red Sox in a deep hole early.
"Missed location on a few pitches. Two swings cost us five runs," Farrell explained. "The last two times out [including against Kansas City Aug. 10, when Doubront allowed three runs in four innings] it's been where he's missed up on the plate and he's had to pay for it."
Doubront also blamed bad command for his struggles.
"Mistakes. Mistakes. Pretty much mistakes on those two pitches cost me home runs and they scored," he said.
"[Soriano's] a low-ball hitter. I threw the ball right there; he won."
The two home runs were more than Doubront had allowed in his previous seven starts, a stretch that covered 42 2/3 innings. In addition, the 25-year-old's streak of 16 consecutive starts allowing three earned runs or less came to an end, tying Babe Ruth for the single-season club record against left-handers.
Despite the tough outing, Doubront said, "I got four more days to figure it out and try my next time to do better."