Broken record: Beckett buries Sox
BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox starter Josh Beckett stood at his locker after a 10-9 loss to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday and didn't seem bothered by his recent back spasms, or the fact that many of the 37,716 fans in attendance booed him when he came out of the game.
The right-hander allowed a season-high eight runs on eight hits, including three home runs, but did not factor into the decision because his teammates bailed him out in the later innings. Prior to Wednesday's start, Beckett had gone a total of 12 games without giving up a home run. The eight runs are the most he's allowed in an outing since May 7, 2010, against the New York Yankees.
On Wednesday, Beckett was more disappointed that he's letting his teammates down in a big way this season.
"I want to pitch good and help these guys because they're battling their ass off," Beckett said.
Fortunately for the Red Sox, fellow starter Jon Lester, despite an 0-2 record in his past three starts, has pitched better and seems to have figured out what to do right to have success.
The numbers between Beckett and Lester are astonishing. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the so-called aces are a combined 4-13 with a 6.14 ERA at Fenway this season. And the Red Sox are 7-18 in the 25 games the pitchers have started at home. For the season overall, they've combined for a 5.18 ERA. Since Sept. 1, 2011, the Red Sox are just 17-35 in games started by Lester and Beckett.
Also, the Red Sox are 2-12 since June 1 in games at Fenway when Beckett or Lester had been on the mound. While it's easy to lay blame on the two because of their lack of production, their teammates are always taking on some of the responsibility.
"It's an uphill battle right now for everybody," said Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. "We're trying our butts off as a team to win ballgames. It's not two guys that make a team; it's 25 guys. Everybody needs to be onboard to win games right now, and we didn't lose today because of Josh and we didn't lose the other day because of Jon Lester. We're a team and we all got beat. We'll come out tomorrow and play as hard as we can and try to win games together."
As for the boos, Beckett didn't seem fazed.
"I can't control that," he said.
He was asked if it bothers him.
"I can't control it," Beckett answered.
Beckett was removed from his previous start due to back spasms, and then he was skipped in the rotation. Given his results Wednesday, it wouldn't be a surprise if he landed on the disabled list. However, he denied that the back is an issue.
"Nobody here is 100 percent," Beckett said. "Last time most of these guys were 100 percent, we were 16 years old; that's just the way it is. Nobody goes through a full year without having bumps and bruises. We worked hard in the last seven days to get my back [healthy] because I was locked up for a couple of days. The training staff did an unbelievable job. I felt healthy out there; the results just sucked."
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Beckett said there hasn't been talk of a trip to the DL. The pitcher and the training staff were hoping for a return to the mound this week once he was healthy enough to throw.
"We were all shooting for either yesterday or today," he said. "You plan for that, and if that doesn't happen, then you move forward. I was planning on pitching today, and if it didn't end up happening, it didn't end up happening. My back responded well."
Although he gave up eight runs -- the 11th time he's allowed eight-plus runs since joining Boston in 2006, tied for the most in the majors in that span -- Beckett's teammates took him off the hook when they tied the game at 9-9 with a four-run outburst in the bottom of the seventh inning.
"Awesome," Beckett said of the comeback. "They kept fighting back. That's kind of what we've done all year and they deserve a lot of credit, not just today, but through the course of the year. They kept battling back and played great defense behind me."
Texas scored in the top of the ninth inning when the Rangers' Adrian Beltre provided a sacrifice fly for a 10-9 win.
Clayton Mortensen took the loss after he worked three innings and allowed two runs on three hits, including a home run.
"I'm a little upset I didn't get the job done," Mortensen said. "I felt good; I just didn't execute some pitches tonight."
The Red Sox concluded their longest homestand of the season with a 4-6 record.
"We need to find a way to turn the page and have a great road trip," Pedroia said.
The Red Sox are heading out on 12-day, 10-game road trip through Cleveland, Baltimore and New York. Lester said it best when asked Tuesday about the team's frustration, especially losing at home; he referred to it as beating a dead horse.
The Red Sox believe they have the ability to produce a long winning streak, which they have not accomplished on a consistent basis at all this season. If that is to occur, Lester and Beckett need to do their share.
"It's tough," Beckett said. "It would be better if we were winning two out of every three games. These are the guys I have to come to work with every day and it's been tough on all of us."