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NEW YORK -- New York Yankees right-hander A.J. Burnett is sick of hearing about all the success he had against the Boston Red Sox when he was with the Toronto Blue Jays.
In fact, he thinks it's "retarded."
"I'm not in Toronto (anymore), so I'm tired of hearing about all that," said Burnett, who fell to 0-4 in eight starts against the Red Sox as a Yankee after his team lost, 11-6, on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. "That's just retarded. If anything was different I made pitches when I was with Toronto, and I didn't make pitches tonight. That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard."
Burnett (6-4, 4.37 ERA) who suffered his first loss since May 16, was tagged for a season-high eight runs -- seven earned -- on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings. In those eight starts versus Boston, the 34-year-old has surrendered 40 earned runs in 41 1/3 innings, which amounts to an 8.71 ERA.
Prior to signing a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Yankees before the 2009 season, Burnett had been 5-0 against the Red Sox with a 2.56 ERA as a Blue Jay. But ever since, it's been all downhill.
"He's struggled against them," manager Joe Girardi said. "You never know exactly the reason why. ... The one thing that I can't do is get in the mind of my players. You try as hard as you can but you can't do that. When you miss a little bit in this league, you're gonna get hit hard. That's the bottom line."
The Red Sox jumped all over Burnett early, scoring three runs off him in the top of the first inning. Designated hitter David Ortiz -- who has been the subject of controversy after his post home run antics on Tuesday night -- delivered the big blow in the frame, a lined two-run shot in the right field seats that put Boston up 3-0.
"Am I supposed to be happy about that?" Burnett said. "I'm never happy about giving up three runs in the first.
"I was able to get out of it somehow. (But) pitchers were going all over the place, (and) I was out of it mechanically."
Burnett is now winless against Boston in his last nine starts, and of the 11 times he's given up at least eight runs in his career, four have come versus the Red Sox.
"It's not what you want," Girardi said. "But the book is not closed on A.J. here and what's ahead of us. He struggled tonight but that book is not closed. It's still wide open, and he's gonna have another opportunity."Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.