“He threw the ball pretty well and he had good movement on his fastball,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “I thought he was pretty good.”
The Red Sox ace scattered just three runs on six hits over seven innings en route to his sixth loss of the season. The defeat extended his winless streak to five games dating back to Aug. 18 at Toronto.
While Boston’s bats were unable to help snap the righty’s funk, Beckett was able to accomplish one thing he’s be unable to do since early August: keep the ball in the yard. In his previous five starts, he pitched 31 1/3 innings and allowed 33 hits — 14 of which were long balls. In that stretch he allowed 26 earned runs, raising his ERA from 3.12 to 3.87 heading into Sunday’s Labor Day matinee.
Beckett’s ball looked good all day but the big righty had his moments. The ace was tagged with a pair of runs in a rough third inning when he hit Jayson Nix to begin the inning and went on to allow three hits, a walk and threw a wild pitch. Francona believes that a recent illness has hindered Beckett’s performance.
“He’s fought the last 10 days too, he’s been sick — like a lot of guys
in the clubhouse,” Francona told NESN’s Heidi Watney. “I think he feels like he doesn’t have a lot of finish
on his pitches and he’s looking for a little bit extra. I think as he
regains that strength, you’ll see him feel better about his pitches.”