Postgame, Orioles 5-2: Josh Beckett left the Red Sox' clubhouse in Camden Yards without speaking with reporters. Either he is upset at some critical stories written about him of late, or the frustration in general is just bubbling over.
Beckett was actually one of the few bright spots Tuesday night. His defense failed him when Marco Scutaro committed a costly error in the third. The offense wasted a handful of scoring chances. Felix Doubront emerged from the bullpen to give up a pair of solo homers in the eighth.
It all added up to another difficult loss in Camden Yards, where Boston was 67-28 over the previous 11 seasons but is just 2-5 in 2010.
Jon Lester, who is 12-0 lifetime vs. Baltimore, will look to get the Sox back in the win column Wednesday night opposite rookie Jake Arrieta. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.
Before the game begins look for word on all of those who are added to the expanded Red Sox roster.
Final, Orioles 5-2: The Red Sox' offense remains stagnant as the club falls to 6-7 against the lowly Orioles on another frustrating night. August ends with three straight losses and a sense that all may soon be lost.
Boston has been held to either two or three runs in five straight games. Just too many holes in the lineup right now.
Back soon to wrap it all up for you.
End 8th, Orioles 5-2: Felix Doubront had given up two home runs in 124 innings between the minors and majors this season entering the eighth inning. Naturally, both Luke Scott and Felix Pie take him deep.
The Yankees are about to win and the Rays are about to lose. Barring a rally by Boston the margin will be eight to New York and seven to Tampa Bay with 30 games to play.
Mid 8th, Orioles 3-2: At least nobody was left in scoring position. The Red Sox get a leadoff single and have the meat of the order up but fail to move the runner along.
Felix Doubront will take over for Josh Beckett to start the bottom half.
9:39 p.m.: David Ortiz is now 0-for-4 against Mike Gonzalez after lining to left for the first out of the eight. Buck Showalter is going to the pen again. Koji Uehara and his awesome sideburns are on the mound.
9:35 p.m.: Jim Johnson gets a big out to end the top of the seventh but faces just one man in the eighth, Victor Martinez, and gives up a single. Lefty Mike Gonzalez is coming on to face David Ortiz.
Ortiz is 0-for-3 with two strikeouts against Gonzalez.
End 7th, Orioles 3-2: Josh Beckett has his second seven-pitch, 1-2-3 inning to get through the seventh in no time. He deserves a better fate than this, if indeed his night is over after 106 pitches.
Not only did the third Orioles run come in on an error but Beckett's offense has failed to deliver. The Sox are in danger of being held to three runs or less for the fifth straight game.
Mid 7th, Orioles 3-2: The Red Sox have stranded three runners in scoring position and four overall in the last two innings alone. Daniel Nava, hitting for Darnell McDonald, strikes out looking with men on second and third to finish the top of the seventh.
Nava and Jim Johnson had a nine-pitch duel. The last delivery was the first curveball of the at-bat, a pretty nasty offering from Johnson that caught the outside corner.
Nava will go to left. Ryan Kalish, who ran for Jed Lowrie, goes to center. And Bill Hall moves from left to second.
Boston gets a tiny bit better defensively but it stinks to see Lowrie's bat go. He had the two-run homer in the fifth and singled in the seventh.
9:08 p.m.: Brian Matusz comes back out to start the seventh and face J.D. Drew, whom he had owned. Matusz throws four straight balls and that will do it for him. Jim Johnson is on in relief.
End 6th, Orioles 3-2: Not a bad outing for Josh Beckett. He has avoided the big inning, which has been an issue of late. The one worry is that many of those big innings came late in his starts. He will take a pitch count of 98 out for the seventh, hoping to put up one more zero.
Mid 6th, Orioles 3-2: A single, a passed ball and a single would lead to a run in most cases. For the Sox in the sixth it results in runners on the corners with two outs, which becomes three when Mike Lowell watches a fastball at the knees go by for strike three.
In case you aren't able to scoreboard watch from where you are, the Yankees are rolling over Oakland at home, 9-2, and the Rays are losing 11-3 to Toronto.
If all the scores hold up New York will be up eight games on Boston while Tampa Bay would remain seven ahead. Unfortunately, the Sox have six head-to-heads with the Yanks and only three with the Rays so keeping the Pinstripers close is a bit more pressing.
End 5th, Orioles 3-2: Luke Scott has made life miserable for Josh Beckett, going 9-for-19 with five RBIs and five walks entering their encounter in the fifth.
With a man on first and two outs Beckett wins a seven-pitch battle with Scott by recording his third strikeout of the game.
Mid 5th, Orioles 3-2: Jed Lowrie cuts the Orioles' lead to one run with a two-run shot to left, his fourth of the season. In his limited and sporadic play, one thing Lowrie has shown is an ability to get extra-base hits.
Half of Lowrie's 22 hits this season have been for extra bases. He has seven doubles to go along with the four dingers.
The 26-year-old Lowrie also has a very impressive 13 walks against 11 strikeouts. While he's been shaky at times at a position he has played very little of, Lowrie has been very productive at the dish. Do not be surprised if he gives Marco Scutaro a good run for the starting shortstop job in spring training next year.
End 4th, Orioles 3-0: Josh Beckett has an every-other-inning kind of thing going on right now. The odd innings have been ugly. The evens are quick and pain-free. He sets down the O's on just seven pitches in the fourth.
Mid 4th, Orioles 3-0: Just doesn't look like the Red Sox are going to get anything done until Brian Matusz is out of the game. With his pitch count at 57 that won't be happening anytime soon.
End 3rd, Orioles 3-0: Ugh. Marco Scutaro's throwing issues crop up again, but this time it was in his head. Scutaro throws too late and wild to second on a ball he probably should've just eaten, allowing a second run to come in.
One run already was in on the play. Luke Scott, who drew a walk from Josh Beckett, came home from second on the errant throw. The second run is unearned.
Scutaro is now tied for second in the AL in errors for a shortstop with 17.
Mid 3rd, Orioles 1-0: A Bill Hall double with one out leads to nothing. The Red Sox' offense has produced a total of 10 runs in its last 39 innings. The club hasn't scored on Brian Matusz in 13 2/3 frames.
End 2nd, Orioles 1-0: Theo Epstein told reporters in Baltimore before the game that he does not expect any more moves before Tuesday night's deadline but he has also not given up on the season.
When asked if and when the club will begin to look toward 2011 and essentially give up on 2010, Epstein said this: "That's a tough question. It's kind of like the Supreme Court said about
pornography: 'You'll know it when you see it.' Right now, we're not eliminated.
We're trying to get really hot."
The unfortunate thing is, Epstein said the same thing at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The part about trying to get hot, not the pornography thing. It has to happen very soon or else we can start looking toward March.
Mid 2nd, Orioles 1-0: J.D. Drew is now 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his career against Brian Matusz and is batting .190 (24-for-126) with 42 strikeouts against lefties this year after he watches a pretty breaking ball go by for strike three.
End 1st, Orioles 1-0: You had to hope that the Red Sox would get off to a good start to try to put the sting of the Tampa Bay series behind them. But some flat Josh Beckett fastballs prevent that from happening.
Nick Markakis doubles and Luke Scott drives him in with a broken-bat base hit to right. Beckett also allowed an infield single to Ty Wigginton on a play that further illustrated Marco Scutaro's reluctance to really wing it.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Brian Matusz has now thrown 11 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings against the Red Sox over portions of three starts after surviving a two-out single by Victor Martinez. He is not overpowering but very precise and Boston has yet to really figure him out.
Matusz did have to throw 23 pitches as both Martinez and David Ortiz worked him over pretty good. Ortiz struck out swinging to end it.
Here is the lineup that Josh Beckett will begin to tackle in just a few minutes.
Brian Roberts, 2B
Nick Markakis, RF
Ty Wigginton, 1B
Luke Scott, DH
Adam Jones, CF
Felix Pie, LF
Matt Wieters, C
Cesar Izturis, SS
Josh Bell, 3B
6:29 p.m.: We were awaiting word on who would replace Manny Delcarmen in the bullpen for Tuesday's game. Now we have our answer. Robert Manuel has been recalled from Pawtucket for the third time this season.
Manuel allowed three earned runs in seven innings earlier in the year. He is 8-2 with 13 saves and a 1.68 ERA with the PawSox.
5:57 p.m.: There were several games in 2007 that saw Josh Beckett and Manny Delcarmen take center stage, and do so in fine fashion. They are featured players on Tuesday for very different reasons.
The Red Sox simply wanted to get something for Delcarmen when they could. In acquiring a low-level right-hander with the potential to become a major league starter someday, they did just that.
Chris Balcom-Miller was the Pioneer League Pitcher of the Year in 2009 and was ranked the 16th best prospect in the Colorado system by Baseball America before the season.
Balcom-Miller is 6-7 with a 3.31 ERA this year at Single-A Asheville with a very impressive 117 strikeouts and just 19 walks in 108 innings.
Beckett would love to sport such numbers, but his grind continues. He has been a tad better in each of his last four starts and finally got an elusive win his last time out. But Beckett remains plagued by the big inning, rarely limiting opponents if and when they do score.
For that reason he remained upset with himself after his win over Seattle six days ago. Keep an eye on Beckett's command, particularly with his fastball, when he works out of the stretch in this one.
3:52 p.m.: Prior to beginning another all-important series the Red Sox have made a move. Manny Delcarmen has been traded to Colorado in exchange for a Single-A starter.
The bullpen is certainly altered by this, but it had been a rocky last two seasons for Delcarmen. The team will expand to 40 men in the next day so others will get their chance to replace his innings.
We will have more on that move in a bit. In the meantime here is the Red Sox' lineup:
Marco Scutaro, SS
Darnell McDonald, CF
Victor Martinez, C
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Mike Lowell, 1B
J.D. Drew, RF
Jed Lowrie, 2B
Bill Hall, LF
8 a.m.: The Red Sox will hope to find that old Camden Yards magic when they begin a three-game series in Baltimore on Tuesday night. They certainly need it.
Boston trickles into town seven games back in both the AL East and wild card race after dropping two of three to the Rays over the weekend.
The club blew leads in the late innings of games Saturday and Sunday to lose an opportunity to make up ground on one of the two teams in front.
The Sox were 67-28 at Camden Yards from 1999-2009, but have gone 2-4 there this year. Also, they will be playing an improved squad that has gone 16-10 under new manager Buck Showalter.
Josh Beckett, who is 6-2 lifetime against Baltimore, goes for the Sox. Brian Matusz is on the mound for the Orioles.
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