Josh Beckett’s Season Still Headed in Downward Trend After Yet Another Shaky Outing

Josh Beckett's Season Still Headed in Downward Trend After Yet Another Shaky OutingFor the second straight start, Josh Beckett floundered. For the third straight start, he exited the mound to boos.

This time around, during Tuesday’s 7-1 loss to the Orioles, Beckett heard the boo birds at Camden Yards — not Fenway Park. And it prolonged a forgettable season for Beckett, whose record plummeted down to 5-10.

It was the sixth inning that really did Beckett in. He issued a walk and allowed four of the first five batters than he faced to reach base, resulting in two runs. That, of course, doesn’t account his wild pitch.

“I felt like I was down for the most part,” Beckett said. “It’d be nice to win a game, but I’ve said you got to pitch better. Can’t put these guys in a hole like that. I think the key for me here is keeping the ball down. It’s not a friendly ball park, so you got to keep the ball down.”

When Mark Melancon yielded a three-run home run to Mark Reynolds in the sixth, Beckett was charged with two earned runs for the runners he left on base. By the end of it, Beckett lasted just 5 1/3 innings and surrendered six runs, two homers and two walks.

“The line score wasn’t indicative of his performance,” Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. “He pitched well, he gave up home runs on a couple of misfires. In the sixth inning, a couple balls found holes.”

The sub-par performance elevated Beckett’s earned run average to 5.19 and, despite Valentine’s sugarcoating, is an unseemly number. While Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz have seemingly rectified their respective issues, Beckett is still sputtering.

The 32-year-old has now allowed at least four runs in four of his last five starts. The one exception was an abbreviated start for Beckett, who was yanked with back spasms after 2 2/3 frames against the Tigers on July 31.

Now, in Beckett’s last 11 starts, the Red Sox are 2-9. The woes are just getting worse for the right-hander.

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