Red Sox - 120 000 000 - 3 4 1Tallet had a rough time through the first eight Boston batters -- 42 pitches, three walks and two hits, including Rocco Baldelli's two-run home run -- but then something clicked (7-3-3-4-6, 118).
Blue Jays - 101 001 20x - 5 14 0
The Red Sox managed only two hits the rest of the game: Nick Green's double with two outs in the seventh and Mike Lowell's single off Scott Downs to start the ninth. None of the last 27 Red Sox batters made it past second base.
Runs scored by Boston in the last five games: 2, 2, 3, 3, 3.
Meanwhile, the Jays chipped away at Penny, who had only one perfect inning and again allowed a lot of hits (6-10-3-0-5, 102), to tie the game after six. Ramon Ramirez was slapped around in the seventh, as Marco Scutaro and Alex Rios (4-for-4, two doubles) both singled and Vernon Wells doubled.
Baldelli left the game in the fifth after banging his left knee (and his head) into the wall attempting to catch a ball that went foul.
The Red Sox and Blue Jays are now tied for second place, 1 GB the Yankees, who are in Cleveland tonight.
Brad Penny (5.96, 81 ERA+) / Brian Tallet (4.31, 104 ERA+)
Last night's loss dropped the Red Sox into second place, 0.5 GB the Yankees. The Blue Jays sit in third, 1.5 GB.
On Wednesday, May 20, Penny had a 6.2-9-2-1-2 line against the Blue Jays at Fenway. Over his last five starts, Penny has posted a 4.40 ERA.
Tallet faced the Red Sox on May 19. He pitched well -- 6-4-2-2-5 -- but Boston won the game 2-1.
I missed last night's game, but it sounds like there were a couple of bright spots.
Sean McAdam, reporting on Daniel Bard striking out five consecutive batters:
It was telling that Bard cited his breaking ball - and not his smoking fastball - for his overpowering outing. ...And: Adam Kilgore, Globe:
"I changed my grip between this outing and my last one," he said. "I like it. It felt good."
The pitch, a sort of hybrid between a curve and slider, had been, in Bard’s words, a "little loopy," recently. At the prodding of pitching coach John Farrell, Bard slightly rotated the ball in his hand, resulting in a pitch that broke later, with a more pronounced break.
David Ortiz nearly hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw last night, a soaring fly ball that fell inches short of the wall and into an outfielder's glove. He blistered the next ball he hit so hard it nearly seared through the first baseman's mitt. ...
"All I can do about myself right now is laugh," he said. "Because I ain't going to cry. Laugh. Keep on swinging. ... I can't swing the bat no better than that."