Rangers - 001 200 030 - 6 10 1 Red Sox - 020 000 001 - 3 5 0Franklin Morales allowed three runs in the eighth inning, giving the Rangers enough runs to hold off a mini ninth-inning rally from the Red Sox. Six consecutive Rangers reached base, although two of those were because of intentional walks.
Kevin Youkilis hit a two-run home run to get the night started, but, like Dustin Pedroia's two-run dong the night before, it was pretty much all the scoring Boston would do. And Beckett squandered the lead immediately. He allowed a one-out walk and three consecutive singles in the third (throwing 31 pitches) and gave up a two-run bomb to Mike Napoli in the fourth.
Morales got the first batter of the eighth, with Vicente Padilla and Matt Albers warming behind him. Josh Hamilton singled and Adrian Beltre was walked intentionally after Morales fell behind 2-0. Padilla then sat down (?) as Morales walked Nelson Cruz to load the bases.
Morales stayed in to face right-handed hitting pinch-hitter Craig Gentry (a "curious" decision by Bobby Valentine); Morales hit him in the left ankle to force in a run. Napoli followed with a two-run double (also off Morales) off the Wall. Morales then intentionally walked Mike Moreland to re-load the bases before Valentine brought in Albers, who got a 6-4-3 double play.
In the ninth, Cody Ross walked against Joe Nathan. After David Ortiz struck out, Youkilis reached on a two-base throwing error by Beltre. Ryan Sweeney hit for Kelly Shoppach and singled to right, scoring Ross. Jarrod Saltalamacchia batted for Darnell McDonald and lined a full-count pitch to Brandon Snyder at first; the runners were off on the pitch, so it was an easy unassisted, game-ending double play.
Jerry Remy (NESN) speculated that Padilla may not have been able to get loose in the cool weather (approx. 50 degrees). Valentine made a serious error last night by having Padilla throw 20 pitches with the Red Sox down 16-2. We'll see if the two events are connected.
The Red Sox (4-8) are off on Thursday before hosting the Yankees (6-6) for three games.
Beckett has been "the slowest working starting pitcher" in baseball since 2007.
Dave Cameron, Fangraphs:
You know who the slowest working pitching staff in baseball is to this point of 2012? The Boston Red Sox, who have taken an average of 24.6 seconds between pitches this year. You know who was the slowest working pitching staff in 2011? The Red Sox. 2010? The Red Sox. 2009? The Red Sox. 2008? The Red Sox.
The last time that Boston didn't have the slowest working pitching staff in baseball was 2007. That year, they had the second slowest staff, getting edged out by the Yankees by 0.3 seconds per pitch.
You know who the slowest working starting pitchers in baseball have been since 2007? Josh Beckett (25.6 seconds between pitches), Daisuke Matsuzaka (25.4), and Clay Buchholz (25.2). They are the only three starters in the sport to take more than 25 seconds between pitches, and they all pitch for the Red Sox.