Rain falls Red Sox way in 4-1 win
The Red Sox were in a sticky situation in the top of the sixth inning Wednesday night. The Detroit Tigers had the bases loaded with two outs and the go-ahead run at the plate as the Red Sox clung to a 4-1 lead.
Then Boston benefited from some good luck. The rain, which had been coming down for some time, intensified to a point where the umpiring crew was forced the delay the game. The rain never let up, and after nearly two hours of trying to wait out Mother Nature, the game was called and the Red Sox were awarded the 4-1 win.
The blow was a tough one for the Tigers, who saw their attempt at a rally fall short through no fault of their own, but Tigers manager Jim Leyland was very understanding in his press conference after the game.
“Certainly, to call the game at this point was the right call,” Leyland said. “Could we have maybe gotten through that inning? Who knows? That’s a tough situation for an umpire, but I think they definitely made the right call, calling it now.”
Earlier in the night, it looked as if the Red Sox would be the frustrated team at the end of the game. Pitcher Josh Beckett tossed two perfect innings before struggling in the third. With two outs, he allowed a single, hit Austin Jackson with a pitch, walked another batter to load the bases, then walked in a run.
His issues seemed to be injury related. After walking in the run, Beckett was pulled from the game with what the team said was back spasms.
The Red Sox scored all four of their runs in the fourth inning. Pedro Ciraco tied the game with an RBI single, then Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander walked Jacoby Ellsbury with the bases loaded to put the Sox up, 2-1. Carl Crawford added insurance when he chopped a ball over Verlander’s glove and toward second baseman Omar Infante, who rushed himself to make a throw to first but instead made an error as the ball got by him. Kelly Shoppach and Ciriaco scored on the play to give the Sox the 4-1 lead.
– Another win means the Red Sox now stand at 53-51, one game behind the third place Rays and 7 ½ games behind the first place Yankees. Their four-game win streak comes at a time where the Red Sox needed to win some games both to stay in the playoff race and give themselves confidence that they could make the playoffs.
– Beckett threw his first issue-free first inning since June 30 as he did not allow any runs or walk anyone. He now has a first inning ERA of 9.50. According to the Red Sox, Beckett is day-to-day with his back spasms, so there is hope that he might be able to make his next start and gain some momentum from a strong opening performance.
– Clayton Mortenson, a triple-A call-up, replaced Beckett and pitched well in the starter’s absence, allowing one hit over 2 2/3 innings of work. He earned the win Tuesday night, marking his first win in a Red Sox uniform.
– Beckett’s back spasms are a significant concern considering the amount of injuries this team already is dealing with. It also hurts his trade value through either waivers or an offseason trade since he seems to consistently have some sort of health issue.
– Beckett was booed by Red Sox fans as he was taken out of the game. Although fans may not have known he was injured, they clearly are quick to jump all over the righthander.
The Red Sox will go for the sweep Wednesday night as Sox starter Aaron Cook takes on opposing pitcher Rick Porcello and the Tigers in the final game of the series. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m.