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Home » April 2008 Game CommentsApril 2008 » Baffled


Game 27: April 27, 2008
Red Sox 0 L: Josh Beckett (2-2) 15-12, 5 game losing streak
WinRays 3 W: James Shields (3-1) 14-11, 6 game winning streak
Highlights: A dominant pitching start ended in Boston’s fifth straight loss. Not only was it the first time the Rays swept the Red Sox but it also propelled Tampa Bay into first place in the American League East.

The Red Sox had a few individual accomplishments of note: Josh Beckett mowed down 13 batters over seven innings of work, a career high. His previous high of 12 came on July 12, 2002 where he was opposed by the Expos. Manny Ramirez had his first stolen base since April 10, 2005 in a game against the Blue Jays. Certainly that theft was nowhere near as dramatic as Ramirez was dreadless back then.

But it was the nine innings of two-hit ball that James Shields turned in that prevailed. The young pitcher continued to fill in admirably in Scott Kazmir’s absence, striking out seven while walking a single hitter.

The game also revealed who will be the Red Sox’s gadfly this season. Light-hitting Jason Bartlett, formerly of the Twins, looks to be Frank Catalanotto 2.0. It was his gutshot single in the third that led to his team’s first run, but it was not thanks to his teammates’ efforts.

Beckett was so perturbed by Bartlett’s presence he fired a pickoff to Kevin Youkilis that even the Gold Glove first baseman couldn’t recover. The ball bounded past the bullpen mounds. By the time J.D. Drew dug up the ball Barlett was headed for third heedlessly.

Drew noodled a throw to home that resembled Johnny Damon’s worst efforts. Bartlett was crossing home plate by the time Jason Varitek came up the line to field the ball.

Bartlett made another appearance on the basepaths in the eighth. He was hit by a pitch, then swiped second, and finally scored on Carl Crawford’s double. Sometime between the third and the eighth Drew regained the strength and accuracy of his arm, heaving the ball to Dustin Pedroia in time for the second baseman to relay to third to hose Crawford.

Rookie standout Evan Longoria scored more conventionally by blasting his third homer of the season in the seventh.

The brooms Rays fans brought to Tropicana Field will be handy to clean off the dust from the empty seats there when the Red Sox fans return home.

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