Tim Wakefield had his worst ever start in a Red Sox uniform, and got pounded by the Kansas City Royals for nine runs in less than four innings.
When Wake walked Mitch Maier to load the bases with the score tied, 5-5, I thought for sure Terry Francona would go to Scott Atchison to get the final out of the inning with Yuniesky Betancourt coming up. He didn't, and Betancourt took Wake into the Monster seats for a grand slam to make it a seven-run inning, and Kansas City went on to a 12-5 win.
Granted, the Royals offense is actually pretty good, leading MLB with a .282 average on the season. But their pitching isn't very good, and the Red Sox have done nothing the last two nights against their bullpen.
It says a lot when Bill Hall, brought in to pitch the ninth, got the only 1-2-3 inning of the night.
Wakefield gave away 3-0 and 5-2 leads, and allowed 11 hits and 3 walks. Good news for the Red Sox was Victor Martinez, who doubled in two runs and hit a two-run blast in his first two at-bats.
The rest of the night? Forget it.
And Jacoby Ellsbury is back on DL, as lingering soreness from the broken ribs has forced him out again.
Once again, the Red Sox look great on the road beating the contenders, but then come home and get taken to school by one of the AL's havenots. Now they need wins the next two days to just get a split in the series.
Clay Buchholz goes tonight and Jon Lester tomorrow. Tampa Bay lost last night so the Red Sox lost no ground.