Possibly the worst game the Red Sox played in 2010 was last night. Tim Wakefield allowed five runs, walked five, after starting out the game strong with three shutout innings.
They made two errors (should have been three), three wild pitches, and a passed ball. They could do little with David Price of Tampa Bay, who got his 12th win of the season going seven innings, and is a definite candidate for the AL Cy Young Award.
The Red Sox offense came alive in the ninth, as they were down 6-2. They put two on the board, and got the go-ahead run to the plate with Kevin Youkilis up and two on. He was facing Matt Garza, brought in after his short outing of three innings two days ago. But he flied out to center to end it, 6-4, and it gave Tampa Bay the sweep. Of the four series the two teams have played this season, three have resulted in sweeps.
Some good news: nobody got hurt last night.
The Sox have now dropped four straight, and have a losing record inside the AL East (18-20). New York won again in Oakland (thanks to the A's rolling over like dogs in that three-game series), so the Sox are now 4 1/2 out of first, and 2 1/2 behind Tampa Bay. They now head to Toronto to play three with the slumping Blue Jays (they've lost 12 of their last 16) to wrap up the first half.
It can't come soon enough. Clay Buchholz, Victor Martinez and the rest of The Hurt Parade await in the wings. Don't give up hope, troops. Lots of baseball still to be played.