Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 6/15/13
Ryan Dempster gave the Red Sox everything they needed — except for a win. Dempster, whose season has been a mixed bag thus far, allowed just two runs, and, more importantly, pitched into the eighth inning in a 2-0 loss to the Orioles on Friday. He was ultimately outpitched by Chris Tillman and three others in the losing effort, but we shouldn’t lose sight of his start’s importance. At the end of the day, a loss is a loss. No one can dispute that, so don’t expect the Red Sox to do so. Given the current state of Boston’s pitching staff, though, the Red Sox couldn’t have asked for much more out of Dempster, whose record fell to 4-7 with the defeat. The Red Sox entered Friday’s contest in an unsavory position. They suffered a 13-inning loss on Thursday, during which their bullpen pitched eight innings. If that’s not bad enough, it came just three days after a 14-inning affair at Tropicana Field, during which the ‘pen tossed 8 1/3 innings. Overall, Boston’s relievers combined to throw 22 2/3 innings over the first four games of the club’s seven-game road trip. The unit performed admirably despite the heavy workload. Nine relievers combined for a 2.38 ERA and 23 strikeouts during the four-game stretch. The situation was still somewhat concerning, though, as the bullpen needs to stay fresh throughout the entire season if the Red Sox are going to hang onto their World Series aspirations. Simply put, the Red Sox desperately needed a quality start on Friday, and Dempster provided just that. The 36-year-old left it all on the mound, tossing 122 pitches in his longest outing of the season before John Farrell turned to Koji Uehara — one of Boston’s few fresh relievers — with the bases loaded in the eighth inning. Uehara promptly struck out J.J. Hardy on three pitches to close the book on Dempster’s outing and keep the deficit manageable, but the Red Sox’ offense couldn’t rally against Orioles closer Jim Johnson in the ninth. It was a tough defeat for the Red Sox. After all, Tillman, while very effective toward the tail end of his outing, walked four batters and gave the Red Sox’ offense a chance to chip away. But once you get past the missed opportunities, a few bad pitches and another game shaved off Boston’s divisional lead over Baltimore, you’ll see that there’s a silver lining, and it’s Dempster’s start. The Red Sox must turn around their fortunes against the Orioles, who have taken four of the teams’ five contests this season, including the first two games of the current series. The Sox can at least attempt to do so with a full cavalry, now that Dempster gave the bullpen some much-needed rest. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jason Kidd to be named general manager of Bucks

USWNT romps Japan 5-2 to win third Women's World Cup title

Report: JPP 'severely injured' hand in fireworks mishap

Blatter: European politicians helped Qatar land World Cup

Report: Cavs considering trading for Joe Johnson

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Andrew Quarless found hiding in plant after firing gun

Odell Beckham: I don't want to be known only for 'the catch'

Borland on retirement: Health 'more important' than money

Three NBA teams that improved most early in offseason

Adam Eaton gets 4th of July surprise from brother

Clippers in talks with JaVale McGee, Amar’e Stoudemire

MLB teams who will continue to disappoint in the second half

2015 All-Star starters announced, featuring four Royals

WATCH: Jake Marisnick makes fantastic running catch

WATCH: Carlos Gomez leaves gum, note for Billy Hamilton

Kansas to wear new USA jerseys after request from FIBA

What can the Saints expect from CJ Spiller in 2015?

Isaiah Thomas trolls Kings after Rajon Rondo signing

Kosta Koufos agrees to deal with Kings

Report: Blues in trade talks about Kevin Shattenirk

Report: Gregg Popovich plans to fulfill five-year contract

4-Star LB commits to Kentucky, zings Louisville

Clay Buchholz not worried about trade rumors

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 All-Star starters announced

JPP injured in fireworks mishap?

Odell Beckham doesn't want to be known for 'the catch'

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.