What started out as a promising, classic battle of offenses, turned into an absolute pitching debacle. Unfortunately, the Red Sox were on the wrong end tonight.
Allen Webster was promoted from the minors again, hoping to follow up his previous encouraging start. This was also considered to be a possible test to see if he may be a suitable replacement for Felix Doubront. Everything started out great, as he struck out Twins' lead-off hitter Jamey Carroll on three pitches. However, that was pretty much the highlight of Webster's night. The wheels came off and all of a sudden, Webster allowed eight earned runs in one and two-thirds innings. Not a promising start for Webster, who will surely be headed to Pawtucket to further work out the kinks.
The man who was originally scheduled to start, Doubront, came on in mop-up duty; yet he didn't quite do himself any favors. His final line: twelve hits, six earned runs, two walks, and four strikeouts in five and a third-innings. I realize that the game was pretty much out of hand at this point, but Doubront could have been on a mission to earn his keep in the rotation. Rather, he laid an egg and looked like he could care less about it. Very discouraging to see from a youngster.
The offense was encouraging in the first inning, as they battled back from a 4-0 deficit. Shane Victorinio's bunt single, followed by Dustin Pedroia's single and Mike Napoli's walk, loaded the bases for Jonny Gomes. Gomes has struggled thus far and has lost playing time as a result. However, he may have earned some further opportunites as he cleared the bases with a grand slam to tie it up. Stephen Drew drove in another run and gave the Sox the 5-4 lead.
But again, it came down to the pitching and this game got away quick. This was certainly a game the Red Sox hope to move on from and hope that Allen Webster can regain his confidence.
The Sox wrap up this series with the Twins tomorrow. John Lackey takes the mound for the home team and opposes Kevin Correia. First pitch is at 7:10pm.