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Chicago pitcher Mark Buehrle earned his first win since his perfect game on July 23, ending an eight-start stretch without a win. Sadly, Buehrle’s victory came at the expense of the Red Sox, who lost 5-1 Monday afternoon and lost three games overall of a four-game weekend series.
Buehrle scattered eight hits and two walks over seven strong innings, out-dueling struggling Red Sox ace Josh Beckett. Beckett, the team’s ace, horse, and stopper, failed to stop his team’s recent slide, but he wasn’t as bad as he’s been recently. He also wasn’t dazzling though, but managed to gut through seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks. He didn’t allow a HR in his start for the first time since Aug. 7 against the Yankees, which is a sign he may be turning things around.
The Red Sox offense, however, never really got things going all series. It looked like it could be along day for Buehrle, as the Sox touched him in the first for one run on a Kevin Youkilis RBI single. Jacoby Ellsbury put himself in position to score with a leadoff single, followed by his 60th stolen base of the season. That was all the offense the Sox would muster in this one, but they had their chances too.
Every Boston starter had at least one hit, except for Rocco Baldelli and Jason Varitek. The problem was Jacoby Ellsbury was the only player with multiple hits in the game, finishing 2-4. The Red Sox had two men on in the fifth inning with two outs, and two men on in the sixth with one out, but each time failed to score.
Carlos Quentin broke the game open with a clutch two-run HR of Hideki Okajima in the eighth inning, turning a two-run game into a four-run game.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF: Ellsbury was the only Red Sox player with two hits, going 2-4 with a run and a stolen base.
Hideki Okajima, RP: Coming into a close game in the eighth inning, Okajima was bad and unclutch yet again, yielding a two-run HR to Carlos Quentin to blow the game wide open.
“I got outpitched. Buehrle did a good job keeping the ball down,” Beckett said about his start. “And the one big inning. That killed me. Whenever you’re going against a guy like him, you can’t have a big inning.”
W: Mark Buehrle
L: Josh Beckett