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The worry heading into the opening game against the Indians was that Josh Beckett, who hasn’t looked good in more than a year and a half, was ready to make his first start of the season. Beckett claims he has a renewed focus and that his awful 2010 season (6-6, 5.78 ERA) is behind him. He wasn’t really the problem, though, on Tuesday night.
The Sox hitters came into the game hitting just .200 with 11 runs over the first three games. Their crappy trend continued Tuesday against the Tribe, as the team mustered just four hits (and four walks) with one run in a 3-1 loss, their fourth straight defeat to start the season (no team has ever won a World Series after an 0-4 start).
Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin got the win, going seven innings with just one run allowed on three hits. The 26-year-old righty was 6-4 with a 4.56 ERA last year in his rookie campaign. He improved to 1-1 in his career against Boston.
Beckett, meanwhile, was OK in his first start of 2011. He allowed three runs on on five hits with four walks in just five innings to take the loss. He didn’t allow any home runs (the first starting pitcher that can say that)…but he was also facing the punchless Indians. He threw 106 pitches in those five innings, tossing 65 strikes. Overall, it was a very underwhelming outing.
The Sox got their only run on a bases loaded single from Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the second inning. That’s it.
Carl Crawford, who’s hitting just .133, went 0-4 batting in the two-hole. He has already hit in the No. 3 and No. 7 spots in the order over the first four games, translating into just two hits.
Beckett left the game after just five innings with a 3-1 deficit, and the bullpen (Matt Albers, Bobby Jenks, Daniel Bard) all pitched perfect innings to hold the Sox close.
Just four hits in 29 at-bats. One extra-base hit (J.D. Drew double). One run. YUCK.
W: Josh Tomlin (1-0)
L: Josh Beckett (0-1)
SV: Chris Perez (1)