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The Red Sox needed a lengthy start from Erik Bedard on Tuesday night as they continue to drag their feet on the way to the playoffs. Bedard, who was coming off injuries to his knee and lat and hadn’t pitched since Sept. 3, just became the latest Red Sox starter in a long line to fail to give his team really anything that constitutes a quality start. The lefty allowed four runs in just 2.2 innings pitched and the Red Sox eventually lost 7-5. What was wrong with Bedard if he was supposedly healthy?
Well…the New York Post is reporting that Bedard was served with papers in a child support case related to his ex-girlfriend Courtney Roberts just hours before he took the mound. The paper reports that Bedard and Roberts had come to an agreement on child support payments in 2006 when Bedard was making $1.4 million while with the Orioles, but now she’s looking for more money based on the pitcher’s increasing salary (which peaked at $7.75 mil in 2009). He was served with the papers at Fenway because she didn’t “have a proper address for him” after he was traded from the M’s.
Despite Bedard’s baby-mama drama and pitiful outing, the Red Sox were actually leading for most of the game. Boston scored one in the first, two more in the third on an Adrian Gonzalez HR, and another two in the fourth inning to take a 5-4 lead.
Scott Atchison relieved Bedard and gave the Red Sox 2.1 scoreless innings to keep them in it. Matt Albers pitched a scoreless sixth inning and Daniel Bard added a scoreless seventh. With the bullpen stretched, Terry Francona called on Bard in the eighth inning, but he allowed two singles while recording only 1 out in the inning. As a result, Tito brought in Jonathan Papelbon, who got one out, but allowed a single to Nolan Reimold to load the bases.
Then, the wheels fell off the bus. With a 3-2 count and the runners moving on the pitch, Robert Andino laced a three-run double down the right field line to give the O’s the lead and eventual win. Bard was saddled with his ninth loss and his fourth this month.
After the game, Papelbon took responsibility for the defeat.
“I don’t want to hear anything [Wednesday] about Tito bringing in guys early or the lineup not coming through, or anything else,” Papelbon said. “This game is on me. My job is – when called upon – is to go out there and finish the game. I didn’t do that so this game is on me. I take full responsibility for that.”
Thankfully for the Red Sox, the Yankees beat the Rays, who still remain two games back. The Red Sox magic number is now down to 7 with 7 games to go.