Red Sox Have No Answer for Scott Diamond, Fall 6-1

A bit of insult, and a bit of injury.  That was the story Tuesday as the Red Sox (21-12) dropped their fourth game in their last five.  The Minnesota Twins (14-15) got amazing work out of lefty Scott Diamond, and some much-needed offensive output in the later innings to topple the Sox, 6-1. Ryan Dempster pitched seven otherwise outstanding innings, but was let down by his defense and stagnant offense.

The Sox had no bats in this one, as Diamond held them to just three singles over his outing, and set down the final 15 batters he faced. Twins reliever Josh Roenicke retired the side in order in the eighth to make it 18-straight retired Sox batters.

Scott Diamond deals a pitch as he stymies Sox bats.

Scott Diamond deals a pitch as he stymies Sox bats.

The Twins got on the board in the top of the fifth, when centerfielder Wilkin Ramirez singled home Ryan Doumit for the 1-0 lead.  The batter before Ramirez, right fielder Chris Parmalee, had fouled out to Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks as he and catcher David Ross converged on the play.  Ross stayed in for another batter before having to be lifted for Jarrod Saltalamacchia with a left quad contusion. Middlebrooks stayed in for another inning, but with his right side hurting, he was taken out in favor of Pedro Ciriaco.

Doumit added a solo home-run in the seventh for Minnesota, which was held up under review. Dempster actually came out for the eighth, but consecutive errors by Ciriaco put rnners on first and third, and Dempster was lifted for Craig Breslow.

Breslow couldn’t carry over any momentum from his season debut, and he was hit around without retiring a batter.  Joe Mauer doubled in a run, Josh Willingham walked, Justin Morneau singled home another run, and finally a single by Trevor Plouffe scored another run and ended Breslow’s outing.

Alex Wilson came in to try and stop the bleeding.  Ryan Doumit proceeded to ground into a fielder’s choice that forced Willingham at home, but Saltalamacchia’s return throw to try and double off Doumit sailed past Mike Napoli, and allowed Morneau to score the final run of the evening for the Twins.  Salty tried to argue with home plate umpire Jeff Nelson that Plouffe had been running out of the baseline, which prompted John Farrell to come out of the dugout.  By all accounts, it appeared Farrell wanted to be thrown out, but was not given the satisfaction by Nelson.

The only offense for the Sox came in the top of the ninth off of Roenicke when Salty led off with a home run to left, snapping a streak of 18 In a row retired dating to the 3rd  inning. Roenicke would walk two more in the inning, but it was sandwiched between a Shane Victorino double-play (2nd of the game for the Sox) to end any hope for a dramatic comeback.

The Sox will turn to highly touted phenom Allen Webster on Wednesday night, as he goes against fellow rookie Pedro Hernandez.  Webster was called up to replace Joel Hanrahan (forearm) on the roster, and will start in place of Felix Doubront to give him some extra rest.  In Webster’s Major League debut, he pitched six brilliant innings against the Kansas City Royals (6 IP, 5 hits, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K).  He did not factor in the decision of the Sox 5-4 loss, and he will look to gather his first career victory with the Sox in need of snapping their recent cold-spell.

Inside the Game

-David Ortiz (1-4) ups his career-best hitting streak to 27 games.

-Scott Diamond was limited to under 100 pitches for his fifth straight start as the Twins are being cautious with his surgically repaired left elbow.

-The Red Sox are 8th in the league in grounding into double-plays (not so bad), but have grounded into 13 of those over the past 7 games (two on Tuesday) – worst in MLB.

Where We Stand

Team Wins Losses GB
Boston Red Sox 21 12
Baltimore Orioles 20 13 1
New York Yankees 18 13 2
Tampa Bay Rays 14 18 6.5
Toronto Blue Jays 13 21 8.5

Jay Coorey- MLB Contributor – Title Town Sports

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