The list of Sox players sidelined with the flu and minor injuries has thankfully gotten slimmer. After losing 3 out of 5 scheduled starting pitchers, 5 days from the captain, and over 15 starts by position players, the Sox have started to shape up.
Continuing the recent trend of great outings by Sox starters, Tim Wakefield went 7 innings, surrendering only 3 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks. Unfortunately for Wakefield, the offense continued to be anemic, only mustering 4 hits behind his gem.
“He got out of a lot of jams,” said Sox infielder Jed Lowrie. “We hit a lot of balls hard tonight. Any time a guy throws a three-hitter through eight innings, or seven innings, you’ve got to tip you hat. He worked well and was able to get out of jams when he needed to.”
This trend is a bit troubling, as the Sox bats have struggled for the past week.”You saw six starting pitchers all throw the ball extremely well,” said backup catcher Kevin Cash. “Unfortunately tonight we fell behind.” In the past 5 games, the Sox have only managed to score 4 runs – making it very easy for them to be behind the opposing team.
In all 3 games against the Jays, the Sox had a late inning chance to win it. They only faltered in the third game, facing closer BJ Ryan.
“Anything to extend the game…” said Sox skipper Terry Francona. “Having a chance is better than not having a chance.”
Mike Lowell returned to Third on Thursday, a welcome addition to the lineup as his backup Sean Casey is on the 15-day DL. This takes some pressure off of rookie Jed Lowrie, who had spent time at both first and third in their absence.
Tonight rookie sensations Clay Buzhholz (1-2, 4.08 ERA) and Edwin Jackson (2-2, 3.86 ERA) match up at Fenway for a 3 game set. The Sox will look to avenge the Rays sweep last weekend.