ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- It’s official.
Thanks to tonight’s 13-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox (68-82) are assured of having a losing season for the first time since going 78-84 in 1997. Boston hasn’t finished last in the American League East since 1992 and hasn’t lost 90 or more games since 1966.
Guillermo Quiroz came in to catch during the bottom of the seventh, making him 56th player to appear in a game for the Red Sox this season, establishing a franchise record.
Making his first appearance in six days, reliever Alfredo Aceves allowed four runs on three hits in two innings. On the plus side, he did allow Bobby Valentine to take the ball from his glove and walked right past him back to the dugout when the manger removed Aceves during the Rays’ seven-run sixth. That wasn't the case the last time Aceves pitched a week ago.
Relievers Daniel Bard and Andrew Miller didn’t do a whole lot to help Boston’s cause during the nightmarish sixth. The combined line for the pair: 1/3 of an inning, five walks, one hit, three runs. Miller faced two batters and walked both with the bases loaded.
Struggles against the Rays are nothing new to Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is now 2-8 in his career against the Rays after allowing five runs on nine hits in three innings Wednesday. Matszuaka hasn’t beaten the Rays in the regular season since Sept. 15, 2008, though he did earn the win against Tampa Bay during Game 1 of that year’s American League Championship Series.
Six Red Sox pitchers teamed to issue 10 walks Wednesday, pushing the team’s total to 18 over the last two nights. Every Boston pitcher issued at least one free pass Wednesday with the exception of Scott Atchison.
The Red Sox were part of a milestone of sorts Wednesday, albeit for the opposition, as Rays starter Chris Archer earned his first career win at their expense. Archer struck out six, walked four and allowed three runs on five hits in five innings.