ARLINGTON, Texas -- The baseball had barely left the barrel of the Rangers’ Nelson Cruz’s bat in the bottom of the 11th inning when Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield started walking toward the dugout.
The veteran knuckleballer delivered only one pitch, and Cruz crushed for a homer and a 10-9 walk-off victory for the Rangers on Friday night. It was the Sox’s second consecutive loss where they held a commanding lead. While it was Wakefield that gave up the winning hit, no one was more upset than starter Josh Beckett.
The right-hander had an 8-2 cushion after the top of the fourth inning, but he couldn’t hold on as he allowed six runs on 10 hits in five innings pitched. Due to the starter’s short outing, manager Terry Francona was forced to blow out his entire bullpen before Wakefield suffered the loss in the 11th.
“Wakefield should have never been in that situation at all if I handled my job,” Beckett said.
Beckett has allowed at least six runs in five innings or less in his last two starts. He also surrendered a season-high three home runs, blaming his lack of command with his fastball.
“I get into counts and I try to do too much and the ball flattens out and goes to the middle of the plate,” Beckett said. “It’s frustrating. I’ve tried to work on it in between starts, but it obviously didn’t do any good. It’s a shame we lose a game like that. We scored a lot of runs and we couldn’t hold it.”
“As frustrating as it is for me, it’s more frustrating what the team went through today,” he added. “That’s where my frustration really lies. I’m trying to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.”