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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Red Sox Shutdown in 4-1 Loss to O's

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 22:  Starting pitcher Bria...
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 22: Starting pitcher Brian Matusz #17 of the Baltimore Orioles (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
The Red Sox were looking to Felix Doubront on Tuesday to finally bring them over the .500 mark in 2012. The 24 year old lefty has been perhaps the most consistent arm in the rotation, but last night he was out dueled by another young southpaw.

25 year old Brian Matusz limited the Sox to just 2 H, 1 ER and 1 BB over 6 1/3 IP before Buck Showalter removed him in the seventh inning. The young starter utilized nasty off-speed stuff to keep Boston off balance the entire night.

One of the hits that Matusz allowed was a solo homer to Kevin Youkilis in his first game since being activated yesterday from the disabled list. Playing first base, Youk also struck out twice in the game but the homer gave plenty of reason for optimism that the 33 year old could be on the verge of breaking out of the slump that's led to much trade speculation.

All 5 ER in the game came by way of the long ball. Steve Tolleson hit a 2-run bomb off Felix Doubront in the second inning, just the fourth given up by him on the season and Matt Albers gave up a 2-run jack to Wilson Betemit in the eighth, all but putting the game out of reach with Jim Johnson warming in the bullpen.

Doubront finished with 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, and 9 K. He displayed swing and miss stuff the entire start but again had trouble putting hitters away, leading to 108 pitches over his 6 innings.

Jim Johnson, who now has a .87 ERA in 20 2/3 IP, locked down his major league leading 16th consecutive save on the season with a quick 1-2-3 ninth inning, pushing the Red Sox back under .500 and putting another game between the two in the AL East.

Daniel Bard will look to control the walks today when he faces Jake Arrieta in the final game of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 12:35 pm.

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