10/12/08 2:15 AM EST
Red Sox Short Hops: Game 2
Bullpen caves late as Boston misses out on 2-0 ALCS lead
By Mark Remme / MLB.com
The Red Sox's bullpen pitched brilliantly after a poor performance by starter Josh Beckett, but the Rays prevailed in the 11th.
After Mike Timlin walked the bases loaded -- one intentionally -- in the 11th inning, B.J. Upton battled with two strikes against him and lofted a fly ball down the right-field line. Though it was a shallow fly and J.D. Drew made a strong throw from right field, Fernando Perez slid safely across the plate to score the game-winning run.
5 -- Number of home runs Beckett has allowed this postseason, one more than he gave up in 10 career playoff games entering 2008. Game balls
Bay continues to produce hits when the Red Sox need them most. He has driven in eight runs with two outs this postseason, and in Game 2, he went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs, three of which came with two outs.
The AL Most Valuable Player Award candidate was 2-for-20 in the postseason coming into Saturday. In Game 2 alone, he matched his postseason hit total in home runs off Rays starter Scott Kazmir.
Red Sox's bullpen
Boston used six relievers in the contest after Beckett exited with one out in the fifth inning. Over the next 6 1/3 innings, the Sox's bullpen allowed just three hits and one run.
Sense of October
The Red Sox found themselves facing a pair of two-run deficits in Game 2, having allowed three Rays home runs in the first four innings. But despite the hostile environment at Tropicana Field, Boston battled back continuously, belting four homers of its own. Both teams knew the repercussions of a 2-0 Red Sox lead with the ALCS heading back to Fenway Park for three consecutive games, and Tampa Bay found a way to keep such a scenario from coming true.
5 AB, 3 H, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R, 1 BB
Comment: Pedroia's postseason struggles at the plate subsided in Game 2, as the talented second baseman contributed in almost every way imaginable.
4 1/3 IP, 8 ER, 9 H, 1 BB, 5 K, 3 HR
Comment: Beckett's 4 1/3 innings marked the shortest outing of his postseason career, and the eight runs he allowed were the most he's given up in the postseason.
Game 2's extra-inning loss was strenuous, but the Red Sox have Jon Lester ready to start Game 3 back at Fenway Park on Monday afternoon. Lester is not only 11-1 at home this season, but he hasn't allowed an earned run in 14 innings this postseason.
Mark Remme is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.