Josh Beckett pitched a solid seven innings, but once again the Sox failed to win as their bullpen couldn't keep the opponent off the basepaths. This time it was Franklin Morales, who gave up two hits, three walks, and three earned runs while retiring just one batter in the 8th inning.
There was also the requisite questionable decision making that Bobby V is making a hallmark of the 2012 Red Sox. He elected to intentionally walk Adrian Beltre (albeit with first base open) to pitch to Nelson Cruz, who happens to hold the highest career slugging percentage (minimum 100 plate appearances) against the Red Sox, at .724 (hat tip to @alexspeier for the great stat).
It was relatively inconsequential, as Morales then walked Cruz (not intentionally, just from incompetence). Texas sent Craig Gentry, a righty, in as a pinch hitter, and Morales pitched to him despite Vicente Padilla having warmed up and Albers actively warming in the pen. Morales hit Gentry, forcing in a run. He then faced Mike Napoli, who holds the second-highest career slugging percentage against the Red Sox, at .715. (You can guess where I got that stat.) Napoli predictably slugged the ball, driving in two runs. Bobby V decided a force was necessary and elected to intentionally walk Mitch Moreland, a lefty, and, as a fantasy owner of his I can personally tell you, a lousy baseball player. With a righty due up, Bobby V brought in Albers with the game blown open and two men on base. Albers got the double play, surely taking some heat off Bobby V in the papers tomorrow. It was definitely a bizarre sequence to watch in real time.
Regardless, the Sox once again came up short against one of the best teams in the AL. The Rangers are flat-out good, and right now, the Red Sox are not. Youk broke out of his slump with a bomb over the monster, and Ryan Sweeney once again showed some clutch hitting with his fifth ninth-inning hit of the year (hat tip to Rob Bradford for that nugget). But that's what this season, 12 games in, is: a few bright spots amid a pretty murky mess of a team.
On the horizon is the celebration of Fenway Park, though, so all is well. The owners are still raking it in, and isn't that what really matters?