The Red Sox really don't want to get over .500.
A pitcher's duel went in Baltimore's favor tonight as the Red Sox couldn't touch Brian Matusz, who allowed just two hits and one walk against nine strikeouts in six and a third innings. The bullpen remained strong, splitting the remaining innings among Darren O'Day, Pedro Strop, and closer Jim Johnson.
Felix Doubront was nearly Matusz's equal: He only pitched six innings, but had nine strikeouts as well. He did, however, walk two, and give up four hits, including a homer. In fairness, the bomb was surrendered to future home run champ Steve Tolleson.
If you want to be a pessimist, you can focus on the Sox getting just two hits, or on Matt Albers' inconsistent outing. Or on Franklin Morales' balk, which marks the (unofficial) 273rd balk of the year for Boston. If you want to be an optimist: Adrian Gonzalez didn't break every bone in his body playing in right, Kevin Youkilis homered in his first game back, and Doubront did register a relatively commanding quality start. More on Doubront in the dump tomorrow morning.
The Yankees won, so sole possession of 5th place remains ours.