It was all shaping up so nicely last night. The Sox built an early lead, added on as the Rays got closer and entered the ninth with a 7-4 advantage. All Matt Thornton and his teammates had to do was shut the door on a team which had yet to reach the win column in this young season.
Not so fast.
A shaky Thornton, sloppy errors by Alexei Ramirez and Juan Pierre and a three-run homer by the mediocre Dan Johnson turned a Sox victory into a demoralizing 9-7 defeat and gave Tampa Bay its first triumph.
As unsettling as Thornton’s “closing” performances have been, it’s still early. Same goes for the Sox defensive meltdown last night so I’m resisting the urge to overreact. I just hope it doesn’t have an effect going forward–both on the South Siders and the now-rejuvenated Rays in the last two games of the series.
Silver Lining: Despite the tough loss, it’s only fair to point out a few positives…As the DH, Mark Teahen went 3 for 4 wth a homer and three RBIs…Jesse Crain pitched two perfect innings and looked great doing it…Paul Konerko collected two hits and an RBI and is very quietly hitting .393…Gordon Beckham‘s three hits, which included his first homer, elevated his BA to .355.