Rapid reaction: Padres 5, Red Sox 1

June, 22, 2011

BOSTON -- Let’s start with the positive side of things.

Despite a 5-1 loss to the San Diego Padres Wednesday afternoon in a rain-shorted game at Fenway Park, Red Sox slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez continues his torrid offensive surge.

Gonzalez went 4-for-4 and drove in the lone run for Boston. It was his league-leading 14th game with at least three hits. He’s registered three four-hit games, while currently hitting .359 with 69 RBIs and 15 home runs.

Gonzalez is 10-for-19 with seven RBIs in the last four games.

There were a total of four rain delays before the game was called prior to the start of the bottom of the eighth inning.

LACKLUSTER: After winning his last three starts, Red Sox starter John Lackey suffered his shortest outing of the season, working 3 1/3 innings and allowing five runs on four hits with four walks and four strikeouts. He also hit two batters, threw a wild pitch and surrendered a leadoff home run to the Padres’ Will Venable. Lackey's worst outing of the season came on April 2 when he allowed nine runs on 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings against the Texas Rangers.

RED-HOT REDDICK: Red Sox outfielder Josh Reddick was not in the starting lineup Wednesday, but served as a pinch-hitter for Mike Cameron in the bottom of the sixth inning. Reddick lined out to short to end the inning, but in the top of the seventh, he displayed his defensive prowess. For the second consecutive game, Reddick made a tremendous diving catch in left field, robbing the Padres’ Nick Hundley of a hit. He made sure to watch his gem on the video board.

SCRATCHED: Red Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro was originally in Wednesday’s lineup, but was scratched at game time due to illness. Scutaro was replaced by rookie Drew Sutton, who played short and batted in the No. 7 spot in the order.

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY: The original start time of 1:35 was pushed back to 2:05 due to inclement weather. There was a second rain delay, lasting 38 minutes, with one out in the top of the third inning. There was another 31-minute delay after the top of the fifth inning. By the time the game resumed, there were plenty of empty seats at Fenway. But, wait, there was more. Prior to the start of the bottom of the eighth, the game was delayed once again. When it was finally called, the total delay was 2 hours 24 minutes.

UP NEXT: The Red Sox will have Thursday off before continuing their interleague schedule when they travel to Pittsburgh to face the Pirates for a three-game set. Lefty Jon Lester (9-3, 3.70 ERA) will make his 16th start of the season on Friday against the Pirates. It will be his first career start against Pittsburgh.

QUESTIONABLE: Red Sox starter Josh Beckett is still dealing with the flu bug and remains questionable for his scheduled start on Saturday at Pittsburgh.

“He’s really sick,” manager Terry Francona said. “Doctors are trying to figure it out. I have not seen him this morning. He wasn’t good yesterday and we’re going to have to play this one by ear. There are some pitchers, because of the off day, that we’re actually OK.”

Even if Beckett begins to feel better in the coming days, Francona is not inclined to throw the veteran right-hander out there immediately.

“We’ll see how he responds [Thursday],” Francona said. “He just has a good old-fashioned case of the flu.”

In case Beckett can’t pitch on Saturday, lefty Andrew Miller is set to throw a shorter side session on Thursday in case he’s needed in place of Beckett.

Joe McDonald

ESPN Staff Writer



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