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Ben Whitehead
Contributing Writer

There might not be anything more annoying than watching your team lose on a walk-off walk. Questionable decisions were abound Tuesday night in San Francisco, as the Boston Red Sox lost to the Giants, 3-2. The loss, coupled with a Tampa Bay win, dropped the Sox into a tie for first in the AL East. It was also Boston’s eighth loss in its last 12 games.

It will be a quick turnaround for the Red Sox (74-54) and the Giants (56-69), who finished at 10:15 p.m. on the West Coast and play at 12:45 p.m. today in the series finale. On the hill for the rubber game for the Red Sox is Felix Doubront, who has an 8-6 record with a 3.95 ERA, but has made it past the fifth inning just once in his last four starts. Each of Doubront’s last two starts ended with him on the bench after just four innings. If Boston wants to turn around their recent skid and avoid losing their fourth straight series, Doubront will need to go deep into the game today.

Here is the lineup for the Red Sox this afternoon (first pitch – 3:45 pm EDT):

1. Ellsbury, CF
2. Victorino, RF
3. Pedroia, 2B
4. Ortiz, DH
5. Gomes, LF
6. Saltalamacchia, C
7. Drew, SS
8. Middlebrooks, 3B
9. Doubront, P

The Giants send Barry Zito to the mound. Zito is winless in his last 10 starts and 14 appearances, dating to May 30. Zito has pitched out of the bullpen his last four times out and is making his first start since July 30. He is 4-8 with a 5.34 ERA this year.

Bogaerts debut not the best
Xander Bogaerts, the Red Sox top prospect, made his highly-anticipated debut Tuesday night and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and two ground outs. He left five on base – bases loaded once and runners on second and third another time. Despite facing a left-handed pitcher today, manager John Farrell is starting left-handed hitting Stephen Drew at shortstop today. Expect to see Bogaerts a couple times next series in Los Angeles. Farrell has said Bogaerts will play both positions on the left side of the infield. Will Middlebrooks, who is 14-for-29 (.483) since coming back to Boston, may shift over to first base for a game, but that has yet to be decided.

Ortiz back, Napoli still out
David Ortiz returns to the lineup and is playing first base again today. Mike Napoli remains out with a left foot injury, although he did pinch hit in the ninth inning Tuesday, grounding out to shortstop.

Let us know what you think about today’s game by commenting below.

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Ben Whitehead 8/21/2013 01:45:00 PM Edit
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