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For Doubront, at least, it's a step forward

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  September 14, 2012 12:01 AM

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The Red Sox lost a rather tepid game at Fenway Park Thursday night, 2-0 against the Yankees. There were 11 hits in the game, nine of them singles, and not much excitement.

If you want something positive to take out of this night, look to Felix Doubront, who pitched into the seventh inning and gave up two runs.

There was some doubt Doubront would make the start. The 24-year-old lefthander was 0-4 with an 8.27 earned run average in his previous seven starts and there were concerns he was wearing down in his first full season as a starter in the majors.

But Doubront pitched well in a bullpen session on Monday, convincing the team to give him another shot and it paid off.

“I was trying to think less and make pitches. That’s what I did,” Doubront said. “It was the mental part I worked on. I tried to throw the first pitch for a strike.”

Doubront (10-9) allowed four hits and struck out five with five walks. He has pitched well against the Yankees in four starts this season, giving up seven earned runs over 25 innings. He is the only starter in the majors this season with four quality starts against New York.

“I thought he was excellent,” Bobby Valentine said. “He had a good fastball, breaking ball. Good competitiveness. Just missed on some pitches.”

Doubront, who said he has two starts remaining, hopes to end his season on a good note.

“Finish strong and healthy, those were my goals the whole year,” he said. “I think I can do it and I’m going to do it.”

Said Valentine: “Talking with him, he was very determined to right his ways. I think today was a good step in that direction. If we scored some runs, we would have gotten a win.”

Doubront can be an important piece in the rotation in 2013. The question is whether he's the fourth or fifth starter on a deep staff or the No. 3 starter.

Meanwhile:

• The Sox have lost six of their last seven games and 13 of 15. They have 80 losses for the first time since the 1997 team finished 78-84.

• The Sox start a seven-game road trip in Toronto on Friday. Dustin Pedroia will join the team there sometime this weekend.

• Bill Cosby, who worked closely with Sox chairman Tom Werner during his television career, threw out the first pitch before the game. Larry David, a Yankees fan, was in a seat near the Red Sox dugout. There was no word on whether he took the HOV lane to the game. Actor Jon Hamm also was on hand.

• The Yankees are 10-5 against the Sox this season, winning seven of the nine games played at Fenway. The Sox have lost the season series for the first time since 2007.

• Kudos to Jackie Dempsey, one of the Red Sox ball girls. She was on the field before the game taking grounders from coach Jerry Royster to improve her skills. Bench coach Tim Bogar was giving her pointers, too. Dempsey, who also works in the front office, played infield at Villanova after starring at Lexington High.

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