Extra Bases

Picking up the pieces from a lost night

A few sobering facts:

* The Sox are 1-4 at home, all five of those games coming against the Yankees and Rays, two teams they will be fighting for a playoff spot this season. Giving away home games, no matter how early, is a bad sign.

* It’s only April but the Sox are already four games out of first place in the division.

* Mike Cameron and Marco Scutaro, cornerstones of Theo Epstein’s plan to upgrade the defense, cost the team five unearned runs tonight. “We talked all spring about how good we’re going to be defensively,” Francona said. “We’ve not done that consistently yet. I think we will — I know we will.”

* Clay Buchholz, who the organization believed would blossom this season, has a 1.80 ERA after two starts but is as untrustworthy as Tiger Woods at a waitress convention. Part of a pitcher’s job is to pick up a teammate after an error and Buchholz only threw more gas on the fire. The pitch to Pat Burrell was screaming “hit me” as it arrived.

* The Rays have won 21 of their last 38 games against the Red Sox. Remember how the Sox used to go into a series against the Rays knowing they would win? That’s how the Rays feel now.

* The Sox were 4 for 10 with runners in scoring position against the Yankees on Opening Night and scored nine runs. They are 12 of 81 with RISP since (.148) and have averaged 3.8 runs a game.

All that said, the Sox were 2-6 to start last season and won 95 games. They were 4-4 to start the 2004 and 2007 seasons and you know what happened then. Trying to predict what a baseball team will do based on 11 games in April is a waste of time.

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But knowing that didn’t change the mood in the clubhouse any tonight.

“A night like this hurts,” David Ortiz said. “April can be a crazy month in baseball but you don’t expect this. Not from this team.”

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