Clement struggles in rain-shortened loss

Clement struggles in rain-shortened loss

BOSTON -- The Red Sox were deprived of their final 12 outs at soggy Fenway Park on Friday night, but they didn't feel the need to lodge any major complaints. From the start to the hollow finish, this just wasn't Boston's night.

Amid raw and rainy conditions, the Red Sox suffered a 6-0 loss to the Rangers in a game that was delayed -- and never resumed -- with David Ortiz batting and two outs in the bottom of the sixth.

"It was cold out there, it was not fun, it was miserable," said first baseman Kevin Youkilis. "You have to go out there and play until they call the game, and that's what I was trying to do. It was just, all around, not a fun day. What else can you say?"

The game was delayed for 48 minutes before it became obvious that Mother Nature would not allow another pitch.

"It's a tough night for everybody," said manager Terry Francona. "You'd certainly like to play nine and have a chance to win the game. I understand the umpires -- they thought they could keep us out there. Once they stayed for five, I was kind of appreciative they didn't just call it then. I thought they did a pretty good job."

This was no night to be a hitter, but that didn't stop Hank Blalock. The Rangers' third baseman got a hold of one to start the second, hammering a solo shot to center off right-hander Matt Clement to give Texas a 1-0 lead.

The Rangers came out hacking again in the third. Rod Barajas led off with a double to left and scored on a bloop single by Gary Matthews. Phil Nevin delivered a two-out RBI double and Blalock belted an RBI single to make it 4-0.

Meanwhile, Kameron Loe, who earned the win with a rare five-inning shutout, did a nice job of stifling the Sox.

Boston did put together a rally in the fourth, thanks to an infield single by Trot Nixon and a one-out double to left by Jason Varitek. But Loe got Mike Lowell and Wily Mo Pena on grounders to third to emerge unscathed.

Clement, working on seven days' rest after being skipped over for the series with the Yankees, never seemed in rhythm. He gave up six hits and four runs over five innings, striking out four. Did the layoff affect him?

"No," Clement said tersely.

How about the conditions? Were they the culprit in Clement's less-than-sharp performance?

"It was tough, but at the same time, [Loe] did a great job," Clement said. "He still got the job done and made a couple of huge pitches when he was in trouble, and he did the job that he needed to do."

There were a few times Clement looked awkward on his follow-through, and Francona and the training staff went out to confer with him. But Clement said that he's fine.

"In a situation like that, it was pretty rough out there, you're slipping a little bit every once in a while," he said. "My arm felt great. I was just having trouble getting my legs comfortable with the ground. I gave up runs because they hit the ball. That's a good hitting team. I left a few balls up, and they hit them hard."

Things didn't go much better when left-hander Mike Holtz came on in relief in the sixth. Matthews roped a two-run triple over the head of Pena, who got a bad jump on the ball, to make it 6-0.

Any hopes of a Boston comeback were derailed at 9:16 p.m. ET. With Loe about to deal a 2-2 pitch to Ortiz, the tarp came out to cover the field, where it may sit for most of what is supposed to be a soggy weekend in Boston.

"It wasn't playable -- that was getting real bad, real quick," Youkilis said. "It was soaked out there, there were puddles. It's not easy."

Ian Browne is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.