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Schilling roughed up as Rox top Sox

Schilling roughed up as Rox top Sox

BOSTON -- Red Sox right-hander Curt Schilling, who actually was waiting for the media in the postgame interview room following Wednesday night's 12-2 loss to the Rockies, knew the question was coming.

In fact, before a reporter even got the first couple of words out of his mouth, Schilling intercepted it and answered.

In short, Schilling does not feel as if there was any kind of letdown or hangover effect after his vintage performance from six days earlier, when he lost a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth against the A's.

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The way Schilling tells it, this was just one of those utterly frustrating occasions when a pitch here and a pitch there turned what could have been a decent night into a thoroughly disheartening defeat.

"I faced 13 hitters in the first two innings," said Schilling. "I thought in the first two innings, I really made one mistake and that was the ball to [Garrett] Atkins I left in the middle of the plate. The rest of the balls, ground balls -- we played a sloppy first two innings all around. But we settled in. It was a very winnable game until [Brad] Hawpe's at-bat in the fifth."

It's just that Hawpe's one swing flatlined the Red Sox. His three-run homer turned a 3-2 game into a 6-2 game in a matter of seconds.

The ill-fated changeup was smoked several rows deep into the box seats in right, just one of many damaging two-out hits by the Rockies in this one.

"It was one of those nights; it started out weird, I got it under control and then just kind of let it get away," said Schilling. "All six runs were with two outs. Just didn't make that last pitch of the inning when we had to."

The Rockies belted Schilling around for nine hits and six runs (five earned) over five innings.

"We have [99] games left," said Kevin Youkilis. "A lot can happen between now and then."

The Red Sox have their undefeated ace Josh Beckett (9-0) on the mound Thursday, when they will try to take the rubber match of this three-game series.

The Rockies put the Red Sox on their heels early by getting one in the first on an Atkins RBI double, and two more in the second on RBI singles by Kaz Matsui and Matt Holliday.

"First couple of innings, it is almost hard for me to say [Schilling] struggled," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "One hitter into the game, he gets a nice jam shot and he's already pitching out of the stretch. It's 3-2 and you can feel us coming back."

Indeed, the Red Sox looked like they'd make a game of it, with Mike Lowell smashing a solo homer to left in the bottom of the second and Manny Ramirez cutting the deficit to 3-2 with an RBI single to left in the third.

But Hawpe silenced the Fenway faithful with that rip to right.

"He had some crazy things happen," said Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. "We stayed in the game and, really, that three-run homer got us. After that, the wheels came off a little bit and we gave up some runs."

The Rockies tacked on three more in the sixth against Kyle Snyder and Javy Lopez, and the rout was officially on.

Before you knew it, Francona was going to his bench with an eye toward keeping the troops fresh for the rest of the homestand.

"You can't worry about these," said Youkilis. "You get blown out like this, you can deal with these. It's the ones that are 4-3 and you don't get that one big hit or make that one big pitch [that are frustrating]."

For Schilling, it was a tough follow-up act after coming just one out away from his first career no-hitter on June 7.

"It feels like a downer because we lost," said Schilling. "Good and bad, every fifth day, it's a new game. I certainly wanted to build on it. I felt like I was throwing the ball well early and make a couple of pitches early in the game to get some contact that I wanted, and it just didn't work out."

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

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