Inability to make adjustments hurts Wright vs. Angels

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ANAHEIM -- Steven Wright prides himself on being able to make adjustments within an inning, so that when his trademark knuckleball begins to stray, he can do his own bit of mound maintenance and regain command.

That didn't happen in the third inning Monday night and it cost Wright and the Red Sox dearly.

Trailing 1-0 in the third, Wright got the first two Los Angeles Angels of the inning. But he then walked three of the next four hitters and before the inning was through, the Angels had scored four times and were on their way to a 7-3 pasting of the Red Sox and a sweep of the team' four-game series.

"That one inning kind of got away from me,'' bemoaned Wright. "When you have two outs and you have two-out walks, I kind of shot myself in the foot.
If I had been able to limit that inning, I would have been able to go deeper and give us a chance to win.

"But when you give up five runs in three innings, it's kind of makes it hard for the offense to get anything going because you're playing from behind.''

The knuckler had more movement that Wright has had in a while -- too much so, with the pitch dipping out of the strike zone and leading to a parade of baserunners.

"When you can't throw it for strikes,'' said Wright, ''you kind of limit your options.''

Before that inning, Wright had given up a solo homer to Albert Pujols.

In the fifth, he allowed a solo homer to Mike Trout.

But it the inning in-between that sank him. The Angels didn't hit the ball hard that inning. Of the three hits they collected, one was a bunt and another was an infield single in the shortstop hole.

The walks, however, did him in.

"He had a lot of movement tonight,'' said John Farrell. "Unfortunately, there were a lot of pitches out of the strike zone. He was getting under some pitches that were staying up. I think there was a lot of movement to the knuckleball tonight. He was trying to find a release point to allow it to finish in the strike zone. But after a couple of quick outs, it was elusive for him. The inning started to unravel on him. It was a quick loss of the release point and (before) he got it back, there's four quick runs on the board.''

After the game, the Red Sox optioned Wright back to Pawtucket, though, as the designated 26th man for the doubleheader, he can be recalled at any time without waiting for the usual 10-day period to pass.

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