Stewart shelled early, Sox unable to recover

Stewart shelled early, Sox unable to recover

Stewart shelled early, Sox unable to recover
ANAHEIM -- The Red Sox hoped Zach Stewart could at least be competitive on Wednesday night when he made his debut for the team that acquired him from the White Sox for Kevin Youkilis back in June.

But that didn't even come close to happening, as the right-hander endured an emphatic and early knockout, suffering a 10-3 loss to the Angels.

Stewart was belted around to the tune of 10 hits and nine runs. He walked none and struck out two.

That's what happens when a pitcher known for staying down in the zone leaves just about everything up.

"Well, I think he got too many pitches up," said manager Bobby Valentine. "He has to pitch down in the zone to be effective, and he just wasn't able to do that tonight."

It was just a spot start for Stewart, who was filling in for the injured Franklin Morales. In fact, Stewart was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket after the game to make room for reliever Daniel Bard, who will be recalled from the Minors for Thursday's game.

In a piece of infamy, Stewart became the first Boston pitcher to allow 10 hits and nine earned runs over three innings since Howard Ehmke did so in 1923. Stewart became the first Sox pitcher since Jack Russell in 1929 to give up nine runs or more without issuing a walk. Stewart was also the first Sox pitcher to give up nine runs in his debut since Norwood Gibson did it April 29, 1903.

Yes, this was a pure battering.

"I just left a few pitches up," Stewart said. "That was basically the tell-tale of the whole game. Too inconsistent. Those guys are too good of hitters to leave that many pitches over the plate."

Stewart was bombarded right out of the gate. Mike Trout led off the first with a single and Torii Hunter followed with an RBI double. After a single by Albert Pujols made it 2-0, Kendrys Morales smashed a two-run homer.

"It was just inconsistency," Stewart said. "I was making some good pitches, and I'd turn around and leave the ball over the heart of the plate or whatever, make a bad pitch, leave a slider up, something like [that]."

The Angels came back with another run in the second, and then another four-spot in the third.

"I was trying to get him through the third inning," Valentine said. "I was deathly afraid of using the entire bullpen tonight. Guys who came in did a good job of saving some of the bullpen. We're just about at a regular pace for tomorrow."

Valentine went to Junichi Tazawa in the fourth, and he allowed just one run over two innings.

Facing C.J. Wilson, the Red Sox got a run in the second and two in the fifth, but the hole was far too big to come back from.

"Today was a better game than the last one, and to be able to bounce back against these guys after just seeing them a couple of days ago is nice," Wilson said. "We have a little bit of momentum right now from the win last night and the win today, just starting off hot in the first couple innings and scoring all those runs."

In the late innings, Valentine went with a different look, using Alfredo Aceves in a mop up situation. Aceves had been Boston's closer until the last few days.

Aceves reeled off two scoreless innings, striking out two.

"He can pitch a lot," said Valentine. "It means he can pitch very often. We'll try to keep pitching him as much as we can. Stretch him out maybe."

As for Stewart, this was a tough way to have a one-start cameo.

"That's life in the big leagues," Valentine said. "You get an opportunity. Sometimes you make the best of it. Sometimes you have to have more than one opportunity to show what you can do."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.