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Mitch's Sports Report: Red Sox Tweak Old Kinks Classic, Asking 'Where Has All The Offense Gone?'

With apologies to Ray Davies and the Kinks, the question the Boston Red Sox and their fans are asking today is "Where has all the offense gone?" In the first two games of their current nine game road trip, the Sox scored twenty-seven runs, crossing the plate seemingly at will. But over the past two games and eighteen innings against Oakland and yesterday in San Diego, the Red Sox scored but once, a home run by pinch hitter Chris Young, and that wasn't enough to beat the Padres in a 2-1 loss at Petco Park yesterday.

Facing his old team for the first time since being traded to Boston after the all-star break, Drew Pomeranz didn't have his best stuff, but definitely pitched well enough to win but for the fact that Boston's bats were flummoxed by veteran Padres starter Edwin Jackson, who struck out eleven and scattered just four hits over seven scoreless innings.

Pomeranz made one big mistake over his six innings of work, which Adam Rosales took care of with a two-run homer, accounting for all the runs the Padres would need. Young's pinch hit solo homer in the eighth gave the Red Sox some life, but the Sox blew a chance to tie or go ahead when Aaron Hill followed with a double but was left stranded at third base after a ground out, and strike-outs by Sandy Leon and Xander Bogaerts. David Ortiz came to the plate with one on in the ninth as a pinch hitter, and the coolest thing about that was not the result, a harmless fly to center to end the game, but the full-throated collective roar of the Red Sox crowd at Petco. If you had just tuned into the game on the radio and didn't know where it was being played you would have bet hard money that you were hearing a feed from Fenway Park. There are tons of Red Sox fans invading San Diego for this series, but their cheers were not enough to power a suddenly dormant offense. We'll see if tonight's spot starter Clay Buchholz will get some better run support as he fills in for Steven Wright, who's still battling shoulder pain resulting from diving back to first base as a pinch runner, a role manager John Farrell should never have given him, and clearly a decision which still has me fuming more than a month after it was made.

The Red Sox blew a chance to catch the Toronto Blue Jays for first place in the division, but they didn't lose any further ground either, thanks to the NY Yankees, who beat Toronto 5-3 at the Stadium yesterday. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a two-run homer off R.A. Dickey and added a third RBI to back up a shaky start but solid recovery by Masahiro Tanaka, who gave up three hits in the first inning but just one run when Jose Bautista was thrown out at the plate on a grounder. The Yankees aren't looking to help the Red Sox, of course, they're very much boosting their own chances of making the playoffs, and with the win yesterday remain just three and a half games back in the wild card race. The Yanks have nine games left on their Bronx homestand and are playing some of their best baseball of the season despite trading away some of their biggest name players at the deadline a few weeks ago.

The crosstown Mets are defying the odds, too, not to mention the injury bug. It also doesn't hurt that right now they're playing one of the sad sack teams in the National League, the Cincinnati Reds. Bartolo Colon had little trouble with the Reds yesterday, giving up just five hits over six scoreless innings in the Mets' 5-0 win. The ageless Colon is now 13-7 on the year and 4-1 over his last seven stars with an ERA under three. Matt Reynolds and Kelly Johnson homered to power the Mets offense.

The Vermont Lake Monsters played their season finale in style, finishing their season with a 9-5 comeback win over the Lowell Spinners. Big day for Sean Murphy who went three for three with two runs and a solo home run, and put the game away in the eighth, drawing three walks and then getting the game-winning single from Murphy to break a 5-5 tie.

In womens' college soccer yesterday the Norwich Cadets defeated Johnson 2-0 on goals by Mehgan McMullen and Ashley Carvalho for the team's first win of the season.

At the U.S. Open tennis tournament there will be no sister act after Venus Williams was denied a chance to play mean older sister to Serena in a thrilling three set loss to Karolina Pliskova. Williams got a rousing ovation for her efforts against the younger Pliskova, who's just twenty-four years old while Venus is an ancient, at least in tennis years, thirty-six. The veteran Williams played brilliantly and took Pliskova to a deciding third set that the native of the Czech Republic won 7-6. Meanwhile, top seed Serena Williams coasted into the quarterfinals, making history in the process. With her straight sets win over Yaroslava Shev-dova yesterday, she won grand slam match number 308 for her career, and that is a record for man or woman, as she moves one ahead od Roger Federer for the all-time record. Serena is still eyeing anothe record, though, and that is Steffi Graf's most all-time Grand Slam tournament championships, which Serena can equal if she wins this U.S. Open.

On the mens' side top seed Novak Djokavic is in action tonight against Jo-Wilifried Tsonga of France, and the other quarterfinal today features two more Frenchmen as Gael Monfils faces countryman Lucas Pouille, fresh off his upset ouster of Rafael Nadal.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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