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Ryan Dempster managed to navigate his way through the start of the first inning to the end of the frame in an economical fashion, needing only 15 pitches to get past the first four batters he faced in the game.
But in the next two innings, Dempster’s pitch count resembled the tote board of a pinball machine run amok, as he needed 30 pitches to get out of the second and 40 to weather a three-run outburst in the third. It resulted in the premature end of Dempster’s night in Thursday’s humbling 12-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians in the opener of this four-game series against the Tribe before 35,254 at Fenway Park. His total for the night: 85 pitches, 52 strikes