Of all the issues Felix Doubront has had en route to becoming the weak link in the Red Sox’ rotation, none are so egregious as his inability to finish off an inning.

To wit: Entering last night, opponents were batting .378 with five walks after Doubront records two outs.

So, when Doubront issued back-to-back two-out walks to Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria in the fifth inning here last night, Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves trotted to the mound for what looked like a stern pep talk with the big lefty.

Sure enough, Doubront got .205-hitting Yunel Escobar to pop out, ending the threat.

Progress? Sure. But it wasn’t enough.

Making his first start since May 3, Doubront continued to deal with maddening inefficiency, walking six batters and throwing 104 pitches (only 54 strikes) before being lifted for reliever Clayton Mortensen one batter into the sixth inning of the rubber game of a three-game series at Tropicana Field.