First pitch: Sox can't capitalize on offensive chances

First pitch: Sox can't capitalize on offensive chances
July 1, 2012, 3:05 pm
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SEATTLE -- For the fifth time in as many tries, the Red Sox lost a game in extra innings Saturday night.

But it wasn't as if they didn't have their chances. Before Chone Figgins' sacrfice fly to right scored Dustin Ackley to give the Seattle Mariners a 3-2 11-inning win, the Red Sox had any number of opportunties.

They outhit the Mariners, 11-9, but managed to strand 10 men on base. In both the fourth and tenth innings, they left a man on third base and in the fifth, seventh, and ninth, they left runners on second.

For the game, they were a woeful 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

"Yeah, we had some opportunities,'' lamented Bobby Valentine. "It was just one of those nights we couldn't find the hole and didn't come up with the big one.''

The worst squander came in the 10th, when the Sox got singles from Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz to start the inning. But Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out, Adrian Gonzalez hit into a force play that wiped out Ortiz at second while pushing Pedroia to third.

Will Middlebrooks then hit into an inning-ending fielder's choice.

"Really, really frustrating,'' said Saltalamacchia in recounting the inning. "First and second, no outs, starting with me, I've got to get a guy over, especially with Adrian right behind me. But we didn't do it.''

Gonzalez came into the game with the best average with runners in scoring position (.385) among A.L. qualifiers, but he, too, failed.

"You've got to give the (Seattle) pitching some credit,'' reasoned Cody Ross. "They're bringing in some guys throwing some gas. They made some really good defensive plays. That's just the way it goes. Of course, you want to get some runs across when you get the opportunity, but tonight, we were unable to do it.''

Valentine was asked whether he considered having Saltalamacchia bunt the baserunners over with none out.

"I don't think I've ever bunted my fourth-place hitter,'' explained the manager.