Frustration builds as Sox fall in extras, 6-5

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Frustration builds as Sox fall in extras, 6-5

BOSTON What appeared early in the game might be a comfortable lead ended in yet another level of futility and frustration for the Red Sox Friday night at Fenway Park as they lost 6-5 to the Twins.

It was their third straight loss, second to the Twins.

A second chance in the third inning for Carl Crawford appeared to be what the Red Sox needed to boost them over the Twins. With two outs and two on in the third, Crawford lofted a pop-up into foul territory near the first base coachs box, a seemingly certain third out for Justin Morneau, who entered the game with a .996 fielding percentage, making just two errors in 82 games.

But, the ball glanced off the tip of Morneaus glove, giving Crawford new life. He drilled the next pitch from Twins lefty Brian Duensing into the Red Sox bullpen, giving the Sox a 5-1 lead, with his third home run of the season.

But, that seemingly comfortable lead for Felix Doubront was all given back by the Sox left-hander in the fifth inning.

The Twins got on the scoreboard first when Morneau led off the second with a double to left, taking third on Danny Valencias fly out to Cody Ross in right, and scoring on Darin Mastroiannis single up the middle.

The Sox quickly tied the game in the bottom of the inning with Crawford hit a two-out double to right, scoring on Kelly Shoppachs single to center.

The Sox opened the third with consecutive singles by Dustin Pedroia, Ross, and Adrian Gonzalez for one-run before Crawfords blast.

With a 5-1 lead in the fifth, Doubront gave up a lead-off single to No. 9 hitter, Jamey Carroll, who was erased on Denard Spans fielders choice. A single by Ben Revere and a walk to Joe Mauer loaded the bases. A five-pitch walk to Josh Willingham pushed in Span for one run. And a two-run single by Morneau, atoning for his earlier miscue, scored Revere and Mauer. Danny Valencias sacrifice fly to right scored Willingham, tying the score, 5-5.

Doubront lasted just five innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and four walks with two strikeouts. He threw 97 pitches, 60 strikes, as his ERA went from 4.37 to 4.56.

Duensing was not involved in the decision, either, going six innings, giving up five runs (two earned) on 10 hits with no walks, three strikeouts, and a home run.

Vicente Padilla entered for the 10th, giving up a lead-off double to Darin Mastroianni on a 3-and-2 pitch. With one out, No. hitter Jamey Carroll singled to center, scoring Mastroianni with the go-ahead run.

Padilla took the loss, falling to 4-1 with a 3.92 ERA.

Carroll reached base in all five plate appearances, a walk, two singles, and two doubles. Morneau also reached base five times, with two doubles, two singles, and getting hit by an Andrew Miller pitch I n the ninth. He had two RBI and a run scored.

STAR OF THE GAME: Jamey Carroll
The Twins No. 9 hitter drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning with a one-out single to center, scoring Darin Mastroianni.

Carroll reached base in all five plate appearances, going 4-for-4 with a walk, two singles, and two doubles. His four hits tied a career high for the 11th time. It was the eighth time in his career that he has reached base safely five times in a game. He is the first Twins No. 9 batter to reach base safely in all five plate appearances since Denard Span on July 10, 2008, at Detroit.

HONORABLE MENTION: Justin Morneau
While Morneau was very nearly the goat, with a third-inning error that lead to three unearned runs, he redeemed himself by going 4-for-4, reaching base in all five plate appearances, with two doubles, two singles, and getting hit by a pitch in the ninth. He had two RBI and a run scored.

It was the ninth time in his career he has reached base safely five times in a game.

Morneau went 4-for-4 off Red Sox left-handed pitchers and is 13-for-24 (.542) against lefties since July 19. Before that he was just .133 (13-for-98) this season. It was the second time in his career he had four hits off left-handers, the first since May 18, 2009, against the Yankees.

His two-run single with the bases loaded in the fifth inning was just his second hit in 14 at-bats with the bases loaded this season.

THE GOAT: Felix Doubront
Doubront was unable to hold a four-run lead in the fifth, allowing the Twins to tie the game. That would be his last inning.

THE TURNING POINT
The Sox had a four-run lead going into the fifth but the Twins scored four runs.

Doubront gave up a lead-off single to No. 9 hitter, Jamey Carroll, who was erased on Denard Spans fielders choice. A single by Ben Revere and a walk to Joe Mauer loaded the bases. A five-pitch walk to Josh Willingham pushed in Span for one run. And a two-run single by Mauer, atoning for his earlier miscue, scored Revere and Mauer. Danny Valencias sacrifice fly to right scored Willingham, tying the score, 5-5.

STAT OF THE DAY: 3-for-14
The Sox were just 3-for-14 (.214) with runners in scoring position, leaving 10 runners on base.

QUOTE OF NOTE
We had good at-bats, and we had chances, and we didnt have such good at-bats. Well get em tomorrow. Bobby Valentine

First impressions of Red Sox’ 2-1 loss to Rays

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First impressions of Red Sox’ 2-1 loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- First Impressions from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field:

 

* When the guy who was 0-for-34 produces the go-ahead RBI, it's probably not your day.

The Red Sox and Rays were tied 1-1 in the seventh when Steven Souza Jr. singled to lead off the inning. That brought Mikie Mahtook, hitless in his last 34 at-bats to the plate.

Naturally, Mahtook roped a line-drive double to left field, scoring Souza all the way from first base. It was that kind of day for the Red Sox, who were 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position and stranded five baserunners.

For a team that still leads the majors in runs scored, the Red Sox have shown an uncanny ability to go cold at the plate.

On Thursday afternoon, that happened again, while the most unlikely hero for Tampa Bay came through in an improbable spot.

 

* The Red Sox' struggles with the bases loaded is almost comical.

It happened again.

In the sixth inning, the Red Sox loaded the bases with no out. Mookie Betts then hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring one run. Hanley Ramirez then walked, re-loading the bases, this time with one out.

But Jackie Bradley Jr. then swung at the first pitch and hit into an inning-ending, rally-killing 4-6-3 double play.

In two plate appearances with the bases loaded, the Sox failed to get a hit.

The Sox are hitting .216 with the bases loaded (24-for-111), ranking them 14th in the American League. Only Seattle and Detroit have had more bases-loaded opportunities, and yet the Red Sox rank in the second half in runs scored in such situations.

 

* Drew Pomeranz is showing no signs of innings fatigue

True, Pomeranz failed to provide a shutdown inning in the sixth after the Red Sox had gotten him a run in the top of the inning.

Still, Pomeranz pitched into the seventh and allowed just two runs while striking out a season-high 11 batters.

In his past five starts, he's compiled a 2.37 ERA, and both the power to his fastball and the sharpness to his curve offer no evidence that he's hit any sort of wall despite already establishing a career high at the major league level with five weeks remaining in the season.

     

 

 

Thursday’s Red Sox-Rays lineups: Benintendi (DL), Ortiz (day off) out

Thursday’s Red Sox-Rays lineups: Benintendi (DL), Ortiz (day off) out

David Ortiz and Andrew Benintendi are of of the lineup as the Red Sox close out their four-game series, and 11-game road trip, with a matinee (1:10 p.m.) against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

Benintendi was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday. He sustained a sprained knee while running the bases in the seventh inning of an eventual 11-inning loss to the Rays on Wednesday night. He had MRI Thursday morning and the Red Sox medical staff will review the results when the team returns to Boston. 

It’s a day off for Ortiz, who will be replaced at DH by Hanley Ramirez, who had the night off Wednesday. Travis Shaw starts at first base.

With Benintendi out, Chris Young, who came off the DL on Monday, will start in left field. Left-hander Drew Pomeranz (10-9, 2.95 ERA) is on the mound for the Red Sox, who are trying to take three of four from the Rays to finish the trip 8-3. Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (8-5, 3.63) starts for the Rays. 

RED SOX

Dustin Pedroia 2B

Xander Bogaerts SS

Mookie Betts RF

Hanley Ramirez DH

Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

Chris Young LF

Aaron Hill 3B

Travis Shaw 1B

Bryan Holaday C

Drew Pomeranz LHP

 

RAYS

Logan Forsythe 2B

Kevin Kiermaier CF

Evan Longoria 3B

Brad Miller 1B

Matt Duffy SS

Logan Morrison DH

Scott Souza RF

Mike Mahtook LF

Luke Maile C

Jake Odorizzi RHP