BOSTON -- On his knees behind the first-base bag, Brock Holt slammed his helmet to the dirt in frustration. It was another opportunity wasted.
Just a moment earlier, Holt had stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning of a tied game with the Indians. With two outs and the bases loaded, Holt had a chance to add another chapter to the ever-growing legend of his startlingly good 2014 season.
He grounded out on a chopper to second baseman Jason Kipnis, sprinting so hard to beat the throw that he fell head first to the ground immediately after touching the base.
"Trying to get to first base to win the game there," Holt said. "I chopped it into the ground, the field was kind of hard there at that point. Knew it was going to be a tougher play. Just tried to get down the line as quick as possible and Kipnis made a good play on it."
In Boston's 3-2 loss to the Indians was featured one of the biggest struggles that has faced the team all season: the elusiveness of the timely hit.
The Red Sox left eight men on base Sunday and scored fewer than three runs for the fourth time in the last seven games. They had just three hits in the final 10 innings of play.
In the ninth inning, the Sox had two men on with one out two batters before Holt, but Cleveland reliever John Axford got Stephen Drew to strike out on a fastball that hovered in the high-90s.
"It's been elusive," Farrell said of his team's ability to find key hits. "I can't say that we change our approach. One through nine, it's not like we're going about it differently. But it's been elusive."
Holt explained that perhaps some of the team's hitters are pressing in big spots.
Drew chalked it up to baseball being baseball. The nature of the game is such that these things even out.