Too many mistakes catch up to Red Sox in loss to A's


Too many mistakes catch up to Red Sox in loss to A's

OAKLAND -- Ahead 2-1 in the ninth inning and seemingly headed for a victory over the Oakland A's, the Red Sox badly fumbled the game away in every conceivable manner Tuesday night -- in the field, at the plate, on the bases and on the mound.

There was plenty of blame to go around in the aftermath of the Sox' 3-2 loss.

At the plate: With runners on first and second, third baseman Nick Punto, whom manager Bobby Valentine labeled "the best bunter on the team," failed to get a good sacrifice down.

Punto popped the bunt attempt up in the air, and Oakland first baseman Chris Carter, anticipating the bunt, came in, making a diving catch of the bunt.

Punto, unsure whether the bunt was caught, raced to first base, where teammate Mike Aviles, who had been on first, was doubled off.

"Nobody out, standard play . . . just got to get the bunt down," said Punto. "It was a simple execution play and I didn't get it down. That's what I do - simple fundamentals. Can't make those mistakes."

"We had first and second and no outs," lamented Bobby Valentine. "That's where the game was lost. You can't bunt into a double play there. It's that simple. We've got our best bunter on the team up and he's got to be able to bunt the guys over."

On the bases: After the bunt mishap, outfielder Ryan Kalish was on second and decided to try to steal third with two outs. He was gunned down and the Sox were out of the inning.

"It was an aggressive play," said Valentine. "They blocked the base on him. He had it stolen. He had it stolen, he just couldn't get in there. Good play on their part, bad play on ours.''

Asked if Kalish had gone on his own, Valentine said: "They didn't hold him. I wasn't expecting a steal. If I don't want him to go, I better hold him. It was an easy steal -- big leg kick (from pitcher Jerry Blevins), he just couldn't get by (third baseman Brandon Inge's) leg."

Said Kalish: "I thought I got a good jump. I think I was even safe. Sometimes that's just the way it goes. (Inge) had his leg in front of the bag so I think that's what (the umpire) saw."

In the field: With the potential tying-run on second, Brandon Moss singled to center. Kalish charged the ball, hoping to make a throw home, but in the process, over-ran it as Chris Carter scored and Cliff Pennington went from first to third.

From third, Pennington scored on Coco Crisp's sacrifice fly.

"I've got to play better defense," said Kalish, who misplayed a ball Monday night, too. "That's why I got called up. That's what I need to do the best and right now, I'm just not doing that."

Kalish admitted that he picked his head up as he charged the ball to see where Carter was and that proved costly.

"Yeah, for sure," said Kalish. "Between that and the ball out there kind of snakes a little bit. That was something the last few days of BP, you see. Like I said, I've got to play better 'D'. No excuses. That's something I've got to bring to the park every day."

On the mound: Alfredo Aceves had a 2-1 lead, but suffered his fourth blown save of the season and sixth loss.

He allowed two singles and a game-winning sacrifice fly.

As is his custom when pitching poorly, Aceves left the clubhouse with answering questions from reporters.

Quotes, notes and stars: 'Unfortunate situation at a key moment'


Quotes, notes and stars: 'Unfortunate situation at a key moment'

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 10-9 loss to the Blue Jays:
*“We’ve seen Hanley [Ramirez] catch that ball multiple times...An unfortunate situation at a key moment.” John Farrell said of the final play of the game.
*As soon as I let it go I thought he was out...I feel like that game kind of slipped away from us.” -Travis Shaw said of his throw in the final play of the game.
*“Everybody was so excited on the bench. We’d lost the lead and to have him come through in that situation . . . It was huge.” -Hanley Ramirez on David Ortiz’s go-ahead homerun in the ninth inning.
*“We’re a strike away on a number of occasions . . . you watch the attack plan all day long right-handers with curveballs were having success against [Justin] Smoak.” -Farrell said of the bullpen’s performance and Smoak’s ninth inning hit off Craig Kimbrel.
*“If he makes an accurate throw he’s out.” -Farrell on Christian Vazquez’s errant throw in the ninth inning.
*“In some key spots we gave an extra 90 feet when otherwise we have not of late.” -Farrell said about Boston’s inability to execute late in the game.

*Xander Bogaerts has hit safely in his last 21 games, extending his streak with a home run to lead off the fourth inning. He’s hitting .402 with five home runs during the streak. Bogaerts logged his ninth three-hit game of 2016.
* Dustin Pedroia extended his hitting streak to five games with his first-inning double. Pedroia has also hit safely in his past 22 games against Toronto. He’s hitting .444 during the short streak.
*David Ortiz extended his own hitting streak to six games with a double in the fourth. He's hitting .520 over that span.
* Russell Martin logged his fifth multi-hit game of the season -- and first three-hit game -- smacking a double and a home run. Martin entered the game batting .179 with three extra-base hits.
1) Russell Martin

Not only did he score the winning run, but he also tied the score in the ninth and launched a home run earlier in the game.
2) Xander Bogaerts
Another threre-hit performance, extending his hitting streak to 21 games, Bogaerts keeps creating headaches for opposing pitchers.
3) Rick Porcello
On a day where pitchers from both side scuffled, Porcello’s 6 2/3-inning effort gave Boston more than enough of a chance to win. 

First impressions from Red Sox 10-9 loss to Blue Jays: Big trouble for bullpen


First impressions from Red Sox 10-9 loss to Blue Jays: Big trouble for bullpen

First impressions of the Red Sox' 10-9 loss in Toronto:
Rick Porcello was back in top form.

Despite the matchup at the Rogers Center being less than favorable for Porcello, and the righty not at his best of late, he held a streaking, dangerous offense at bay for 6 2/3 innings (four runs, seven hits) before the bullpen coughed up two leads. 

While Porcello hasn’t performed poorly of late, there’s no question he hasn’t been at his best -- so it’s good to see him have a consistent feel for his pitches.

The bullpen might be in trouble Sunday.

With Junichi Tazawa struggling, Craig Kimbrel throwing a season high 39 pitches and Matt Barnes pitching in both games this series, the bullpen won’t be at it’s best for the final game in Toronto. So, if there were ever a time for David Price to throw like a true ace, Sunday would be it.

Tommy Layne proves again that he’s not trustworthy.

With a four-run lead, and only needing to get two batters out, Layne couldn't get an out in the eighth, allowing two runs on two hits and starting something not even Kimbrel (who gave up leads in the eighth and ninth after being called on for a five-out save) could stop. The lefty specialist may have entered the game with an ERA below 3.00, but his results are inconsistent.
Umpire Mike DiMuro’s injury changed the tone of the game.

The home plate umpire took a hard foul ball off the center of the mask, delaying the game for several minutes and forcing Brian Gorman to call the game behind the plate.

And with that came an inconsistent strike zone. Both sides were frustrated by his inconsistency with his zone. Porcello had two pitches stopped due to late timeout calls. Marcus Stroman was almost allowed to quick pitch Hanley Ramirez twice in the same at-bat.

The crew got it right removing DiMuro from the game, but Gorman was bad in relief.
David Ortiz getting doubled up in the fourth inning can’t happen.

Darwin Barney showed some range, getting to Jackie Bradley, Jr.’s soft line drive up the middle, flipping the ball to second quickly after to get Ortiz. This comes a night after Hanley Ramirez got double up off a screaming line drive.

There’s a difference between the two though. Ramirez had no time to react. Ortiz had all the time in the world. Even though Papi’s speed hasn’t become enhanced in his old age -- unlike his power -- that was a rally-killing play he could’ve prevented.
Don’t sleep on Dustin Pedroia.

Between Ortiz’s farewell tour and the youth rising, Dustin Pedroia continues to perform well under the radar.

He went 2-for-4, lacing two doubles off Toronto’s ace, Marcus Stroman. Pedroia is hitting .309. He’s not the only player being overlooked, but he’s definitely received the least amount of attention in Boston’s power-packed lineup.