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

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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.

Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10

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Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Dustin Pedroia used nifty baserunning to score from first base on David Ortiz's double in the 10th inning and the AL East-leading Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Sunday for their 11th consecutive win.

Pedroia singled off Eddie Gamboa (0-1) to start the inning. The relay throw on Ortiz's hit to right center beat Pedroia to plate but he avoided Luke Maile's first tag. Pedroia's momentum carried him past the plate and when he went back to touch it, Maile was charged with an error when the ball dropped out his glove on another tag try.

Pedroia hit a solo homer and Mookie Betts extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single for the Red Sox, who secured at least an AL wild-card spot Saturday night. Boston's magic number to clinch the division title dropped to two.

Joe Kelly (4-0) went 2 2/3 scoreless innings for the win.

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out a career-high 13 in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander and Heath Hembree combined to strikeout 11 consecutive batters to establish a major league-record. The New York Mets held the previous mark when Tom Seaver struck out 10 in a row against San Diego on Apr. 22, 1970.

Boston also set a club record by striking out 21 through nine. Kelly added two more in the 10th.

There was a moment of silence before the game for Miami pitcher Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident early Sunday. Fernandez played high school baseball in nearby Tampa, Florida after defecting from Cuba.

The Rays planned to honor Ortiz before his final game at Tropicana Field but canceled the ceremony at Ortiz's request after Fernandez's death. He had three hits in five at-bats and moved past Frank Thomas for 107th place on the career list with 2,469 hits.

Ortiz has 35 homers and 90 RBIs at Tropicana Field, which is the most of any visiting player. Alex Rodriguez is next with 30 homers and 73 RBIs.

HONORING BIG PAPI

Rays 3B Evan Longoria and RHP Chris Archer informally presented Ortiz with an oil painting of his 500th home run, which he hit at Tropicana Field last season. Ortiz was also given 34 special handmade Diamond Crown Maximus cigars and $5,000 donations in his name to the Miracle League of St. Petersburg, Florida and the University of South Florida Latino scholarship program.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: Ortiz will play at Yankee Stadium for the final time during a three-game series against New York that starts Tuesday night. "Playing baseball in New York is something that is very special," Ortiz said. LHP David Price (17-8) will start for the Red Sox Tuesday night.

Rays: LHP Drew Smyly (7-11) will face White Sox RHP James Shields (3-11) Monday night in the first of four games in Chicago.

© 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.