Red Sox blow chances in 9th inning

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Red Sox blow chances in 9th inning

BOSTON -- The Red Sox had a major issue with the umpiring over the weekend at Fenway Park. That was all the rage after Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Washington Nationals. So much so that Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine called for a league review, following the game.

And more specifically, they two of those bad calls came in the ninth inning, both when they were in the field and at the plate.

It factored into the outcome on Sunday, but the Red Sox still didn't execute when they had their chances in the final inning.

Even after Alfredo Aceves didn't get a strike-three call to end the top of the ninth inning with Bryce Harper on first and two outs, he still had a chance to make another pitch.

But his 2-2 fastball was ripped to right field by lefty Roger Bernadina, and with a poor cutoff throw by Ryan Sweeney to Adrian Gonzalez, Harper was able to score from first to give the Nationals a 4-3 lead.

Still, the Red Sox thought Aceves' 1-2 inside fastball should have ended the inning.

"Later on in the game, I think Aceves made a great pitch at 1-2 that, from what I understand and what I saw, was a strike," said Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

"It was a fastball, set up away, and he caught it on the inside corner. From what I saw, that was a pretty good pitch."

Aceves agreed and said that the umpire could have called that a strike. Still he missed his spot on the next pitch, and Bernadina made him pay.

The Red Sox also had their chances in the bottom of the ninth against Tyler Clippard, after a pinch-hitting Kevin Youkilis drew a one-out walk. But both Scott Podsednik and Dustin Pedroia struck out to end the game.

During Pedroia's at-bat, a 1-1 fastball was outside, but was called for strike two, and with Pedroia visibly upset, Valentine had some words and received his second ejection of the season.

"The game is simple," said Valentine. "Throw it over the plate, call it a strike. Don't throw it over the plate, call it a ball. It's simple. That's all anybody asks."

Pedroia fouled the next pitch off, and then swung and missed on a changeup for strike three, completing Washington's sweep.

The Red Sox felt they didn't get the calls on Sunday, especially in the ninth inning. But even after those calls, the Red Sox couldn't make the Nationals pay, like the Nationals made the Red Sox pay.

David Price dodges media after 2nd rough rehab start

David Price dodges media after 2nd rough rehab start

If only David Price could pitch as well as he dodges the media.

The Red Sox lefty bailed on a typical post-start media session with reporters in Pawtucket on Wednesday, after his second minor league rehab outing in Triple-A was another dud.

As Price comes back from a nondescript elbow injury, difficulty retiring minor league hitters doesn't combine well with difficulty facing questions. He sat in the mid-90s in his second rehab start with Pawtucket, but allowed six runs, three earned, in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.

The PawSox were at home at McCoy Stadium against Triple-A Louisville, a Reds affiliate, and Price heard some heckling. Postgame, he wanted to hear nothing, apparently.

Per CSNNE’s Bill Messina, who was on site in Pawtucket, the media was waiting outside the clubhouse for Price, as is standard. 

PawSox media relations told the media to go to the weight room, where Price would meet them. As media headed that way, PR alerted reporters that Price was leaving and did not want to talk. Media saw a car leaving, but there was no interview.

On the mound, Price’s velocity is there, but the command is not. The Red Sox would be unwise to bring back Price before really two more minor league starts — one to show he can do well, another to show he can repeat it.

Price’s ERA in two starts for Pawtucket is 9.53. He’s gone 5 2/3 innings and allowed six earned runs, while striking out eight and walking two overall.