Sox lose wild card lead after 6-3 loss to Orioles

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Sox lose wild card lead after 6-3 loss to Orioles

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam

BALTIMORE -- So much for momentum.

If the Red Sox were buoyed at all by their 14-inning win Sunday night, they didn't show it Monday night, dropping a 6-3 decision to the last-place Baltimore Orioles. The defeat allowed the Tampa Bay Rays, who beat New York Monday night, to move into a tie for the American League wild-card spot.

It was the eighth loss in the last 10 games overall for the Sox and fourth in their last five meetings with the Orioles.

The Sox held leads of 1-0 and 2-1, but Josh Beckett failed to hold either lead, then gave up four runs in the sixth as the game got out of hand.

Dustin Pedroia singled home a run in the ninth as the Red Sox brought the potential tying run to the plate with one out but close Jim Johnson got Adrian Gonzalez to fly to left and Jed Lowrie swinging to end it.

Chris Davis snapped the 2-2 tie with a go-ahead single and Robert Andino cranked a three-run, inside-the-park homer to push the game out of reach.

Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury tracked Andino's deep blast to the warning track in center and caught the ball, only to have the ball squirt loose from his glove when he crashed into the center field wall.

It was the second huge hit for Andino against the Sox in the last week. He delivered a bases-loaded double off Jonathan Papelbon last Tuesday at Fenway.

Beckett has just one win his last four outings and has lost twice to the O's in the last week, allowing 12 runs in 13 13 innings in the two starts.

A double by Jacoby Ellsbury and a throwing error by Matt Angle led to the first Boston run. Lowrie homered to lead off the fourth for the second.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

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Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:

“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”

Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.

That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.