Boston Red Sox

Third inning proves fatal in loss to Angels

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Third inning proves fatal in loss to Angels

BOSTON Early in the game, it appeared the Red Sox had shaken off the lethargy and poor play that had become all too common, jumping out to a six-run lead against the Angels. Instead that lead quickly turned into a two-run deficit as the Sox staggered through what was arguably their worst defensive inning of the season.Left-hander Franklin Morales started the game. He faced eight batters over the first two innings, holding the Angels scoreless on 32 pitches. But despite the 6-0 lead his offense provided him after two innings, Morales couldnt get through the third.He faced eight batters in the third, recording just two outs. Right-hander Clayton Mortensen replaced him, and, facing four batters could not get anyone out. With eight runs in. right-hander Junichi Tazawa replaced Mortensen, needing just one pitch to end the inning.In all, the Angels sent 13 batters to the plate, with eight scoring. It tied the most runs the Sox have allowed in an inning this season. The Angels had six hits (one shy of season high hits allowed by the Sox), three walks, while another batter reached on an error. Six of the runs were unearned, the most allowed in an inning by the Sox since giving up eight in the eighth inning on July 14, 2006, against the As.It was one of those things where we scored six and they came back and we didn't really help our guys out, said Dustin Pedroia, who had a season-high four hits and five RBI, and matched a season-high with three runs scored. But it was a wild game.That it was. And the third inning was the wildest. The eight runs were the most the Angels have scored in one inning against the Red Sox since nine in the first inning on July 18, 1994.Angels No. 9 batter Chris Iannetta led off the inning with a single to right. Mike Trout grounded into a force out, erasing Iannetta. Torii Hunter singled to right, sending Trout to second. With Howie Kendrick batting, Trout stole third. Kendrick singled to center, scoring Trout, sending Hunter to second. After Mike Trumbo struck out, swinging at a 97-mph fastball from Morales, Alberto Callaspo and Kendrys Morales walked, scoring Hunter. Erick Aybar reached on an error by third baseman Pedro Ciriaco, allowing Kendrick to score and Callaspo to go to third. That also ended Morales outing.But the Angels were not done. Mortensen entered, giving up a walk to Vernon Wells, scoring Callaspo. Iannetta singled to left, driving in two runs with his second hit of the inning. Trout singled, driving in Wells and sending Iannetta to third. Hunter singled to right, scoring Iannetta, and driving Mortensen from the game.Tazawa entered, getting Kendrick to ground out to Dustin Pedroia to end the inning.While the Sox would battle back to tie the score or reclaim the lead several times, this inning appeared to emotionally deflate them."We didn't play as well as we could that inning, said manager Bobby Valentine. There's some plays that could have been made. And they wound up with eight runs.
"There's no quit in this team, though. I was real proud of the guys. That last couple innings, we didn't hold them, and that's my fault. They did great. They did a great job."Morales threw 63 pitches in all, 35 for strikes. He threw 31 facing eight batters in the third. It was the second-shortest start of his career, after going just two innings on April 21, 2009, at Arizona while with Colorado. The six runs allowed match his season high.Even though it appeared he had gotten the third out of the inning until it went for an error Valentine opted to take the left-hander out of the game at that point."Well he had plenty of pitches left, he just wasn't throwing them over, Valentine said. The first two innings, he had a real good split, and then the third inning, he didn't have the split. He was trying to get it back, and when he didn't do it, he was overthrowing his fastball.
"And he got a ground ball to third base in a 6-2 game, that could have been the third out, too."Instead it went for an error, extending the inning for five more batters and six more runs.
When you get six runs you never want to get complacent, said Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was watching from the dugout at that point in the game as Ryan Lavarnway got the start. You want to just step on peoples necks and continue to go. I think thats what guys were trying to do. They just strung some hits together. But its tough to watch, especially when your pitchers out there battling, competing. But it was obviously going to be one of those nights regardless of who was in the game because their guys were giving it up too.Still, the Sox sensed they could pull out a win.Yeah, absolutely, said Pedroia. It was a crazy night and you feel like whoever is hitting last is going to win, one of those things. So I had confidence in our team until we lost. You have to feel that way.

Drellich: Devers is a keeper, even with addition of Nunez

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Drellich: Devers is a keeper, even with addition of Nunez

BOSTON -- The cherub stays.

There's no way Rafael Devers is headed back to Triple-A before the homestand starts Friday, right, Dave Dombrowski? Not for the newly acquired Eduardo Nunez, who's a fine player but has nowhere near the offensive upside of Devers, the 20-year-old phenom you just rushed to the big leagues.

MORE RED SOX

You probably weren't really considering sending Devers straight back, were you now, Dave? Sometime in the 3 o'clock hour Eastern time on Wednesday morning (after a 13-inning, 6-5 loss to the Mariners), you did tell reporters in Seattle that you would need to sit down with manager John Farrell to figure out the plan at third base from here.

Likely, you're just making sure your ducks are in a row. That Nunez himself has a chance to shake hands with you, and gets to hear straight from you what he'll be doing.

That's fair. But let's be doubly sure we're on the same page.

As long as something else doesn't happen between now and then -- no other trades for third basemen, no injuries -- Devers must at least platoon at third unless he shows he can't handle it. Nunez bats right, Devers left.

But it wouldn't be crazy to let Devers have the bulk of the playing time, either, and use Nunez to spell Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia. Or simply have him come off the bench.

Devers didn't look overmatched in his very first big-league game Tuesday night. On the contrary, he was patient at the plate, drawing the walk that started a sixth-inning rally against Felix Hernandez. (King Felix is quite the draw for a someone making his major-league debut, we should note.) He looked like a happy kid, and sounded like one after the game.

"For me it's just going out there and playing my brand of baseball and having fun out there," Devers told reporters through translator Daveson Perez. "That's what I was trying to do and I think I did that."

Devers finished 0-for-4 with a pair of walks, one strikeout and a run scored. He didn't make any errors and looked smooth and quick, his athleticism shining through some baby fat.

Dombrowski spoke during the last homestand about the lack of league-norm production at third base. Nunez can bring that, if nothing more. He is, at a position that's had no certainty, some form of certainty. A stable piece that can help out around the infield and has valuable versatility.

But Nunez is not what the Sox need most: A bopper.

Devers has pop. The chances he blossoms this year are not in his favor because he is the youngest player in the majors. But it would be a most strange and almost cruel choice to call the kid up for two days and then decide you don't need him because of Nunez, who entered Tuesday with the same OPS as Mitch Moreland (.745).

If you're the glass-is-half-full-type, the first four-game losing streak of the season for the Red Sox was numbed by a third-base situation that's been upgraded twofold. Let's assume the Sox know how to best deploy the two from here -- in the big leagues together, until shown a reason to change course.

Segura's single in 13th rallies Mariners past Red Sox, 6-5

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Segura's single in 13th rallies Mariners past Red Sox, 6-5

SEATTLE -- Guillermo Heredia provided the early punch with a home run, then turned an extra 90 feet into the winning run for the Seattle Mariners some four hours later.

Heredia went from first to third on a wild pitch and then came home when Jean Segura rolled an RBI single up the middle with two outs in the 13th inning to cap a two-run rally and give the Mariners a 6-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox in a game that ended early Wednesday morning.

"In my opinion, the biggest play in the game was him going from first to third on the wild pitch, keeping his up head up there and taking the extra base, which allowed him to score the winning run," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "A lot of crazy plays in that game, but it says a lot about the effort of our ballclub."

Mitch Haniger walked with one out in the 13th off Doug Fister (0-5), pitching his third inning, and was forced at second on Ben Gamel's fielder's choice. Heredia, who had a three-run homer in the second, singled Gamel to third. Gamel scored on a wild pitch to tie it, with Heredia advancing all the way to third. Mike Zunino then walked. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts fielded Segura's roller behind second, but his off-balance throw was way late.

"Obviously, I didn't know right away. I was aggressive on the play," Heredia said through a translator. "Once I looked back at the catcher, he was a little careless on it, I took off for third."

The Red Sox, who stranded two runners in the eighth, ninth and 11th innings, had taken a 5-4 lead in the top half when Sandy Leon singled home Hanley Ramirez with two outs off Tony Zych (5-2).

"Our bullpen did a great job of extending it, we had opportunities throughout, we fight back from 3-0, unfortunately the ending is what it is," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "It's a tough loss, particularly the way we've scuffled offensively for a period of time now."

Zunino opened the seventh inning with his 15th home run to bring Seattle even at 4-4.

The Red Sox capitalized on a sudden loss of command by starter Felix Hernandez for three runs in the sixth to erase a 3-1 deficit.

Highly touted prospect Rafael Devers, making his debut, walked to open the inning and Andrew Benintendi drew a one-out walk. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and Dustin Pedroia followed with a two-run double. Pedroia advanced on Ramirez's flyout and came home on Bradley Jr.'s single.

Heredia's three-run homer off starter Drew Pomeranz staked the Mariners to a 3-0 lead in the second.

Ramirez cut it to 3-1 in the fourth with 17th home run, a two-out shot to left.

"We knew it was going to be a tight game. It got a little longer than we expected, but we'll take it," Servais said.

The 20-year-old Devers, who began the season at Double-A and then was called up Monday after just nine games at Triple-A Pawtucket, flied out to center in his first at-bat, walked, hit into a double play in the seventh, and walked again in the ninth. He struck out in the 11th to end the inning with the go-ahead run at third and flied out to center to end the 13th. He finished 0 for 4 with two walks.

"In the first inning I was very nervous, but thank God I was able to get my feet under me," Devers said through a translator. "For me, it's just going out there and playing my brand of baseball and having fun out there, that's what I was trying to do and I think I did that. I'm not happy that we lost, but I'm happy for my first big-league game.

RED SOX TRADE:

Boston acquired INF-OF Eduardo Nunez from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for minor league RHPs Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos, GM Dave Dombrowski announced mid-game. Nunez, 30, hit .308 with 20 doubles, four home runs, and 31 RBI in 76 games for the Giants this season.

RED SOX MOVES

Dombrowski also announced several moves following the game. LHP Luis Ysla, currently at Double-A Portland, was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster. RHP Blaine Boyer is expected to be activated off the 10-day DL (right elbow strain) on Wednesday. ... RHP Ben Taylor is scheduled to be placed on the 10-day DL, retroactive to Sunday.

TRAINER'S ROOM:

Red Sox: RHP Joe Kelly, on the 10-day DL (left hamstring strain) is getting closer to returning. "That was an encouraging bullpen by Joe today, 25 pitches, 80 to 85 percent," manager John Farrell said. "His next bullpen will be on Friday when we get back home, so he's making pretty good progress." Kelly likely will need at one least rehab outing before returning, Farrell said.

Mariners: CF Jarrod Dyson, who sustained a hyperextended toe when crashing into the wall Saturday, missed his third straight game, but was improving.

UP NEXT:

Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (12-4, 2.58) closes out the three-game series Wednesday afternoon. Sale has gone at least six innings in all but one of his 20 starts. He has not allowed an earned run in three of his last four starts. Sale leads the AL with 200 strikeouts.

Mariners: RHP Andrew Moore (1-2, 5.70) has not won in four starts since a victory in his debut on June 22. Moore, the Mariners' second-round pick in 2015, has allowed nine home runs in 30 innings.