Sox lose first interleague road game, 3-1

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Sox lose first interleague road game, 3-1

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
PITTSBURGH The Red Sox dropped their first Interleague road game of the season, 3-1, in front of 39,330 at PNC Park Friday night.

Jon Lester, despite throwing his 11th quality start in 16 outings this season, labored through much of his outing. He went six innigs, giving up three runs (two earned) on eight hits, a walk, and a hit batter with five strikeouts. His record fell to 9-4 with 3.66 ERA.

The Sox scored their lone run in the first inning as Jacoby Ellsbury lead off with a walk, scoring on Kevin Youkilis ground out.

Lesters record fell to 9-4, while Paul Maholm improved to 4-8. Joel Hanrahan got his 21stsave in as many opportunities for the Pirates.

The Sox have now lost three straight -- to two National League teams with a combined winning percentage of .453 at the start of the each series for the first time since losing four in a row May 29 June 1.

PITTSBURGH The Red Sox dropped their first Interleague road game of the season, 3-1, in front of 39,330 at PNC Park Friday night.

Jon Lester, despite throwing his 11th quality start in 16 outings this season, labored through much of his outing. He went six innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on eight hits, a walk, and a hit batter with five strikeouts. His record fell to 9-4 with 3.66 ERA.

The Sox scored their lone run in the first inning as Jacoby Ellsbury lead off with a walk, scoring on Kevin Youkilis ground out.

Lesters record fell to 9-4, while Paul Maholm improved to 4-8. Joel Hanrahan got his 20th save in as many opportunities for the Pirates.

The Sox have now lost three straight -- to two National League teams with a combined winning percentage of .453 at the start of the each series for the first time since losing four in a row May 29 June 1.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Paul Maholm
Facing the Red Sox -- who entered the game with the most potent offense in baseball, batting .279 as a team for the first time, Maholm held the Sox to one run on six hits, three walks, and a hit batter, with two strikeouts over 5 13 innings.

The lone run he allowed came in the first inning. He walked lead-off batter Jacoby Ellsbury, who went to third on Adrian Gonzalezs single and scored on Kevin Youkilis groundout.

Maholm pitched out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the third, getting Darnell McDonald to ground into a fielders choice. He also got McDonald to end the fifth with runners on first and second by flying out to center.

HONORABLE MENTION: Lyle Overbay
Overbay entered the game hitting just .226. But in his career against Lester he was 7-for-22, batting .318, with two home runs and seven RBI. He went 2-for-4 in the game, including 2-for-3 with an RBI, for the Pirates third run, against Lester. He is now batting .375 against the Sox lefty.

THE GOAT: Kevin Youkilis
Neil Walker started off the sixth inning with a hard-hit ball to Youkilis, who couldnt field it cleanly. On the next batter, Youkilis committed his 5th error of the season. Lyle Overbay, the third batter of the inning for the Pirates, singled to right for the Pirates third run of the game. Youkilis also struck out with runners on first and second in the seventh.

THE TURNING POINT
With two outs and the tying runs on second and third, David Ortiz, who was not in the starting lineup, went to the plate to pinch hit against Jose Veras. Ortiz had faced Veras just twice before in his career, going 0-for-1 with an intentional walk. This time, though, the right-handed Veras pitched to Ortiz. With the count 1-2 (with two called strikes), Ortiz fouled off three straight curveballs. On the seventh pitch of the at-bat, a 94-mph two-seamer, Ortiz grounded out to shortstop Ronny Cedeno, ending the Sox last best chance to score.

STAT OF THE DAY: .453
The Sox have lost three straight games to the Padres, in last place in the National League West, and the Pirates, who entered the game at .500. The Padres were at 30-44, a .405 winning percentage, at the start of the Sox skid. Combined, the Sox have lost three straight to two teams with combined a combined winning percentage of .453. It is the first time the Sox have lost three in a row since losing four straight from May 29 June 1.

QUOTE OF NOTE:
First of all, whats wrong with Mother Nature? I just walk into the play and it starts pouring. Whats up with that?--David Ortiz on his eighth-inning, pinch-hit appearance. It started raining when he went out on deck and continued through his at-bat, letting up when he hit into an inning-ending groundout.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Quotes, notes and stars: Pomeranz has been a "mixed bag" so far

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Quotes, notes and stars: Pomeranz has been a "mixed bag" so far

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 5-2 loss to the Angels:

 

QUOTES

 

* “Missed opportunities -- that’s the story of this one. We did a fantastic job of, once again, putting guys on. But to cash in and complete the inning -- that base hit has been elusive . . . It’s been all or nothing it seems like this stretch that we’re through offensively.” Farrell said on Boston’s offensive play of late.

 

* “The first one wasn’t me. I had a lot of time off -- had a lot of things going on. The last one was more myself -- I fell like. Tonight, I made a bad pitch too (Albert) Pujols, walked a couple guys. But overall, I feel like I did a decent job.” Pomeranz on his first three starts in Boston

 

* “I’m just trying to put a good swing on a good pitch and fortunately I got one and it went over.” Mookie Betts said on his leadoff homerun.

 

* “It’s been a mixed bag.” Farrell on Pomeranz to trough his first threw starts for the Red Sox.

 

* “Overall he probably wasn’t as sharp as his last time out. And when they created damage against him it was early in counts . . . So it wasn’t like he got into too many deep innings.” John Farrell said Drew Pomeranz’s start.

 

* “It happens – it’s baseball. They capitalized on some chances and we didn’t.” Betts on the offense not taking advantage of early opportunities.

 

NOTES

 

* Mookie Betts’ leadoff homerun was his 21st long ball of the year, sixth to start off the game. He passed Dwight Evans (5 in 1985) and now only trails Nomar Garciaparra’s seven in 1997.

 

* Albert Pujols launched his 20th home run of the season, reaching that total for the 15th time in his career. He joins Frank Robinson, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron as the only players to do so through at least 16 seasons.

 

* Dustin Pedroia has reached base safely in 33 straight games for the Red Sox after walking twice and finishing 1-for-2 in the loss.

 

* Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single in his second at-bat, finishing 1-for-3 with a walk.

 

* The Red Sox are now two games out of first place with Toronto finally moving into first place after defeating the Orioles 9-1 on Saturday.

 

 

STARS

 

1) Hector Santiago

Somehow, the lefty managed to scatter six walks and four hits -- including a leadoff homerun -- only giving up two runs in five innings of work against Boston.

 

2) Albert Pujols

Pujols’ two-run homerun gave the Angels the advantage after falling behind early, and proved to be enough for their pitching staff.

 

3) Dustin Pedroia

As much as Mookie Betts had the big fly, Pedroia reached base three times in four chances, finishing 1-for-2 with two walks.

First impressions: Red Sox miss out on free opportunities

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First impressions: Red Sox miss out on free opportunities

First impressions of the Red Sox 5-2 loss to Los Angeles:

 

Far too many missed opportunities for the Red Sox.

Hector Santiago somehow worked his way through five innings and only gave up two runs -- despite walking six batters and giving up six hits.

Somehow he’s flipped a switch in July after a rough start to the season. But Saturday night was not one of those nights.

Although the pitching wasn’t at it’s best, Santiago gave the Red Sox offense several easy chances at runs that they didn’t capitalize on -- including two instances where Bryce Brentz was punched-out.

 

Joe Kelly not the best guy to bring in with runners on.

The righty gave up a crucial double to start his appearance -- which would’ve been an amazing catch by Brock Holt.

Next leadoff batter he got out, but his last one reach on a line drive single up the middle.

So 67 percent of the leadoff batters got a hit off of Kelly.

A small sample size? Yes.

But when you’ve got a track record like Kelly’s, assessments like that are going to be made.

 

The return out west didn’t go as planned for Drew Pomeranz.

While Saturday was a Pacific Coast homecoming for the lefty starter, he wasn’t able to find his form.

It seemed like things would go well at first, but Pomeranz made some crucial mistakes in his second trip through the order.

Walking Yunel Escobar isn’t an option when Mike Trout and Albert Pujols follow him.

Furthermore, the cutter Pujols launched to left field was down the heart of the plate -- simply unacceptable.

 

Mookie Betts is making might be more valuable than Xander Bogaerts.

It became clear pretty early that Betts had the superior power.

While Bogaerts’ hands give bail him out constantly, they never move as quickly as those of the Boston leadoff hitter.

And while Bogaerts seemed to be the superior hitter for average, Betts is narrowing that gap, too.

The only case for Bogaerts being more valuable is that he’s a shortstop.

Other than that, Betts has shown he could easily be the face of the franchise when David Ortiz retires -- which is great for Boston, since he’s the one of the two who isn’t a Scott Boras client.

 

Red Sox fail to secure another series win against a bad team.

The Angels have no pitching. In fact, the Red Sox haven’t even faced their best pitcher.

And with the exception of Friday’s game, they’ve scored three runs in two LA games.

And the pitching was good until Saturday night -- so the offense has to get things going for Sunday.

Saturday's Red Sox-Angels Lineups: Pomeranz makes Red Sox road debut on west coast

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Saturday's Red Sox-Angels Lineups: Pomeranz makes Red Sox road debut on west coast

Drew Pomeranz (0-1, 7.00 with Boston) makes his return to the west coast in his first road start in a Red Sox uniform. The lefty is coming off a six-inning start where he gave up two runs, but was on the wrong end of a 4-2 contest against the Tigers.

The Angels answer with Hector Santiago (9-4, 4.28). He shut out Boston for six innings on 7/2 -- the same day the Red Sox staff gave up 21 runs.

The lineups:

RED SOX

Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Hanley Ramirez DH
Aaron Hill 3B
Travis Shaw 1B
Bryce Brentz LF
Sandy Leon C

Drew Pomeranz LHP

ANGELS
Yunel Escobar 3B
Mike Trout CF
Albert Pujols DH
Jefry Marte 1B
Andrelton Simmons SS
Jett Bandy C
Johnny Giavotella 2B
Gregorio Petit LF
Shane Robinson RF

Hector Santiago LHP