Sox: Ump's blown call had huge impact on game

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Sox: Ump's blown call had huge impact on game

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Getting three outs in an inning is difficult enough. When a team is forced to get six outs, its almost a guarantee the opponent is going to put runs on the scoreboard.

Such was the case in the top of the fifth inning in the Red Sox 7-4 loss Wednesday afternoon, completing the White Sox three-game sweep at Fenway Park.

The White Sox entered their half of the inning trailing the Red Sox, 3-1. By the time the inning was over, six batters had gone to the plate and Bostons two-run advantage was wiped out.

Ramon Castro, the White Sox No. 8 hitter, led off with a walk and advanced to second when Dustin Pedroia couldnt handle Gordon Beckhams pop-up into shallow right field, racing toward the foul line.

Hes on a dead run, said manager Terry Francona. Thats a tough play, a lot tougher play than you think. In that corner, that triangle. If he makes that play, thats a lot more difficult than it looks.

Beckham was erased on Juan Pierres fielders choice, as shortstop Jed Lowrie and Pedroia were unable to turn a double play. With Alexi Ramirez batting, Pierre broke for second. Caught in a rundown, it appeared Pedroia slapped a tag on Pierres back. Second base umpire Marty Foster, though, signaled safe, drawing the ire of Pedroia, Francona, and Wakefield, all to no avail.

Go ask the umpire, man, Pedroia said. Im not going to talk for him. Those guys got to be held responsible for that because I tagged Juan right in the back. So if he doesnt want to ask for help, thats unfortunate because they got two runs out of it and it was a big part of the game.

I asked him to ask everybody and he said, Thats enough or Im going to throw you out of the game. I said OK. And then Tito talked to him. So I dont know.

I didn't ask Foster anything, Francona said. I just wanted to get it right. It was my opinion that you're allowed to do that. I know thats right. He wouldnt do it. Said it was his call. If thats the case, I wish hed have got it right.

For Wakefield, that play could have been the difference in the game.

Its huge, Wakefield said. It cost us two runs. Pretty much probably cost us the game.

Ramirez grounded out to Lowrie, scoring Castro with Chicagos first run of the inning. Carlos Quentins shot down the left field line scored Pierre, tying the game, before Paul Konerko flied out to right.

Wakefield threw 24 pitches in the inning, more than any of the previous innings 14 in the first, 10 in the second, 11 in the third, and 21 in the fourth. When a call doesnt go his teams way, he know knows he has to compose himself, return to the mound, and get his team out of the inning.

Tito calls a pitch-out there and we get the Pierre caught up in a rundown, Wakefield said. Thats a huge out for us. Unfortunately, the call didnt go our way there and now its second and third no outs. Try to minimize the damage as much as possible and I thought I was able to do that until two outs and they scored another run.

It happens once in a while. You try to compose yourself and get out of the inning as best you can. I had two outs there and given up one run. Unfortunately, Quentin hit a good pitch, double down the line and tied the game.

Each team scored single runs in the sixth, but Chicago put up a run in the seventh and two more in the ninth to complete the three-game sweep, handing the Red Sox their fourth straight loss.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Wednesday's Red Sox-Yankees lineups: Second try at clinching A.L. East

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Wednesday's Red Sox-Yankees lineups: Second try at clinching A.L. East

The Red Sox try again to nail down the A.L. East crown tonight, sending Clay Buchholz to the mound against the Yankees while needed just one victory -- or one Toronto defeat -- to clinch the division.

Tonight's lineups:

RED SOX:
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Brock Holt 3B
Andrew Benintendi LF
Sandy Leon C
----
Clay Buchholz P

YANKEES:
Brett Gardner LF
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Gary Sanchez C
Brian McCann DH
Starlin Castro 2B
Didi Gregorious SS
Mark Texeira 1B
Chase Headley 3B
Mason Williams RF
----
Bryan Mitchell P

 

McAdam: Doesn't take long for second-guessing of Farrell to resume

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McAdam: Doesn't take long for second-guessing of Farrell to resume

Three takeaways from the Red Sox' 6-4 loss to the Yankees on Tuesday night . . . 

1) Long relief may be short for the Red Sox in the postseason

The news that Drew Pomeranz won't start Thursday and is dealing with forearm soreness was ominous -- to say the least. While the Sox aren't concerned enough to order up an MRI for the lefty, it seems a fair bet that he won't pitch again this season. Pomeranz wasn't going to crack the postseason rotation and would likely have been relegated to relief duty. Now, even that seems a stretch.

Add that development to the continued absence of Steven Wright and the Red Sox are missing 40 percent of their rotation from late July and early August.

Healthy, both would have been stretched-out and available to provide multiple innings in the postseason.

Of course, most teams would prefer to not have to rely on long men in the postseason, since their very appearance in a game would signifiy that a starter got knocked out early.

When that happens, however, it's nice to have experienced, dependable arms to cover innings and not impact the bullpen's high-leverage pitchers.

Now, in such a scenario, the Sox will likely have to turn to either Robbie Ross Jr. or Heath Hembree.

2) Is Aaron Hill heating up?

In the month of September, Hill has posted a line of .381/.409/.571. On Tuesday night, he blasted a pinch-hit homer.

Admittedly, that's a relatively small sample size. But Hill has had better at-bats of late, especially against lefties.

It's doubtful that he'll take over third base -- now or in the postseason -- full-time, since John Farrell has two left-handed hitting options, with Travis Shaw and Brock Holt. Shaw certainly more power and has shown the ability to go on hot streaks at the plate.

But Hill is a veteran player, albeit one with little postseason experience (11 at-bats in the Division Series for Arizona in 2011) for a 12-year veteran.

And one other benefit: Hill is a .373 career hitter as a pinch-hitter, making him a valuable part off the bench in games started by either Holt or Shaw.

3) One loss is all it took for the second-guessing to resurface

The Sox had won 11 straight before Tuesday's loss, which quickly re-introduced criticism of Farrell.

Starter David Price had given up four runs through six innings, but the Sox rallied for two runs off Tommy Layne in the seventh to tie things at 4-4.

At 76 pitches, Price went back out for the seventh and promptly yielded a two-run homer to Tyler Austin, giving the Yanks another two-run lead.

Price hadn't been sharp in the first six. With expanded rosters, plenty of available relievers and a rested bullpen after a day off Monday, why stick with Price?

Offered Farrell: "You go with a right-hander they’re going to go with [Mark] Teixeira and [Brian] McCann with that right-field porch,” Farrell said. “Wanted to keep the (right-handed hitters) in the ballgame, (but Price) mislocated over the plate.”