Questionable decisions doom Sox in 8th and 9th

Questionable decisions doom Sox in 8th and 9th
August 21, 2013, 2:45 am
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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Red Sox were five outs away from a victory Tuesday night, but in the eighth and ninth innings, things went horribly wrong for the Sox.
      
What had been a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth turned into a rough 3-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants, who got a real walk-off -- former Red Sox infielder Marco Scutaro worked a bases-load base on balls to force in the winning run.
      
The Sox had been in control for much of the night, but two late-game decisions went against them.
      
* In the ninth, with Franklin Morales struggling, the Giants loaded the based with two outs. Morales had walked one pinch-hitter (Andres Torres) and hit another (Hector Sanchez) to fill the bases full of Giants, with the potential game-winning run at third.
      
John Farrell went with Brayan Villarreal out of the bullpen.
      
"Franklin lost the strike zone a little bit and left us in a tough spot with two outs," said Farrell, "with the uncertainty of his strike-throwing and knowing how patient Scutaro can be. In that quick span, he seemed to lose his release point. I felt like it was time to make a move and unfortunately it didn't work out."
      
With the righthanded-hitting Scutaro due, Farrell had three righties at his disposal: Villarreal, rookie Brandon Workman and closer Koji Uehara.
      
"I'm not going to pitch Workman on three consecutive days," said Farrell. "That was the decision."
      
Asked about bringing Uehara in for the final out in the ninth, Farrell again demurred.
      
"I'm holding back on Koji because if we push across a run, he's going to close the game out," said Farrell.
      
Villarreal has had difficulty with his command much of the season, with 35 walks in 43 2/3 innings combined between minor league and major league appearances.
      
* In the eighth, with the Sox clinging to a 2-1 lead, the Giants had runners at the corners with one out and Buster Posey at the plate.
      
Posey hit a fly ball down the right field that carried a few feet into foul territory. Right fielder Shane Victorino raced over and made the catch but with his momentum carrying him toward the line and the wall nearby, wasn't in great position to make a throw.
      
His one-hop throw to the plate was late as Scutaro scored with the game-tying run.
      
"That's one of those plays," said Farrell, "with the wind blowing back in, not knowing if that's going to drift back over the foul line. He's almost straddling the (foul) line. I know the umpire ruled it in foul territory, but Shane doesn't have the view of the umpire in that situation.
      
"He feels like he could get behind in it and make a strong throw, which unfortunately two strides too late."
      
Explained Victorino: "No second-guessing. If I let that ball fall, and (Posey) hits a three-run homer, then what are guys going to all be telling me?"
      
Victorino acknowledged that he later questioned his own decision.
      
"Obviously, I was going over to catch the ball," he said. "I had no intention of doing anything else. But I thought about it, too. I really did. I threw the ball in and said to myself, 'Should I have let that fall?'
      
"But I looked at it this way: if I let that ball fall foul, now he goes up there and hits a ball in the gap. You can always second-guess it after the play was done, but when I was on the move over there, I said to myself 'Catch the ball and get the out and try to get in the best position to throw the ball.' After the play was done, I thought about it. All those scenarios pop through your head."

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