Red Sox fall flat in 7-1 loss
Nothing went right for the Red Sox on Tuesday. Still reeling from the death of beloved Fenway fixture Johnny Pesky, the Sox players found themselves embroiled in controversy when a story from Yahoo! Sports alleged that a group of players met with management in late July to blast manager Bobby Valentine. Although the Red Sox have confirmed meetings with management in late July, nobody has admitted to asking management to get rid of Valentine.
On Tuesday night, the Sox disappointed on the baseball field as well when they lost to the Orioles, 7-1. The Orioles held a pregame moment of silence for Pesky, but any Sox fans watching on NESN missed the moment since the NESN feed broke down.
Once the feed returned, the trouble continued. For the first five innings of the game, both the Sox and starter Josh Beckett seemed to be playing okay. The Sox trailed, 2-1, thanks to two Orioles home runs, but Carl Crawford kept it a one-run game thanks to his RBI single in the fourth. Then, in the sixth inning, everything fell apart.
In the top of the inning, the Red Sox had runners on first and third with one out – a great chance to at least tie the game — but thanks to a strikeout from Mike Aviles and a fly out from Danny Valencia, the Sox squandered that chance.
In the bottom of the inning, the game slipped away from the Sox for good. Beckett allowed a single and walk, then let the runners advance to scoring position on a wild pitch. Two consecutive singles for the Orioles increased the Baltimore lead to 4-1 before Valentine pulled Beckett with two runners on base. Reliever Mark Melancon promptly gave up a home run to Mark Reynolds and the Orioles took the 7-1 lead.
With the loss, the Red Sox fell to 57-60 on the season, and Josh Beckett moved to 5-10 on the year.
The Red Sox had plenty of scoring opportunities on Tuesday night, but they left 23 men on base and thus frustrated both their offense and the pitchers, who received just one run of support. The lack of offense was made even more frustrating considering the Sox had exploded for 14 runs in their last game. Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen, who held the Sox to one run on Tuesday, last 4 2/3 innings in his most recent start and allowed seven runs.
Aviles had a terrible night Tuesday, striking out three times and stranding four runners.
Andrew Bailey, the man the Sox acquired in the offseason to be their closer, pitched for big club the first time this season on Tuesday. Bailey missed the majority of the season thanks to thumb surgery. He came in with two outs in the eighth and walked the first batter he faced but then struck out Reynolds to end the inning.
The Red Sox will have a rematch against the Orioles at 7:05 on Wednesday night. Aaron Cook will make the start for the Sox while Miguel Gonzalez takes the mound for the Orioles.