Red Sox fall in extra innings, 6-5
Carl Crawford was up to bat in the third and took advantage after Justin Morneau flubbed on catching a pop up in foul territory and sent the next pitch straight back into the Red Sox bullpen, scoring the two men on and giving the Sox a 5-1 lead with a three-run homer.
With such a large advantage, it seemed all the Sox needed to do was hang on with some solid pitching. But Felix Doubront couldn’t provide that Friday night as he pitched away the Boston lead. He allowed five runs on eight hits in five innings and walked four while striking out just two batters. He has not won a game since July 18.
All of the Red Sox scoring was done early in the game,as three straight singles to start the third inning gave the Sox the chance to get ahead with a 2-1 advantage before Crawford put one away.
The strike zone was cause for trouble Friday night, as Doubront disagreed with the home-plate umpire’s strike zone. He wasn’t alone, as Dustin Pedroia later argued when he was called out on strikes.
Despite the disagreement over the strike zone, the Sox still put 18 men on base with 14 hits and just weren’t able to capitalize to take the win. It was Vicente Padilla who would give up the winning run for the Twins, when Jamey Carroll hit an RBI single in the tenth inning. With the loss, the Sox again drop below .500 and extend their losing streak to three games.
“Talent can only go so far. You have to figure out ways to win,” Cody Ross told the media after the game. “There’s a difference between being a really talented group and being a winning group. On paper it looks like that, but right now it just feels like we’re treading water. It’s not a good feeling — we’ve got to snap out of it.”
The Sox saw opportunities to win late in the game, but Twins relievers held the Boston batters scoreless over four innings. They loaded the bases with just one out in the eighth, but couldn’t bring anyone home when Jacoby Ellsbury struck out and then Pedroia flew one out. In the ninth, Will Middlebrooks grounded out to third with a runner on second to end any chance the Sox had to get ahead.
– Crawford playing at his best has to be a good sign among rumors he may undergo Tommy John surgery sooner rather than later. The homer was Crawford’s second during this home stand and his third since last Friday. He doubled and scored in the second to get the Boston offense going and He added a single in the eighth, matching his season-high with three hits.
– Their recent four-game win streak seems like ancient history with the Sox now again in the cellar. The two wins against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium looked as if they might serve as a turning point for an ailing Boston team and fuel a turning of the tides for the remainder of the season. However, the Sox are still facing the same problems they were before, with lackluster pitching and scoring chances left unfulfilled.
The Sox have two more games against the Twins at Fenway, and are now in a position where the best they can hope to do is split the series. Clay Buchholz (9-3) will take the mound for the Sox while Cole De Vries (2-2) will try to keep his team’s streak going at Fenway.