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Closing Time: Red Sox drop below .500 with loss to Rangers

07.23.12 at 11:12 pm ET
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Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine saw plenty of things to rue on Monday. (AP)

Bad pitching, bad defense, bad offense. The Red Sox looked like a bad team on Monday night in Texas, and so it only seemed appropriate that the team’s 9-1 loss against the Rangers dropped them below .500 for the first time since June 16. The Sox are now 48-49 for the season.

Since a walkoff win against the White Sox on Thursday, the Sox have now lost four straight. They’ve been outscored 37-12 in the process.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX

– The Red Sox lineup continued to struggle to sustain any kind of momentum. In four of the team’s last five games, the team’s run-scoring a) has been limited to one inning and b) has managed its only runs on a single home run.

The Sox have now scored one or no runs in 17 games this year — a pace that would result in 28 such games this season. That would be the most by such games by a Red Sox team since 1993, when the team likewise had 28 games of one or no runs. 

Felix Doubront pitched well for much of his five-plus innings, but he allowed four runs in the third (a rally sustained by multiple infield singles and a walk) and two more on a colossal Mike Napoli homer in the fifth. Napoli’s homer came after Doubront did not get an 0-2 fastball that appeared to be worthy of a called strike three; Doubront seemed to become visibly unhinged on the mound after the call went against him.

– The Red Sox defense proved sloppy, as Dustin Pedroia committed a throwing error on an Elvis Andrus infield single back up the middle on a play that he often makes — the play to his right in which he fields the ball and gets enough on it to catch the baserunner.

That play was less egregious than Carl Crawford‘s two-base error, when he simply whiffed while trying to field a groundball single to left. His misplay resulted in a pair of unearned runs in the seventh.

– Since his strong start in his first three games in the majors this year, Crawford has now cooled off considerably at the plate. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on Monday, and is now 2-for-16 with five punchouts, no walks, no extra base hits and no stolen bases in his last four contests.

Ryan Sweeney went 0-for-4, and in his last 11 games, he’s now 3-for-36 (.083) with a .154 OBP.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX

Jarrod Saltalamacchia blasted his 19th homer of the year, a mammoth solo shot to deep right-center, and later added a double that landed on top of the fence in straightaway center and somehow bounded back onto the field. It was his sixth game this year with multiple extra-base hits but his first since June 16.

Dustin Pedroia went 3-for-4, his fifth three-hit game of the year and his first in exactly a month. He has hits in all five games since coming off the disabled list.

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