Closing Time: Justin Masterson shuts down Red Sox as winning streak snapped in return of Stephen Drew
|06.02.14 at 9:29 pm ET|
While Stephen Drew‘s defensive impact was felt immediately, on a night when he either initiated or served as the pivot on three double plays, it was the Red Sox‘ reacquaintance with another familiar face that spelled the end of their seven-game winning streak in a 3-2 loss to the Indians.
Justin Masterson was vulnerable early, walking four batters in the first three innings, but got out of a threat in the third with an inning-ending double play and then zoomed through four more innings while facing the minimum. In seven shutout innings, Masterson punched out 10 and allowed just three hits (all singles). Though the Sox rallied for a pair of runs in the top of the eighth against the Cleveland bullpen, it ultimately wasn’t enough as they saw their winning streak conclude.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
– The Sox have now scored two or fewer runs in 16 games this year. The team is 0-16 in those contests, one of two teams in the big leagues (along with the White Sox) not to win a game in which they failed to score more than two runs.
– One start after he didn’t walk a batter and punched out nine, John Lackey got into immediate trouble in the first inning when he walked a pair of batters, both of whom came around to score on a bloop single. The bloop single represented a case of bad luck, but it would have been harmless but for the two free runners. That represented more walks and runs allowed than he had permitted in his prior two starts, in which he’d logged 13 1/3 scoreless innings while allowing just one free pass. His three strikeouts matched a season-low.
– The Red Sox allowed a season-high four stolen bases, all with Lackey on the hill. Opponents have now been successful on 12 of 13 stolen base attempts against Lackey this year, and dating to 2011, he’s permitted 88 percent of stolen base attempts to be successful.
– A.J. Pierzynski grounded into a pair of double plays as part of an 0-for-3 day (he did walk). It was the ninth time in his career — but the first since 2009 — that Pierzynski has grounded into a pair of twin killings.
– Drew went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and walk in his first game of the year.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
– Xander Bogaerts did not seem thrown off by his first game of the year at third base. The 21-year-old went 2-for-4 and launched his fourth homer of the year, lining a two-run shot to right-center in the top of the eighth. It was his first opposite field home run of his big league career, but Bogaerts has gone deep to right with frequency throughout his minor league career, with natural all-fields power that suggests 30 home run potential.
In his last 16 games, Bogaerts is now hitting .400 with a .458 OBP and .646 slugging mark, with seven doubles and three homers.
– The Red Sox matched a season-high by turning three double plays, with Drew involved in all of them. Perhaps even more noteworthy than Drew’s participation in three twin killings was that in his second professional game at first base, Brock Holt managed to start a 3-6-3.
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