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Closing Time: Slide at 4 as last-place Red Sox fall again to White Sox

07.08.14 at 10:22 pm ET
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Brandon Workman appears to be in the first rough patch of his major league career.

Workman, who had been lauded by manager John Farrell for his consistency earlier in the season, gave up four or more runs for the third straight game Tuesday night. And with this Red Sox offense, that’s a near-death sentence.

Workman gave up five runs (three earned) on eight hits over seven innings to take an 8-3 loss to the White Sox on Tuesday. He has a 6.49 ERA in his last three starts after allowing three runs or fewer in his first eight major league outings. Workman now is 1-3 on the season after three straight defeats.

Aside from a three-run fifth inning, the Sox once again were punchless at the plate against mediocre pitching. The Red Sox ran their scoreless streak to 18 innings after four frames on Tuesday against Chicago starter John Danks and came up empty on a pair of bases-loaded situations.

Conor Gillaspie drove in the go-ahead runs with a two-run homer off Workman in the top of the six innings to put the White Sox up 5-3. For a Red Sox team that is now 5-31 when the opponent scores at least five runs, the outcome thus became all but inevitable.

At 39-51, the last-place Sox have lost four straight, seven of their last eight and 13 of their last 18.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX

– At 25 years old, Workman had already appeared to be a model of consistency for the Red Sox after his first eight major league starts. But since returning from his six-game suspension June 27, the righty has been unable to build upon that promising start. Workman made it three straight outings giving up four or more runs after not doing so through the first six months of his big league career. On Tuesday, he gave up five runs (three earned) on eight hits, including a deflating two-run home run to Gillaspie in the sixth to break a 3-3 tie. He’s allowed seven homers in 52 1/3 innings in the big leagues this year.

– As has often been the case this season, the Red Sox had little trouble creating scoring opportunities, but failed to come through in a pair of key situations. The Sox loaded the bases twice and came up empty on both occasions. Jonny Gomes grounded into a 5-4-3 double play with the bases loaded and one out to end a first-inning Red Sox threat. It was the Sox’ 13th double play with a runner on third and less than two outs. The Sox loaded the bases for a second time in the fourth inning after singles by Mike Napoli and Ross and a two-out walk by Stephen Drew. But, once again, the Red Sox came up empty as Mookie Betts tapped a short grounder in front of the plate on the first pitch to end the inning.

Napoli made an uncharacteristic fielding miscue early that led to Chicago’s first run of the game. With the bases loaded and one out in the top of the second, Napoli tried to get lead runner Adam Dunn out at home on a Dayan Viciedo grounder to first, but bobbled the ball on the exchange from glove to throwing hand to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. It was Napoli‘s second error in the last four games and just his fourth of the season. Chicago scored again one batter later when Alejandro De Aza hit into a 4-6-3 double play that allowed Alexei Ramirez to score from third.

РBetts continues to be a work in progress in the outfield. The 21-year-old, who is continuing to adjust to playing the outfield not only at the major league level, but in general, failed to back up Gomes on a ball hit to left-center that put a runner in scoring position. The rookie was also hitless at the plate.

Burke Badenhop had another rough appearance Tuesday night, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk in the top of the ninth inning. After allowing just one run in 13 innings from June 3 to July 2, Badenhop has given up seven runs and recorded just two outs over his last three games.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX

– The Sox finally awoke from their deep slumber at the plate in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three runs on five hits to tie the game at 3-3. Brock Holt led off the inning with a triple to center and Dustin Pedroia drove him in with a double to left field. Napoli doubled and Gomes and Xander Bogaerts followed with singles to plate the tying run. It was the Red Sox‘ first runs since the seventh inning Sunday. Bogaerts’ RBI single snapped an 0-for-28 slump with runners in scoring position dating to May 31.

– Holt was amidst an 0-for-6 stretch entering Tuesday’s action, but broke that streak quickly with a leadoff double in the bottom of the first inning, and sparked the Sox’ fifth-inning outburst with a leadoff triple. Holt went 2-for-5 Tuesday with a run scored and is 10-for-37 during the homestand.

Napoli didn’t have hit best night in the field, but reached base in four plate appearances with a walk, single and double. Napoli was 3-for-24 on the homestand entering Tuesday, but broke through with his second multi-hit night in his last seven games.

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