Closing Time: Mariners sweep to make it 8 straight losses for Red Sox
|08.24.14 at 5:45 pm ET|
Well, this time the Red Sox hit a bit. But it didn’t matter. They still lost.
The Sox, who hadn’t scored more than three runs in any of their previous seven games (all losses), put up a five-spot — along with 10 hits — against the Mariners in the teams’ series finale at Fenway Park. But thanks in large part to Allen Webster‘s ineffectiveness, the end result was still an eighth straight defeat for the Sox. The final this time: Mariners 8, Red Sox 6.
It’s now an eight-game losing streak during which time the Red Sox have been outscored 38-20, dropping them to 18 games below .500 (56-74).
Also staying consistent with the trend throughout the losing streak was the time of game. This time the duration of the nine-inning tilt clocked in at four hours and seven minutes. Entering Sunday, the Red Sox had averaged 3:29 per game throughout the homestand.
The Red Sox had a chance to come all the way back in the ninth, loading the bases against Seattle closer Fernando Rodney. But Kelly Johnson — who had replaced in an injured David Ortiz in the sixth inning — fanned to end the threat, and game.
The Sox stranded 15 runners, going 6-for-19 with runners in scoring position.
Perhaps the most discouraging aspects of this loss for the Red Sox was Webster’s inability to hold what had become a 5-3 lead for the hosts.
Webster, who was coming off a decent outing against the Angels in which he allowed three runs over six innings, immediately gave up a single run in in the fourth and two more in the fifth following the Sox’ comeback.
The righty’s final line included six runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings, raising his ERA over six starts to 5.81.
Here is what went wrong (and right) for the Red Sox in their 74th loss of the season.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
— The Sox had a golden opportunity to at least tie the game in the seventh inning, putting runners at first and third base with one out. But Christian Vazquez‘s liner back up the middle was stabbed by pitcher Danny Farqhar, who then threw to first to double up Mookie Betts.
– The Sox had another great chance to knot things up in the eighth, with Allen Craig up, runners on first and third, and the hosts trailing by a run. But Craig — who owns the best batting average in baseball with runners in scoring position since 2012 (.378) — struck out looking to end the threat.
— The seventh-inning squander highlighted a problem the Sox dealt with throughout their homestand, entering the series finale having gone 4-for-57 with runners in scoring position over the previous seven losses.
— The teams looked to take the average time of game for the series to a new level in the first inning, managing a 42-minute initial frame. A big part of that time was spent with the Mariners scoring three runs off of Webster thanks to a two-run single from Kyle Seager and Kendrys Morales‘ RBI base hit.
— The Red Sox couldn’t take advantage of a game in which Robinson Cano only played 1 1/2 innings, with the second baseman walking off the field with nobody out in the second due to dizziness.
— Ortiz was forced to leave the game in the sixth inning after a long single to right. The designated hitter left due to a right foot contusion, having fouled a ball off himself in a previous at-bat. Ortiz had reached in two of his four at-bats, making it 20 times he had reached in his last 26 plate appearances.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
— The Sox were able to once again get to Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma, who came into this appearance with an 8.53 ERA against the Sox in three starts. John Farrell‘s club previously handed the righty his shortest outing of the season, having roughed him up for five runs on eight hits over four innings. This time the Sox drove Iwakuma from the game after just 2 1/3 innings, as he surrendered five runs.
— Yoenis Cespedes notched three hits, knocking in another run. He had entered the game driving in 23 percent (23 of 71) of his new team’s runs since arriving with the Red Sox.
— Vazquez showed off his arm once again, this time picking Mike Zunino off first base.
— Betts reached four times, coming away with two singles and two walks.
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