Missed Opportunities Haunt Red Sox As A's Walk Off

The Red Sox could have won this game in the first inning when David Ortiz was thrown out at home with one out.

The Red Sox could have won this game in the third inning, when Kevin Cash had a knuckleball glance of his glove, letting an unearned run in despite the pitch going exactly where he expected.

The Red Sox could have won this game in the fifth or sixth innings when Bill Hall and Adrian Beltre respectively grounded out with the bases loaded.

They even could have won it in the tenth inning when the only thing separating singles by Mike Cameron and Dusty Brown was Bill Hall grounding into a double play.

Instead, Ramon Ramirez allowed a one out single in the bottom of the tenth and moved the runner to second with a balk. With two outs and runners on first and second, Michael Bowden came in and gave up the walkoff hit to Kevin Kouzmanoff, giving the A's the 5-4 win.

All-in-all, the Sox left 12 runners on base, and managed to pull defeat from the jaws of victory despite doubling up the A's hit total.

Tim Wakefield was solid, if not particularly impressive. He only allowed seven baserunners in six innings, recording five strikeouts, but as usual the trouble seemed to come all at once, in a four run third inning that kept the Athletics alive until extras. It was a pretty typical Wakefield game for what could have been the last game he starts for the Red Sox.

All-in-all, though, this was just a story of an offense that couldn't when it mattered most late in the game. Key strikeouts by Youkilis, a tough night against lefties from Drew, and some truly egregious failures from Bill Hall doomed the Red Sox to a bullpen and spirit draining loss.

The Sox face a rubber game tomorrow with the return of Clay Buchholz to the mound against Gio Gonzalez. Jed Lowrie should be activated too, as the Red Sox continue to get healthy.

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