The Red Sox fell to the Phillies 4-3 in Philadelphia thanks to solo shots and missed opportunities.
Where Tuesday's game was one that could easily be passed off as an acceptable defeat to a locked-in ace, Wednesday's felt like one the Sox simply gave away.
Perhaps that's in part because of the way the game started: with a gift triple. Ben Revere looked a mess in center field on a decently hit ball by Jacoby Ellsbury, turning zero bases into three, and after a Dustin Pedroia sacrifice fly, a run. Perhaps that made it seem like the Red Sox were in for less of a fight than they would actually face from Kyle Kendrick.
Even if Kendrick was better than that leadoff triple suggested, the Red Sox had their chances against him. They just didn't take advantage. In the third, a mind-mindbogglingly foolish attempt to steal second by Dustin Pedroia with two outs and a runner on third cost Mike Napoli a shot to give the Sox some more runs. Then in the fifth it was a leadoff walk to Stephen Drew going by the wayside.
The worst wastes, however, came in the sixth and seventh. By that point, the Phillies were ahead 3-2, having picked up three solo shots (two cheaper ones to either side of the park, one absolute bomb to dead center by Erik Kratz) while Daniel Nava responded with one of his own to lead off the sixth. With Ryan Howard botching an easy play at first, and Mike Napoli walking, the Sox had two men on, no outs, and Kendrick on the ropes.
They got nothing out of it. Jarrod Satalamacchia hit one to Ben Revere, and Mike Carp hit into a double play to end the inning. The seventh would be more of the same, just against Antonio Bastardo this time, with the Sox wasting a one-out double by Jose Iglesias and a plunking of Jonny Gomes to let the Philadelphia lead stand.
Making the situation worse was Koji Uehara, who recorded an important out with the bases loaded in the seventh, but then came back out and allowed a fourth solo shot to Dominic Brown, making it 4-2. That run would prove incredibly important, too, as the Red Sox mounted a rally in the ninth. A walk from Stephen Drew, single from Jonny Gomes, and bloop double from Jacoby Ellsbury were enough to score a third run--frankly Gomes' inability to score on Ellsbury's double reeks of another missed opportunity--but not a fourth. Daniel Nava grounded out on the first pitch he saw, and the Phillies took another game off the Red Sox.
Read more Red Sox:
- Is John Lackey really back?
- Two Red Sox prospects in Keith Law’s updated top 25
- Where’s Dustin Pedroia’s power? Ask the pitchers
- Jacoby Ellsbury’s pull problem
- Terry Francona, a roaring memory