The Red Sox lost their second straight game Saturday night in frustrating fashion, with bad luck defining the game as much as bad play.
To be fair to the Rangers, there was nothing lucky about their first run. Ian Kinsler made it happen on the first pitch offered up by John Lackey in the bottom of the first, launching a long fly ball to left that fell into the seats to make it 1-0.
The Rangers' lead wouldn't last long at all, however. David Ortiz doubled to deep center to lead off the second inning, then ended up scoring on a Daniel Nava single thanks in part to an errant throw to the plate.
That, however, would be the last time something went Boston's way on the night.
While John Lackey had been pitching well enough after giving up the leadoff homer, he would run into trouble in the fourth. Two walks and a ground ball single would load the bases with two outs and prompt a visit from pitching coach Juan Nieves with Craig Gentry coming to the plate. Nieves has had a tendency to be weirdly magical with his visits, and when the very next pitch resulted in a fairly weak ground ball to third, it seemed like he'd worked another wonder. The ball, however, was perfectly placed--a high-chopper that took Will Middlebrooks well behind the bag. His throw was late, and Napoli could not come up with it besides, allowing two runs to come in.
Given the way the Red Sox swung the bat against Alexi Ogando and the bullpen, that two-run lead really shouldn't have been enough. Somehow, though, it was. Hard-hit ground balls up the middle were snagged by the pitcher, often more because that's where his follow through left his glove than because of a quick reaction. Line drives to the outfield were right at an outfielder or stayed up just long enough. And when they stayed on the infield it was either Elvis Andrus not having to move a foot to make the grab, or Mitch Moreland with the added benefit of being able to tag first for a double play.
The Rangers' lead would become more significant later in the night thanks to Craig Gentry taking Koji Uehara deep, but on the whole the game already felt over by that point. The Sox were fighting an uphill battle against the universe, and the universe wasn't letting up. Teams don't usually win games like that, and tonight the Sox were no exception.
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