The Red Sox kept it close all game long, but the bullpen could not hold on, leaving the Sox 3-2 losers Wednesday night.
While the bullpen will inevitably take the brunt of the blame when it gives up the winning run, the offense was obviously the real problem. As seems to happen so often, one night after a huge offensive explosion, the bats simply went quiet against Alexi Ogando.
From the beginning, Ogando was in control. Only Mike Napoli would reach base against him in the first two innings on a walk, and he was quickly erased with a double play from Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Not helping was a bit of questionable umping in the third, with Stephen Drew being incorrectly called out at second after what should have been a leadoff double.
That baserunner may have made the difference, but what absolutely did was a bad pitch to Adrian Beltre from John Lackey that was lifted up and out of the park to center field, putting the Rangers ahead 1-0.
That lone run would not be enough by itself. Though the Red Sox stranded a pair of one-out runners in the fourth, Dustin Pedroia would bring them back to parity with a home run off the light stanchion over the Monster. It was the lone run the Sox would score in 5.2 innings against Ogando, but at the time, it was enough to tie the game.
That tie would only last until the next inning, however, when Boston's usually staunch bullpen couldn't get the job done. Craig Breslow would give up the critical baserunners, surrendering a double and walk sandwiched around a sacrifice bunt. Koji Uehara would come into the game to try and put out the fire, but his attempt ended after just one pitch. Elvis Andrus jumped on a fastball, and knocked it off the wall for a double. Two runs scored, and that was that. The Sox got one back on a weird Jarrod Saltalamacchia double which got stuck underneath the padding on the wall down the right field line, but Joe Nathan closed out the game with ease in the ninth.
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