Remember May, when the Red Sox could not buy a hit with a runner in scoring position?
The Blue Jays had six hits tonight, the Red Sox 11. The Blue Jays had three chances to drive in runners in scoring position, the Red Sox had eleven. The Blue Jays scored two runs, the Red Sox scored one. Unfortunately, in the end, that last figure is all that counts.
Frustration does not begin to describe it. Every single inning hopes were raised, and then dashed. A trio of two-out baserunners in the first goes by the wayside when Dustin Pedroia is thrown out at home trying to score on Jonny Gomes' single. Another three left on in the second thanks to a pair of line drive outs. Just wasting a leadoff baserunner in the third is practically a reprieve in comparison.
Even in the fourth, when the Red Sox picked up a hit with a runner in scoring position, Daniel Nava could only advance to third on the bloop single from Will Middlebrooks. It took a ground ball out and a bad throw to second to score the run and avoid what would have been an inning-ending double play. That's right, the Red Sox tried to make it an oh fer. The Jays had to intervene to prevent it.
Two leadoff runners in the sixth, a one-out single in the seventh, a two-out double and walk in the eighth. It just went on and on and on. One run, that's all they gave Jake Peavy, who had put up zeroes for six straight innings despite the Jays not really biting on his outside slider.
And of course, in the end it would be the same guys who let him down in the lineup that let him down in the field. Will Middlebrooks, responsible for four stranded baserunners despite going 1-for-3 with a walk, whiffed on a ground ball to lead off the seventh. Four pitches later and the tying run was in, with two more men on by way of the single (the hit to Middlebrooks would later be ruled a single as well, which seems like insult to injury to the man on the mound). Coming in to relieve Peavy, Craig Breslow surrendered only a sacrifice fly, but it was enough. The Jays went up 2-1, and of course, the Red Sox did nothing with their remaining opportunities.
The road trip ends with a 4-6 record, and a series loss to a bad Blue Jays team. The Rays pull back within two, and the Red Sox are playing a lot like they did in their worst month of the season. None of it looks terribly good in context, but now they head back to Fenway. And all it takes to turn this travesty of a game into something great is to group some of the hits together. If they can do that against the Yankees, this will hopefully be put well behind us.
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