It was a bad end to a worse weekend as a hectic game saw the Red Sox fall 3-2 at the hands of the Yankees, dropping to 5-8 on the season.
Frankly, the Red Sox might well be glad to have escaped with such a narrow defeat the way Felix Doubront was pitching. Erratic at his best, flat at his worst, Doubront was smacked all over the park in the first three at bats of the game. They would have been first on the board, too, had Jackie Bradley Jr. not gunned down Jacoby Ellsbury trying to take third on what should have been a sacrifice fly from Alfonso Soriano while Carlos Beltran jogged towards home.
In fact, the Red Sox would actually get out to a rare early lead in the second, with three straight singles letting Ryan Roberts score first blood. Bradley would end up returning the favor from the first, however, running into an out at home (due to an ill-advised send from third base coach Brian Butterfield) when Grady Sizemore made it four straight singles.
The lead would last only until the third, when the hard contact finally came back to bite Doubront. This time there was no opportunity for baserunning mistakes, with Carlos Beltran punishing Doubront for a bad changeup with a two-run homer to left.
The wild side of the Doubront coin would come into play in the fourth inning, when he walked Brian McCann and Yangervis Solarte to start the inning. For a moment, it actually seemed as though Doubront had escaped the situation unharmed with a key double play, but Joe Girardi used his challenge, and the call was (rightfully) overturned, allowing a third Yankee run to come in from third. Right or not, though, John Farrell was none too pleased, getting himself ejected in short order. Likely, Farrell was as frustrated with the blatantly incorrect replay from Saturday as he was with anything that happened Sunday.
Now trailing 3-1, the Red Sox would at least have the benefit of facing a defense that featured Carlos Beltran at first, with Francisco Cervelli having injured himself on the challenged play. It was an advantage they left completely unexploited, failing to ever really challenge the veteran playing the unfamiliar position. What's worse, the arrival of Ichiro Suzuki in right field would actually come back to haunt them.
It happened in the eighth. By this point, the Red Sox had gotten a second run on a solo shot from Mike Napoli, leaving them behind by just the one run, Felix Doubront having survived some more scares along the way to hold the Yankees at three. With one out, Matt Thornton replaced Ivan Nova against David Ortiz. Ahead in the count, Thornton gave Ortiz a 1-2 slider that didn't quite slide the way he might have hoped. Ortiz hit a rocket out to right, all the way to the wall where Ichiro made one of his old fashioned superhuman leaping grabs to rob Papi of extra bases. That the Red Sox would proceed to load the bases before Mike Carp struck out to end the inning just makes it sting that much worse.
That was the last chance the Red Sox would get, meaning they're leaving New York losers of three games out of four. And their day off tomorrow? That will be spent worrying about Dustin Pedroia's wrist. It's been one bad thing after another this weekend. Fitting for a season that has not at all started off as planned.