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Setup Woes Continue: Red Sox Once Again Drop Lead In Eighth, Fall To Indians

So much for Hubris.

The Red Sox were once again dealt some eighth inning humble pie Monday, allowing two runs to the Indians to turn a 2-1 lead into a 2-3 deficit. An eight run inning it is not, but it hurts all the same.

Clay Buchholz and Justin Masterson were both strong in their respective starts, each pitching into the eighth inning, each allowing just two runs. Masterson might have to thank his defense a bit more than Buchholz as he was a little wild, allowing two walks and hitting Jacoby Ellsbury and Kevin Youkilis while striking out just three batters, but all-in-all it was a successful outing for each.

For most of the game, though, it was Clay Buchholz who was on top thanks to a home run from Carl Crawford in the fifth and a seeing-eye single by Dustin Pedroia which brought, again, Crawford in to score after he had led off the third with a single.

What the game came down to, ultimately, was Masterson's one additional out--and, arguably, a jammed ankle.

The jammed ankle came in the eighth inning when Dustin Pedroia rounded second on an Adrian Gonzalez single--one which could possibly have lead to a 3-1 lead had Jacoby Ellsbury not been thrown out trying to steal second during Pedroia's at bat. While Pedroia seems to be fine now, he was pulled from the game, leading to Drew Sutton taking over at second.

With Justin Masterson recording two outs in the eighth, Clay Buchholz came in to try and match him and maintain the Red Sox' 2-1 lead. He would only manage to record one out, however, and that coming after Jack Hannahan had squeezed a single just barely past Drew Sutton. Whether Pedroia would have reached that ball we'll never know.

With one out in the inning, in came Daniel Bard, and away went the game. Bard quickly induced a pop up from Carlos Santana, but with two outs to record instead of one, the Sox' setup man just could not close the deal. Michael Brantley singled home Hannahan to tie the game, and up came Asdrubal Cabrera, who had brought home the Indians' only other run with a homer--his third in two games--back in the fourth. Once again, Cabrera came up big, swatting a 96 MPH fastball to left field and off the wall for the go-ahead double.

The Sox had a chance to tie the game with runners on the corners and one out in the ninth, but in a game where he was already 2-3 with a homer, Carl Crawford just couldn't find another clutch hit. Quite the opposite, in fact, as his ground ball led to two outs and ended the game. It's hard to fault Crawford for the night he had Monday, but sometimes you just have to get the ball in the air, no questions asked.

On the bright side of things the Yankees and Rays both lost to keep things close in the A.L. East. It took the Sox four tries to finally reach .500, now they're 0-2 in games with the chance to take the division lead. Let's hope this time it only takes three shots.