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Swept (Again): Red Sox Drop Fourth Straight As Frustration Sets In

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So let's get this out of the way: second base umpire Marty Foster screwed up. In the fifth inning, with Boston leading 3-1, he blew the call on a tag play between first and second base after the Sox had caught Juan Pierre in a rundown. The tag was applied, but with Foster's view blocked by the runner, he called him safe even while everyone else--Pierre included--seemed to think the out was recorded.

It would have been the second out, making the ensuing groundout inning-ending. Instead, said out scored a run, and the double down the line that followed scored another man. It was a two-run error by the umpire. Unfortunately, it's hard to use that as an excuse when they lose by three runs.

Three runs was the lead the Red Sox had early on, when second inning hits from David Ortiz, Carl Crawford, Jed Lowrie and Jarrod Saltlamacchia got Boston off to their first quick start of the series. But a fourth inning leadoff single from Alexei Ramirez turned into a run after a Brent Lillibridge double, and then there was the debacle in the fifth that tied the game.

Brent Lillibridge struck again in the sixth with a loud solo shot over the Monster, but David Ortiz answered with a homer of his own to tie things at four-a-piece. 

Then came the bullpen. Matt Albers giving up three straight singles to make it 5-4 Chicago would have been bad enough, but when Rich Hill came out to try and clean things up and left after clutching his arm on a 3-2 pitch to Adam Dunn (he walked), the game entered disaster territory. The Red Sox are currently waiting on results from an MRI on Hill's elbow.

While Daniel Bard was very impressive in his five outs of work, striking out three men, Jonathan Papelbon was anything but. Coming out in a non-save situation, Papelbon once again seemed to lack that adrenaline that makes him a dominant closer. A leadoff ground ball single wasn't too impressive, but the two-run homer that Paul Konerko absolutely crushed to make it 7-4 was. The Sox couldn't rally in the ninth, and the series was over.

In a three-game set against one of the league's worst offenses, the Red Sox allowed at least seven runs in each contest. There's getting swept, and then there's getting embarrassed. This was the latter.