The Red Sox started poorly and ended poorly. And you don't win many baseball games when that's the case. Tuesday night was no different, with the Red Sox finding themselves on the wrong end of first a 3-0, and then a 5-3 score.
This game looked like it was going to get out of hand early. While the Red Sox did a masterful job of replicating their first inning from Monday night, Jonny Gomes striking out in a big situation to waste Boston baserunners, the Indians one-upped themselves. Jake Peavy had two types of pitches: those outside the zone, and those that ended up as Cleveland hits. Before there was even an out in the inning, Cleveland had pushed a pair of runs across and had the bases loaded besides. Only a double play ball off the bat of Ryan Raburn kept this from being a complete blowout after one, though even that was good to score a third run.
The Red Sox would go quietly in the second, but in the middle innings they actually managed to put up a fight against T.J. House. Xander Bogaerts drew first blood for Boston, keeping his ridiculous tear at the plate going with a solo shot blasted to left field. A few innings later, and it was Jonathan Herrera, of all people, singling home Jonny Gomes after a leadoff walk.
Meanwhile, Jake Peavy had actually managed to settle down. To his credit, he managed to find the zone, and do so without giving up any runs. To his discredit, there was still plenty of really loud contact, some of which was not far from leading to round trips for the Indians. Still, none of it ever did, and so when Bogaerts led off the seventh with a double, then scored when Dustin Pedroia followed suit with one of his own, it was enough to get the Red Sox into a tie...
...Which lasted until the bottom half of the inning. Perhaps trying to get too much out of Peavy, Farrell let his starter return to the mound for the seventh. The result was a six-pitch walk to David Murphy and a ground ball single from Yan Gomes. Peavy was able to turn a bunt attempt from Mike Aviles into an out at third, but Andrew Miller could not strand the other two baserunners, surrendering a two-run double to Michael Bourn.
So here the Red Sox stand, having turned a 10-game losing streak into a 7-game winning streak into a 2-game losing streak. Two straight losses isn't such a big deal, but they've got a pretty bad pitching matchup tomorrow, and the Tigers are right there waiting on the horizon as intimidating as can be. The Sox will have to hope that, as in the first game of this Cleveland series, the pitching matchup won't tell the full story. Otherwise...well, they might find themselves in all-too-familiar territory come the end of the week.