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Red Sox 1, Rays 5: Breaking, Bad

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The Red Sox were already bad. Now they're broken, too.

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

After being swept in Fenway Park by the Yankees, things were bad for the Red Sox. Now, after a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the rays, they are worse. And it has very little to do with the score.

Hanley Ramirez was injured in the very first inning of Monday night's loss, taking the focus away from another uninspiring performance by Boston and putting it squarely on what hopes they had left to right the ship. Hopes that are on life support if Ramirez is done for any extended period of time.

While it's the season that's at stake, Ramirez' injury also had some impact on the game. With Hanley unable to hold onto James Loney's fly ball after crashing into wall in foul territory, Clay Buchholz saw what might have been a 1-2-3 first become a two-run first on a double from Evan Longoria and a generously scored David DeJesus single that Dustin Pedroia absolutely should have had.

It's hard to get a handle on Clay Buchholz' night, really. It's hard to say he earned all those runs. Certainly neither of the first-inning runs was entirely his fault. And if he was to blame for a two-run homer from Joey Butler in the second, his fifth earned run was surrendered by a shaky Junichi Tazawa after Buchholz left the seventh having allowed a single and recorded an out. He finished the night with seven strikeouts to two walks to boot.

At the same time, he dodged bullets in the third and fourth, allowing no small amount of contact along the way. He had some nasty wipeout pitches, but was inconsistent at best along the way. It could have been better, it could have been worse.

It could not, however, have been a shutout. Which is what it would have needed to be given that the Red Sox lineup went right back into their cave after poking their heads out when they mounted a late comeback attempt against the Yankees. Back-to-back triples, of all things, from Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts were good for one run in the second, and that was all the Sox would manage against Jake Odorizzi and the Tampa Bay bullpen. It's hard to win games when the other team scores five off your starting pitcher. But it's harder still to win games when you only score one.

I'd say it was a taste of a future without Hanley Ramirez, but frankly we've seen results like this with Hanley. If the Sox are out their power-hitting left fielder, then it will just be that much more common.