Just six hours ago, the Red Sox put up six runs behind a fantastic start from Eduardo Rodriguez to take a 6-3 victory in the day half of their doubleheader against the Twins. You'd never believe it watching them against Trevor May in the night half.
Much like Eduardo Rodriguez, Rick Porcello did more than his part. While he got off to rocky beginnings, having to work around a leadoff double in the first from Brian Dozier before allowing two runs in the second on three hits and a squeeze play in the second, he more than settled into his outing. In fact, a Torii Hunter single in the sixth was all the Twins would get off Porcello after that. And even Hunter would be erased from the basepaths by a double play. Starting with the last out in that second inning, Porcello faced 19 batters to record 19 outs.
It takes a much worse beginning than Porcello had for any night featuring such an impressive streak to be deserving of a loss. But this Red Sox team seems to have ways of turning even the best performances on the mound into just that. Clay Buchholz had to keep the Twins completely off the board to come away with a win in the first game of the series, but even that wouldn't have sufficed tonight.
Facing off against Trevor May, the Red Sox couldn't do a thing. To be fair to May, he's deserved better than his ERA would suggest, with his defense not turning too many of his balls in play into outs. But he also hasn't shown the ability to completely erase his defense from the equation the way he did against the Red Sox. The Red Sox were content to take too many strikes, particularly against off-speed offerings he showed he could throw for strikes, and when it came time to do or die, they just couldn't make contact with two-strikes. It wasn't that May had the out pitch. It was just that whatever he threw them with strike three on the line, the Red Sox had the out swing to put themselves away.
Dustin Pedroia was the only batter to carry over even the slightest bit of success from the day game, managing a third inning double. With Carlos Peguero already on base by way of a single, it was Boston's one chance to score. But Peguero was stopped at third, and Brock Holt grounded out to end the threat. And that was the last baserunner of the night for the Sox, full stop. No Torii Hunter single in the middle innings. No random walk allowed. No errant throw to give them some life. Just like for Porcello, it was 19 up, 19 down.
The only difference was that the Twins had already showed all the life they needed to in the second. It shouldn't have been enough. It shouldn't be enough nearly so often as it has been against the Red Sox. But it was.