The Red Sox had a chance Thursday night to finally win a series against their AL East competition. Zero wins in five tries. All they'd need to do is beat Tyler Wilson with Eduardo Rodriguez on the mound.
Eduardo Rodriguez allowed five runs in under five innings. The Red Sox hit into some hard outs, then stopped doing even that. They lost, leaving them 0-for-6 in series wins in their last six tries against the Orioles and Jays. They've soundly failed the test. Again.
The second inning was the last great ray of hope. The first inning was a bit rough for Eduardo Rodriguez, but he managed to escape without surrendering any runs, and proceeded to strike out the first two batters in a 1-2-3 second. It looked almost like it might be time for a Rodriguez turnaround.
Two batters into the third, Adam Jones hit a two-run homer. It did not get much better for the lefty from there. Showing no real ability to command his secondary pitches, Rodriguez was probably lucky to suffer only the damage he did. Jones was really the one who hurt him badly, doubling home another run in the fourth before two hits in three batters to start the fifth ended his night. Barnes could not keep his inherited runner out, and Rodriguez ended his night with five earned runs in 4.1 innings.
On a better night for Boston's offense, with Clay Buchholz turning in 3 excellent innings of relief, this might have still been a win. But this was not a better night for Boston's offense, or really even close to one. A few early warning shots had found gloves. But the second half of Tyler Wilson's outing was just...ugly. Six of Boston's last twelve outs against Wilson came by way of the K, including all three in the eighth. He left having allowed a total of four baserunners, and if the Red Sox could have had more based on the early hard contact, finding five runs in that mix to make up for Rodriguez' outing is hard to do. Only when Brad Brach entered the game for the ninth with a five-run lead did David Ortiz finally put the Sox on the board with a solo shot, and that as the lone productive swing in the inning.
Bad. That's all there is to describe it. Bad, bad, bad. The Red Sox have once again proven incapable of beating their biggest competition, and tonight, it wasn't even close. They're going to have questions to answer in the weeks to come. But they won't have another chance to prove they can beat these Orioles and Jays, and until they do, those questions can't really be answered in full.