The Red Sox had a third straight win and a good start against the White Sox presented to them on a silver platter, courtesy of Steven Wright. The Red Sox politely declined, sent the win back, and took a loss instead.
It's...difficult to describe just how much this sucked. The Red Sox are a team that's supposed to have a lineup strong enough to overcome its mediocre pitching. Miguel Gonzalez is a decent enough pitcher, but he's not great, and he just got through allowing seven runs to the Tigers. The Sox could barely do a damn thing against him. The only real threat they generated in the first six innings was a pair of singles in the third from the bottom of the lineup. But with a chance to cash in, the top of the order could only move the man at second on to third, and nothing more.
This weak performance really wouldn't feel quite so bad if Steven Wright had maybe had an off day. But he very much did not. The White Sox would score their first run against him in the second inning when Brett Lawrie led off the inning with a double and ultimately scored from third on a passed ball, leaving the run unearned. That was it. With a double play and a pickoff, Wright managed to face the minimum hitters up until the eighth, when Avisail Garcia finally managed to draw a walk from him and stay on base. Wright proceeded to strand him at third, then got through the ninth, turning in what should have been a complete game with a lone unearned run.
And it really, really should have been a complete game, too. The Red Sox finally got to Gonzalez in the seventh, with Christian Vazquez providing a two-out single to cap a quick rally that drove Gonzalez from the game with his lead gone. Then, in the ninth, Zach Putnam seemed to hand them the game. Facing Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Chris Young, Putnam simply could not find the zone, delivering three straight walks to load the bases with zero outs. The Red Sox needed just about anything against Zach Duke to push a run across and they'd walk off with a win. It was practically guaranteed right up until a pinch-hitting Dustin Pedroia struck out, Christian Vazquez couldn't get the ball out of the infield, and Ryan LaMarre made his debut with an inning-ending K.
The White Sox had escaped death, and when the Red Sox returned to the field with Craig Kimbrel on the mound in the tenth, it felt like they did so as a defeated team. The White Sox quickly put two men on base, and while Kimbrel almost escaped unharmed, Jose Abreu took Kimbrel the other way for a double, and gave the White Sox a 3-1 lead. The lineup returned to the plate with no more life than they'd just had in the field, and the Red Sox found themselves shouldering a pathetic loss, staring two horrific pitching matchups in the face. Just when they seemed to be gaining some momentum, they have shot themselves in the foot and quite possibly thrown it all away.