The cast remains the same, so it should come as no surprise that the results do as well. The Red Sox took an early lead, Pomeranz was in the middle of a gem right up until his last pitch, and then Clay Buchholz gave up the go-ahead run in the eighth.
My God but games like these are getting tiring.
The last time Pomeranz took the mound, it was against this same Rays team. And then, too, he had a great game headed into his final inning. Six strong frames, plenty of strikeouts, just the one run. Neither game had seen the Red Sox do all that much against Jake Odorizzi, but where the contest in Tampa saw them shut down by luck with line drive after line drive finding gloves, this time Hanley Ramirez at least had fortune on his side. A Fenway-only Pesky Pole shot put the Red Sox on the board early, and a bloop behind first had helped score a third. The second run was a bit of a throwback to the previous game, with David Ortiz hitting an absolute rocket that ended up as a sacrifice fly with Steven Souza Jr. coming in to make a diving catch, but it was still enough for a 3-1 lead for Boston.
Last time, Pomeranz just didn’t have it in that final inning. He quickly gave up two hits and the go-ahead run before being pulled. This time, after a leadoff single, Pomeranz managed to get within a strike of escaping the inning. But the final pitch he would throw was a curveball to Luke Maile, who became the first batter to take one of those out of the park off Pomeranz on the year, as pointed out by Jason Mastrodonato.
So the game headed to the eighth tied after some minor drama from Matt Barnes, and there Clay Buchholz took the mound for the Red Sox one night after throwing nearly 30 pitches and giving up a run to this same Rays team. This is their eighth-inning guy. With a 1-2 count, said eighth-inning guy decided to throw Evan Longoria a waist-high fastball in his wheelhouse. You’ll never guess what happened!
Yeah, very deep, very gone. So was the tie. 4-3 to the Rays and it didn’t move from there. Another day of 0-for’s from Shaw and Bradley. Another loss attributed to a pen arm. Another loss in general. There’s been an uncomfortable number of them this past week, particularly given how many games the Sox have played against these Rays. They’re getting opportunities to move ahead and take the lead in the AL East, and much as they had recently been doing with their opportunities on the basepaths, they’ve wasted them magnificently.