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Red Sox 5, Dodgers 8: Another challenge failed

Three weeks ago, a resurgent Red Sox team was tasked with the challenge of maintaining their momentum over 20 games in 20 days. So much for that.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday the Red Sox' offense didn't show up. On Sunday, nothing but the offense did.

So they've lost again. It's been three weeks since the Red Sox last won a series--their two-game set against the Giants. They've followed up the disastrous end to that homestand with what can now only be deemed a failure of a road trip, and God do I ever not want to talk about it.

But that's what I'm here for, so here goes nothing.

David Price? Just an utter disappointment, which is really nothing new for him this year. What's most remarkable is how quickly he transitioned from 15 scoreless frames to allowing seven runs in six (ten if you count the three unearned). The Dodgers are one of the worst teams in the game against left-handed pitchers, but first Eduardo Rodriguez and now David Price have produced back-to-back stinkers against them. Once through the order wasn't too bad for Price--a slightly shaky second, but no damage.

Then Justin Turner led off the fourth and it was all downhill from there. The defense didn't help Price any--at one point Brock Holt failed to convert when Xander Bogaerts attempted to get the lead runner, and there would be more of that to come--but Price still gave up a walk and a couple solid doubles after the homer in letting the Dodgers put up a three-spot.

Things wouldn't get any better for Price or the defense in the fifth. He started off the frame with his fourth walk (third unintentional) of the game, gave up another hit to Adrian Gonzalez, and then saw Corey Seager score when Xander Bogaerts' throw to second was offline as he again tried to get the lead runner in Gonzalez. A fifth walk would keep the inning going, and facing off against a 27-year-old rookie, Price still couldn't get the out, surrendering a two-run hit to Rob Segedin to make it six runs for Los Angeles.

So there's the rotation and the defense. All that's left is a bullpen failure and, sure enough, Junichi Tazawa did the honors in the seventh. Just when the Red Sox had gotten back in the game with a three-run sixth, pulling within one, Tazawa gave up back-to-back homers to Adrian Gonzalez and Enrique Hernandez. And scene.

The good? Andrew Benintendi hopefully just killed the platoon, or at least did some legitimate damage to it with a 3-for-4 night including a solid base hit off lefty Luis Avilan. He also scored on a Mookie Betts base hit where the throw was pretty much headed home from shallow left when he touched third because he's one heck of a baserunner. And yeah, there was the hit from Betts himself, who is still pretty good.

But the individual victories can only count for so much in the face of such incessant defeat or, I suppose, lack of victory, given that we're talking about ties in the series against the Twins, Angels, and Mariners. Really, though, a tie should only be considered acceptable in the last of those.

The first half of this lengthy gauntlet of games is finally at an end. And after starting it off 2-0 against San Francisco, the Red Sox have gone ahead and unquestionably failed to meet the challenge. They get one day off before it's right back to the grind. If they perform as poorly in the second long stretch as they did in the first, it's going to make it hard to see this team playing into October.