The Red Sox gave us a little bit of hope at Fenway on Tuesday as they entered the sixth with a real-life lead, up 4-2 on the Phillies. Then they let 12 men come of the plate in the inning with Josh Taylor and Heath Hembree struggling mightily and it was 9-4 Phillies by the time the inning was over. Oh, and J.D. Martinez left the game after getting dehydrated. So, you know, typical night.
When you lose eight games in a row like the Red Sox had coming into Tuesday’s game at Fenway against the Phillies, you tend to have every kind of loss. You have the heart-breakers, the blowouts, the ones due to bad pitching and the ones due to bad hitting. While the arms haven’t exactly been perfect the last couple days to finish up the series in New York, they were good enough to win for the most part in the offense had held up their end of the bargain. Thus, it was important for them to get going early in this one and possibly even take an early lead.
That was exactly what happened, as it turned out. The game was scoreless heading into the bottom of the first, and Rafael Devers got the rally started with a sharp one-out base hit. He’d move up to second base on a ground out to put a runner in scoring position for Xander Bogaerts, and the shortstop came through. Bogaerts smacked a single of his own through the right side to bring Devers home, and the Red Sox had a real life lead with a 1-0 score.
After Phillies starter Zach Eflin got three straight strikeouts to work around a leadoff walk in the second, Boston’s bats got things going again in the third. This time it was Alex Verdugo getting things started with a leadoff double, and that was followed by two more two-baggers right after that from Devers and J.D. Martinez, respectively, to put two more runs on the board. That’s the good news. The bad news is the Red Sox couldn’t get any more, largely due to defense by the Phillies. With two on and one out, Kevin Pillar hit a rocket to the left side, but rookie Alec Bohm made a great snag at third base and then doubled up Martinez to end the inning and the rally.
On the other end, Zack Godley was looking to recover from a very rough outing his last time out. He got in trouble with the long ball in that last start against the Rays and was going to look to keep the ball on the ground and in the yard this time around. He did just that in the first inning, hitting a batter but otherwise getting a strikeout and two ground outs for a scoreless inning. He’d toss scoreless frames in the second and third as well, giving up just a single in each of those innings.
In the fourth, after Boston took their 3-0 lead, the Phillies started to show some signs of life against the Red Sox righty. After a quick first out, Didi Gregorius got things going with a double over the glove of Kevin Pillar in right field to put a runner in scoring position. Godley then issued a walk to Bohm before giving up a base hit to Jay Bruce, and suddenly the Phillies had a run on the board and still two on with just one out. Godley was able to avoid further damage, though, getting a ground out and a fly out to keep the Phillies to just one run and hang on to the two-run lead.
After the Red Sox went down in order in the bottom of the fourth, Phillips Valdez came on for the fifth. The righty has been the rare success story this year among offseason low-cost acquisitions on the pitching staff, but he made a mistake in this one. Facing Rhys Hoskins, who had not hit a home run to this point in the year despite tremendous power, Valdez left a 1-1 two-seam up in the zone and over the heart of the plate. Hoskins was all over it, sending it into the seats for a solo shot, bringing the Phillies to within one. Valdez did get out of the inning after that, though.
The Red Sox were ready to answer back in the bottom of the fifth, too. It was the top of the order getting setting the table again for this rally, with Verdugo drawing a leadoff walk and Devers following that up with a single for his third hit of the game. Unfortunately, at this point Martinez was removed from the game with some sort of injury — he had been seen talking to the trainer, but it wasn’t learned until later that it was due to dehydration — and Jonathan Araúz popped up in his stead. Bogaerts made up for it, though, smacking a sacrifice fly out to right field to make it a 4-2 game.
That brought Josh Taylor into the game for his second straight appearance after just joining the team on Monday. The lefty didn’t get off to a great start, hitting Gregorius with the first pitch he threw. He did get a couple outs after that, but Phil Gosselin came on to pinch hit and jumped on the first pitch he saw to smash one off the Monster and bring home Gregorius. Just like that, we had a one-run game with the tying run in scoring position. Taylor couldn’t get out of it with the lead, giving up a base hit to Roman Quinn to tie up the game at four.
That RBI single ended Taylor’s night, with Heath Hembree coming on to face Andrew McCutchen. Things didn’t get any better when the righty came on. Quinn immediately stole second base, which made tying the game much easier on McCutchen’s single to right field. McCutchen then immediately stole second himself thanks to Hembree’s high leg kick. First base was then filled after a walk before Bryce Harper put the nail in the coffin with a three-run homer, suddenly opening up a four-run lead for the Phillies. They would get one more in the inning, leaving the frame up 9-4 after entering down 4-2.
After the Phillies rally, the Red Sox, as is custom, went down in order. Hilariously, in a “I’m dead inside” kind of way, Colten Brewer then started the seventh by giving up a solo homer to Phil Gosselin. He did, to his credit, get out of it with three straight outs after that.
The Red Sox offense did show a little bit of life in the bottom of the seventh, starting with a two-out walk from Araúz that was followed by a Bogaerts single. That put two on for Mitch Moreland, who came through with a base hit through the middle to make it a 10-5 game. Of course, the momentum would swing right back as Marcus Walden came on in the eighth and coughed up a three-run homer to Jay Bruce.
After the Red Sox offense went down without a run in the bottom of the eighth, Ryan Brasier came on for the ninth and tossed a scoreless inning. With their final chance, the offense did get their obligatory ninth-inning-of-a-blowout run on a Mitch Moreland double before ending the game with a 13-6 score in favor of the Phillies, extending their losing streak to nine.
The Red Sox will look to avoid a double digit losing streak on Wednesday with a little day baseball as Kyle Hart takes the mound for his second career start, going up against Jake Arrieta. First pitch is set for 1:30 PM ET.