Rangers - 200 100 000 - 3 7 0 Red Sox - 000 100 000 - 1 6 2It was around the end of seventh inning when Maxwell Horse posted to the game thread: "It's absolutely insane that a two run deficit feels insurmountable."
I whole-heartedly agree, and yet ... the Red Sox have scored only 17 runs in their last nine games. When a team averages 1.89 runs per nine innings, a two-run lead is insurmountable.
It turned out that Texas scored all the runs it would need against Clay Buchholz (7.1-5-3-2-4, 106) in the first inning. Shin-Soo Choo lined a single to right and Delino DeShields bunted his way aboard. Both runners advanced on Prince Fielder's fly to deep right and Adrian Beltre walked, loading the bases. Mitch Moreland grounded to Dustin Pedroia, whose throw to Xander Bogaerts at second base was off-target. Bogaerts stretched and kept his foot on the bag to record the out, but dropped the ball - and two runs scored.
Moreland (3-for-4) homered in the fourth, giving the Rangers a 3-0 lead. The Red Sox came back quickly with one run in their half of the inning. Mookie Betts beat out an infield single and raced to third on Pedroia's double to left. David Ortiz swung at the first pitch and grounded out, but Betts scored. Pedroia then took off when Hanley Ramirez squibbed the ball in front of the plate - and was easily tagged out 1-2.
From there, whenever Boston got a man on base, they were unable to do anything further.
5th: Bogaerts walked with one out. Daniel Nava then singled to right-center, but the ball hit Bogaerts's foot on its way through the infield - and he was called out. Sandy Leon fanned, ending the inning.
6th: Betts, Pedroia, and Ortiz all grounded out to shortstop Elvis Andrus.
7th: Brock Holt worked a 10-pitch walk with two outs. Keone Kela then relieved Wandy Rodriguez (6.2-4-1-2-5, 112). Bogaerts lined a hard single to right. Nava - batting .175 and slugging .211 - struck out on three pitches.
8th: Pablo Sandoval pinch-hit for Leon and despite being the team's best hitter against RHP (.365), he struck out. Betts flied to right and Pedroia was called out on strikes.
9th: Facing Shawn Tolleson, Ortiz doubled to left-center. It was a great beginning, but the game ended with him still standing on second. Ramirez popped to short center. Napoli struck out, chasing a slider low and away. Holt also chased two pitches out of the strike zone, missing them both. After two balls, he was called out on a pitch on the outside black.
Wandy Rodriguez / Clay Buchholz
Betts, CFRuns scored by the Red Sox in their last eight games: 2, 2, 2, 1, 4, 0, 4, 1.
Nevertheless, Alex Speier offers some silver linings about the team's frustrating lack of production.
Also: Marvin Hudson is a colossal asshole.