Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com (May 14, 2018 – Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America)
The Oakland Athletics continue to be the Boston Red Sox kryptonite. The Sox dropped their second straight game to Oakland, and are currently 1-4 overall against the west coast squad. While the pitching wasn’t anything special, the Red Sox bats stayed quiet all night. In the end, the Boston Red Sox dropped their second straight game, losing 5-3.
Boston Red Sox Drop Second Straight Game, 5-3
While the rain caused a late start, the Oakland Athletics got off to a quick start once the game began. Starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez allowed the first two runners to reach before recording two quick outs. It looked like Eddie would escape the jam when third baseman Matt Chapman hit a fly ball to right field. However, Mookie Betts uncharacteristically misjudged the ball, and the A’s took an early 2-0 lead.
The Sox had a chance to make some noise in the bottom of the first, but terrible baserunning ended that opportunity. With runners on first and second, Mitch Moreland hit a soft chopper down the third base line. At first glance, this looked like it would advance the runners. However, Andrew Benintendi overran third, got in a rundown, and was eventually tagged out. Baserunning has been a nightmare for the Sox all season long, and manager Alex Cora needs to do something to address the issue.
The second inning didn’t fare much better for the Sox. While the first two runs allowed weren’t entirely on Eddie, the young lefty allowed a towering solo shot in the second inning. It was a no-doubter all the way, as right fielder Stephen Piscotty made it a 3-0 game. While the homer obviously hurt the Red Sox, it was a special moment in a way that transcends ones rooting interest. Piscotty just lost his mother, and his home run was his first at-bat since rejoining the A’s. It was an emotional moment for everyone in attendance, especially as Piscotty crossed home while holding his heart, clearly remembering his mother.
The Sox finally managed to make it on the board in the bottom of the fourth. After J.D. Martinez reached second on a throwing error by Matt Chapman, Xander Bogaerts moved Martinez over to third with a single to left field. One batter later, Mitch Moreland grounded into a fielders choice to make it a 3-1 game. The Sox couldn’t add any more runs and entered the fifth inning trailing by two.
After Eddie silenced the A’s in the top of the fifth, Andrew Benintendi made some noise in the bottom of the frame. With two men down, Benintendi launched an absolute bomb deep into the right-center stands. Hanley Ramirez singled on the next at-bat, but ultimately the Sox couldn’t add any more damage.
E-Rod’s night was done after five innings, and Steven Wright made his long-anticipated season debut. The knuckleballer struggled with command, as he walked three batters in his two innings. However, that’s part of the deal with any knuckleballer, and outside of the walks, Wright pitched well early. He didn’t allow a hit through his first two innings and turned in a great performance.
Wright went back out for the eighth inning and started to run into trouble. While he didn’t walk anyone, he allowed two singles before getting pulled in favor for recent call-up Bobby Poyner. Poyner took care of the first batter but allowed a two-run double to make the game 5-2. Once again, the damage came with two outs, which has become a far-too-common trend with the Sox pitching staff.
The Red Sox made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth, but weren’t able to finish. After Rafael Devers reached on a dropped third strike and Brock Holt doubled to left, Mookie Betts drove Devers in with a fielders choice. Unfortunately, Benintendi and Hanley Ramirez couldn’t continue the rally. It was a dissapointing loss for the Sox, dropping their record to 28-14 on the season. Chris Sale will take the mound tomorrow, looking to avoid the series sweep.