The Red Sox cannot seem to catch any breaks through 29 games this season.
Thursday night it was the ever-dependable Koji Uehara who allowed a home run in the ninth inning to give the Rays a 6-5, comeback win over the Red Sox in the second game of a doubleheader at Fenway Park.
After blowing a 5-2 lead, Uehara entered the game in the ninth inning with the game tied at five. Two pitches later, it was a one-run deficit as Yunel Escobar took Uehara deep over the Monster seats proving to be the difference. The Red Sox closer has now allowed runs in two of his last three appearances. After going 48 2/3 innings without giving up a regular season homer, Uehara has now given up two in his last 2 2/3 innings.
"A split that stays up to Escobar from Koji who had come in and pretty much dominated in a number of at-bats he's had against him," manager John Farrell said. "Timeliness more than anything tonight."
The Red Sox threatened in the ninth, but left the tying run on third base.
After only one hit going into the fifth inning and being shutdown by Rays starter Chris Archer, the Sox were able to get to the right-hander by working walks and then taking advantage with runners on base. After walking the bases loaded with one out, Dustin Pedroia flew out to left with the next batter Shane Victorino getting hit by a pitch, drawing in a run. David Ortiz then ripped a two-run single, followed by back-to-back RBI singles from Mike Napoli and Grady Sizemore, accounting for the final two runs in the inning. Archer went 4 2/3 innings allowing five runs on just three hits while walking five and hitting a batter.
Red Sox starter Felix Doubront wasn't sharp by any means, but much more effective than of late as the left-hander went six innings allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits, including two home runs, while walking one and striking out five. Junichi Tazawa allowed the tying run on a James Loney single in the eighth inning, the first run he's allowed this season to a team besides the Blue Jays.
The Red Sox will now open a weekend series with the Athletics beginning tomorrow night (7:10, NESN) where Clay Buchholz will get the ball and be opposed by Dan Straily.
What they'll be saying: Taking a no-decision, it was a step in the right direction for Doubront coming off his rough outings of late. He tied season-lows with five hits and one walk allowed. Red Sox starting pitchers have now given up three earned runs or less in 14 straight games against the Rays dating back to June 12 of last year ... The story of the day was the Red Sox' inability to get a hit with runners in scoring position when they needed to, concluding in the ninth when Xander Bogaerts struck out with Victorino on third base as the tying run. Overall, in the two games the Red Sox went 4-for-20 (.200) with runners in scoring position, leaving 21 men on base. Through 29 games, the Red Sox have not won more than two games in a row.