Errors, blown save in ninth haunt Red Sox
ARLINGTON -- Pablo Sandoval booted a grounder. John Farrell elected to intentionally walk Prince Fielder and put the winning run on base. Koji Uehara left a splitter to Josh Hamilton over the plate.
So went the ninth inning in a 4-3 Red Sox loss to the Rangers on Sunday. A day after a performance Farrell called "unacceptable," the Red Sox seemed to play with more energy, but again ended up being their own worst enemies.
Boston made three errors for the second consecutive game. The first was in the third inning, when Dustin Pedroia couldn't use his barehand to corral a wide backhand toss from Xandar Bogearts. The second was later in the inning when an Elvis Andrus grounder ate up Sandoval.
The final -- and eventually fatal -- error was again when Sandoval mishandled a sharply hit ball from Hanser Alberto, who reached base and later scored the tying run.
"I should have got that ball," Sandoval said. "I tried getting up on that hop ... That's part of the game. It's been tough, through that situation where you probably try to do too much, try and make that play."
Alberto ended up on third with Fielder on first with two outs when Josh Hamilton drove a ball into the left-center gap for a game-winning double. The decision to walk Fielder -- who entered the game hitting .405 in his past 19 games -- proved to be an interesting one, but Farrell implied he'd rather face Hamilton, who pinch-hit for Adam Rosales.
"We'll take the chance of a guy coming off the bench versus a guy that's in the game and in the rhythm of the game probably more times than not, especially a guy as hot as Prince has been and what he's meant to that offense all year," Farrell said.
Uehara said through an interpreter walking Fielder was, "A team decision. I'm just going to follow that." He said he thought his 1-1 splitter to Hamilton was a good pitch, but it caught too much of the plate and was the final act in the Red Sox implosion.
"Every loss is difficult, obviously," starting pitcher Joe Kelly said. "The bullpen pitched a good game, and you know, the error, it hurt. But ultimately we're just going to have to go out there and try to win as many games in a row starting tomorrow and kinda brush this one."
Boston has lost six of its past seven games, including three in a row. The Red Sox are in last place, and Ferrell held a meeting with team veterans Sunday morning in an attempt to correct course. But the Red Sox walk away Sunday with another regrettable loss and more ground to make up as they return to Fenway Park for a seven-game homestand.
"Yeah, it's difficult, but you have to keep your head on, you have to keep fighting through tough moments," Sandoval said. "The good moments are coming, so you have to keep fighting."