Misplayed grounders converge to foil Rangers
Errors by Odor, Beltre and Andrus contribute to Red Sox's five-run second
BOSTON -- On paper, a team committing three errors in one game may not stand out. But it can be a different story when three errors come in the same inning.
The Rangers' infield unraveled with three errors in a five-run second inning on Wednesday night, setting the tone in an 11-6 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Second baseman Rougned Odor, shortstop Elvis Andrus and third baseman Adrian Beltre, a four-time Golden Glove Award winner, bobbled relatively simple grounders in the game-changing frame.
"Beltre, you don't see that," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "He didn't get it clean; it happened. They're very rare for him. The one to Elvis looked like just a mishandle of the baseball. They are uncharacteristic because they have been playing defense so ultra-competitive and well this year. I don't know. Maybe we'll check everybody's horoscope tonight."
After left-hander Martin Perez issued a leadoff walk to Jackie Bradley Jr., Bryce Brentz hit a soft ground ball to Odor. Instead of completing an easy out with a throw to first, Odor attempted to tag Bradley Jr. to start a double play, but his miscue ensured both would be safe.
On the next play, Travis Shaw hit a grounder to Beltre, whose defense rarely falters. The third baseman bobbled the ball, loading the bases.
Three batters later, after back-to-back hits brought in three runs, Dustin Pedroia hit a grounder to Andrus, whose gaffe plated Ryan Hanigan to make it a 6-1 game.
"It was a crazy game at the beginning, but there's nothing you can do about it," Andrus said. "Just turn the page as soon as you can and just refocus for tomorrow and for the next series. Try and finish the first half strong."
Banister said Perez's youth may have fueled his inability to shrug off the three errors. In his four innings, the southpaw gave up 11 runs (seven earned) on nine hits, including a David Ortiz two-run homer, and two walks. But the skipper believes Perez is on his way to becoming a better pitcher.
"Your maturity and where you're getting to as a pitcher is being able to cover some of those [errors] up," Banister said. "It's hard to cover three. Being able to cover one, possibly the second, [is manageable]. But it's hard to cover three. That's part of the process of a pitcher, too. You see some of the elite pitchers being able to do that."
Ortiz echoed Banister's comments.
"I have never seen that ballclub make that many errors," Ortiz said. "They've got a great defense. It's one of those days where things didn't work out. You know how good-hitting ballclubs are. When they make a mistake, we make you pay."
Banister said every team in the Major Leagues is in need of rest with the All-Star break near.
"Did we miss some plays? Yes," Banister said. "But it's not because they're fatigued. It's turned hot. Guys are getting acclimated to the summer. It's just kind of where you're at right now."
Wednesday's sloppiness came amid a tough road trip for the Rangers, who boast a 53-33 record but have lost six of their last eight games.