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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mistakes Cost Red Sox, Streak Comes to an End

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 16:  Pitcher Jeremy H...
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 16: Pitcher Jeremy Hellickson #58 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the game at Tropicana Field on May 16, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Going into Wednesday's matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox were in fifth gear, cruising their way to .500. Last night the gears slipped and costly mistakes eliminated any chance of extending their win streak to 6 games and picking up a game on the Rays.

It started in the second inning when Clay Buchholz got fancy trying to hold runners at first and third with Jose Molina batting, instead committing the teams fifth balk of the year and giving the Rays a 1-0 advantage.

The Sox would erase that mistake a couple innings later in the fourth when Jarrod Saltalamacchia ripped a double with two outs, followed by a walk to Cody Ross that gave Daniel Nava a chance to continue his recent success.

A bloop single that just got under the glove of B.J. Upton had the Red Sox right back in the game, with the score now tied at 1 a piece, but another mistake in the sixth would seal the deal.

Consecutive singles from Matt Joyce and Carlos Pena to open the inning led to runners on first and third with nobody out for Luke Scott, who hit a fairly shallow fly ball to Cody Ross in right but his inability to make the play cleanly gave Joyce enough time to tag up and get in just ahead of the throw. If Ross had fielded it cleanly, chances are the run doesn't score.

The final line on Buchholz, who never looked sharp but didn't look bad either, was 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5K.

The Red Sox made yet another mistake in the seventh, but fortunately this time it didn't cost them. With Matt Joyce--who was at the center of everything--on first, Franklin Morales committed the sixth ball of the season for the Red Sox, which leads the major leagues, obviously.

Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney (0.48 ERA) were able to lock up the eighth and ninth innings, sealing the fate of the Red Sox in this one. It amazes me what Joe Maddon gets from his bullpen on a yearly basis. Why can't the Sox take a lesson?

Anyways, the Red Sox look to split the short two game series with the Rays tonight. It'll be Felix Doubront taking on Matt Moore. First pitch scheduled for 7:10 PM.

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