BOSTON — The Red Sox have reached their lowest point since 2012.
The defending World Series champions suffered a 6-2 defeat Sunday, capping a three-game sweep at the hands of the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park. Boston has lost four straight for the first time since John Farrell took over as the club’s manager before the 2013 season.
“I don’t know that we ever go in looking for streaks of losses,” Farrell said following Sunday’s loss. “We follow our preparation and our competitiveness, and that’s the way things turned out for quite a long time. We’ve got to regroup, we’ve got to be better in all phases. … Collectively, we have to be better all the way around.”
The Red Sox’s losing streak is their longest since dropping the final eight games of the 2012 season. The 2013 championship squad was built on an incredible level of consistency that clearly hasn’t carried over into Boston’s title defense. Those within the Red Sox’s clubhouse walls continue to preach the importance of grinding out games and staying on an even-keel, but clearly, something — or things, for that matter — needs to change.
“I think everybody in this room and on our staff will tell you we’ve got to get better on all sides of the ball — pitching, playing better defense and obviously swing the bats a bit better,” said Red Sox starter Jake Peavy, who suffered the loss Sunday. “Everybody has room for improvement and nobody’s pointing fingers. As a whole, we’re going to take responsibility for not playing our best, man-to-man.”
Peavy gave up five earned runs on 11 hits over six innings Sunday. The Red Sox jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning, but the Tigers countered with three runs in the third inning, which was highlighted by Victor Martinez’s two-run bomb into the Boston bullpen.
Peavy’s lackluster outing was only half the story, as the Red Sox’s offense again struggled to produce timely hits. The Red Sox finished Sunday’s contest 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base, including three in the fifth inning, when Grady Sizemore lined back to Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez with the bases loaded to begin an inning-ending double play.
“It took away any momentum that we were able to generate,” Farrell said of the fifth-inning double play, which was completed by doubling-up Shane Victorino at third base. “Can’t say we’re into bad luck. We’re still looking for a key base hit with runners in scoring position. And I know that’s a reoccurring theme — and it certainly took place in this series — but inopportune moment (for that to happen).”
The Red Sox, who lost Thursday’s series finale in Minnesota before getting outscored by the Tigers 13-3 in the teams’ three-game weekend series at Fenway Park, now sit three games under .500 at 20-23. It isn’t where the Red Sox expected to be after last season’s success, and it’s becoming increasingly troubling because there isn’t one particular thing Boston can point to as something that could spark a turnaround.
“Everybody in here is frustrated. You get frustrated when you lose,” Peavy said. “ … There’s still a lot of ball to be played. It’s nothing more than frustration. The biggest thing you got to do is channel that frustration in the right way and work hard to come out of it.”
The Red Sox need to snap out of it soon, or else a four-game skid in May will be the least of their worries.