The Boston Red Sox’s 10-game road trip is off to a disastrous start.
The Red Sox, who swept the Minnesota Twins earlier this week at Fenway Park, have dropped three straight to the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum. Coco Crisp again delivered the finishing blow Saturday, lining an RBI single into right field in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the A’s a 4-3, walk-off win.
Boston now has played eight consecutive games decided by two runs or fewer. The Sox are 3-5 in that stretch and have scored three runs or fewer in every game.
Let’s go over some notes from Saturday’s loss.
— Rubby De La Rosa further showed he’s big league ready by tossing seven innings of one-run ball. The right-hander allowed four hits, struck out seven, walked one and threw 100 pitches (58 pitches).
It’s possible Saturday’s outing could be De La Rosa’s final start before being shipped back to Triple-A Pawtucket, but he certainly made the Red Sox’s looming rotation decisions even more difficult.
— A’s starter Jesse Chavez didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning. Brock Holt finally broke up the right-hander’s no-hit bid with a single into left field.
Chavez allowed three hits over seven shutout innings. He struck out four, walked four and threw 100 pitches (61 strikes).
— Holt had another excellent game both offensively and defensively.
Holt reached base four times, collecting three hits and a walk. He made a terrific diving play in right-center field in the third inning, although Stephen Vogt, who tripled to lead off the inning, tagged up and scored despite Alberto Callaspo being robbed of a hit.
— The Red Sox grounded into two more double plays, giving them an MLB-worst 71 this season.
— The Red Sox are hitting .087 (4-for-46) with runners in scoring position over their last eight games.
— The Red Sox caught a break in the eighth inning. It allowed them to tie the game.
Mike Napoli, batting with runners at the corners, foul tipped a 2-2 pitch from Luke Gregerson into catcher Stephen Vogt’s mitt. Home plate umpire Quinn Wolcott ruled the ball hit the dirt, though, and Napoli was given a second life. (The play was non-reviewable.)
Gregerson fired his next pitch into the dirt. The ball bounced a few feet away from Vogt, and Dustin Pedroia very aggressively raced home from third base with the tying run. Pedroia dived in head-first, briefly giving the Red Sox a spark.
— The spark provided by Pedroia’s heads-up baserunning in the eighth inning was short-lived. Pedroia and David Ortiz failed to cash in after back-to-back, one-out singles from Jackie Bradley Jr. and Holt in the 10th inning.
— Edward Mujica walked Callaspo to lead off the bottom of the 10th. Nick Punto dropped down a sacrifice bunt, after which Red Sox manager John Farrell turned to Koji Uehara.
Crisp ripped Uehara’s first pitch into right field. Adding a hint of irony to the situation was that Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of Uehara becoming the Red Sox’s closer.
— Stephen Drew went 0-for-4. He’s now 0-for-14 over his last four games and is hitting .158 (6-for-38) this season.
— A.J. Pierzynski went 0-for-4. He’s now hitting .167 (9-for-54) in June.
— Shane Victorino’s return date remains up in the air, but it’s sounding less likely that he’ll join the club during its West Coast swing.
Victorino, who is in the midst of a rehab assignment with Pawtucket, has been sidelined for four straight days because of general soreness.