The Boston Red Sox could use a few 10-cent beers after Wednesday’s loss.
The Red Sox and Indians waited out Mother Nature for two hours, 28 minutes on the 40th anniversary of Cleveland’s infamous “10-Cent Beer Night” before starting their series finale at Progressive Field. It took another four hours, 29 minutes to settle the score, with Asdrubal Cabrera finally putting a dagger through Boston’s heart with a three-run, walk-off home run in the 12th inning.
Wednesday’s crushing loss — capped roughly seven hours after the game’s scheduled start time — adds to what has been a wild, unpredictable stretch for the Red Sox. The Sox, who lost 10 straight before a Memorial Day victory over the Atlanta Braves, entered their series with the Tribe in the midst of a seven-game winning streak. Now, Boston heads to Detroit on the heels of a three-game sweep in which the offense failed to produce timely hits — a recurring theme this season.
“That’s got some frustration to it,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after Wednesday’s loss in reference to his club’s streakiness. “We’ve got to continue to find ways to execute when the game is calling for it — offensively, or in tonight’s case, defensively a couple of times.”
The Red Sox went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base Wednesday. They hit just .143 (3-for-21) with runners in scoring position during the three-game sweep. Boston fought back on multiple occasions after falling behind in the first inning of each game, but the Red Sox simply couldn’t get over the hump in any contest.
The Red Sox briefly led Wednesday after David Ortiz drilled a two-run homer off Corey Kluber in the sixth inning. It was Ortiz’s first home run and extra-base hit since May 26. Ortiz entered the at-bat hitting .145 (9-for-62) with one extra-base hit since May 15.
The Indians wasted no time in responding, though, as they plated three runs in the bottom half of the inning to recapture the lead. Red Sox starter Brandon Workman walked Cabrera and yielded a single to Michael Brantley before manager John Farrell called upon Chris Capuano, who surrendered three hits without recording a single out.
Fortunately for Boston, Burke Badenhop minimized the damage in the sixth by inducing a couple of ground balls, including one that resulted in a 4-6-3, inning-ending double play.
The Red Sox knotted things up in the seventh inning after Stephen Drew walked and Daniel Nava singled to begin the frame. Jackie Bradley Jr. dropped down a sacrifice bunt that worked to perfection, and the red-hot Brock Holt evened the score with a two-run single into center field.
The Red Sox had a golden opportunity to grab a lead in the seventh, as Holt scooted up to second base on a wild pitch. But Scott Atchison struck out Xander Bogaerts and retired Dustin Pedroia on a fly ball to right field, kicking off a stretch in which the Red Sox couldn’t get anything going against the Indians’ bullpen.
Edward Mujica, who had pitched better of late, entered in the bottom of the 12th inning. He gave up back-to-back singles to Mike Aviles and Michael Bourn, setting up runners at the corners for Cabrera. The Red Sox brought in Nava from right field and deployed five infielders, but it didn’t matter because Cabrera hooked a 1-0 pitch over the wall for the game-winning blast.
While every loss is tough to swallow, a walk-off loss stings a little more. And when a walk-off loss accompanies a lengthy rain delay and caps a three-game sweep, it’s safe to say everyone’s going home cranky.