BOSTON — The umpire’s fist went up, the call was confirmed and the Red Sox again walked away frustrated.
Dustin Pedroia was thrown out on a bang-bang play at first base Tuesday to end the Red Sox’s 2-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs at Fenway Park. Red Sox manager John Farrell challenged the close call, but the initial ruling was confirmed, ending Boston’s attempt to rally in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Brock Holt reached with two outs in the ninth. Pedroia then chopped a ground ball to the left side, and third baseman Luis Valbuena made a diving stop. Valbuena fired a one-hopper to first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who picked the throw to end the game, although it wasn’t without a discussion and a challenge.
“With the ability to challenge and a challenge remaining, it’s a bang-bang play from the dugout,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “We couldn’t tell from the angle Rizzo stretched to receive the ball off the dirt. Just using every available opportunity to us.”
Valbuena and Rizzo certainly were at the heart of the action in the ninth inning. Rizzo singled to lead off the top of the ninth and scored Chicago’s game-winning run when Valbuena delivered a sacrifice fly to right field off Koji Uehara.
The Red Sox have dropped the first two games of their series with the Cubs. Boston has produced just one run, as Chicago took Monday’s series opener 2-0 after Jake Arrieta nearly tossed a no-hitter.