Red Sox Squander Gift-Wrapped Chances to Win, Can’t Find Winning Combination Anywhere

by abournenesn

Aug 24, 2012

Red Sox Squander Gift-Wrapped Chances to Win, Can't Find Winning Combination AnywhereBOSTON — The Angels had gift-wrapped the game for the Red
Sox — twice.

Before season-long stalwarts Franklin Morales and Clayton
coughed up a six-run lead in the third and before Alfredo Aceves fumbled
a two-run lead in the ninth, the Red Sox were primed to snap out of their
three-game funk.

But in the end, the Red Sox rejected the offering and handed
over a 14-13 victory to the Angels in Thursday's extra-inning clunker. After a
33-pitch inning in the ninth, Aceves served up a shot to Kendrys Morales icing an affair that lasted four hours and 34 minutes.

"We're playing [expletive],
[expletive] baseball," Aceves said. "I can say there's nothing to
pursue. Just come back tomorrow and try and win a game."

That was merely a snippet of the wackiness. By the end of
the game, the Red Sox and Angels had combined for 27 runs, 38 hits and 15
pitchers, rivaling the
madness of the 17-inning affair against the Orioles in May.

Hours earlier, a nail-biter appeared impossible. Angels starter
C.J. Wilson continued his subpar slide by surrendering six runs through two
frames, giving the Red Sox all the necessary momentum.

Initially, that is. In a span of minutes, the previously reliable Franklin Morales and Mortensen imploded in the third inning,
combining to surrender eight runs — four earned — in the third inning. An
error from Pedro Ciriaco prolonged the nightmare.

didn't play as well as we could that inning," Red Sox manager Bobby
said. "There were some plays that could have been made. We wound
up with eight runs. There's no quit in this team though — I was real proud of
the guys. That last, you know, last couple of innings, we just didn't hold them
and that's my fault."

were more culprits along the way. After the Red Sox knotted the score at
eight apiece in the sixth, Andrew Bailey blew his first save of the season by
giving up an RBI single to Mike Trout.

was a crazy night and you feel like whoever is hitting last is going to win,
one of those things," Pedroia said. "I had confidence in our team
until we lost. You have to feel that way."

offense gave Pedroia all the reason in the world to believe. The top three
batters in the order –Ciriaco, Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury – combined to go
11-for-18 with eight RBIs.

the fact Pedroia and Ellsbury contributed two more runs in the eighth, Aceves imploded for the first time, allowing a home run to Vernon Wells and RBI singles to
Mark Trumbo
and Torii Hunter.

Cody Ross rescued the team with a solo shot in the ninth, Aceves gave up the
team's last shot when Kendrys Morales unloaded on a fastball and launched it
into right field.

tough," Franklin Morales said. "Everybody tried to play hard in that
situation. We lost the game. The team lost. We'll try to take an opportunity

if the team doesn't waste more chances.

a question for Didier Morais? Send it to him via Twitter at @DidierMorais
or send it here. He will pick a few
questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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