BOSTON — When the Red Sox were down 11-1 after the top of the third inning Wednesday against the New York Yankees, it seemed improbable that they’d make a comeback. But with seven innings left to bat, it certainly wasn’t impossible.
Henry Owens finished the night with seven earned runs on six hits with two walks, two strikeouts and two home runs over 1 2/3 innings. And although the bullpen wasn’t much help — Ryan Cook gave up a first-pitch home run in taking over for Owens, for example — the offense didn’t go quietly.
Boston slowly chipped away at the Yankees’ lead, but the bullpen seemed to keep it just out of reach. The Red Sox added at least a run in every frame from the fifth inning on, but it was never enough.
The club’s biggest problem was stranding baserunners, as the Red Sox went 5-for-17 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base. Even with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning, Pablo Sandoval struck out and Xander Bogaerts caused a forceout to end Boston’s attempt at a late rally.
Here are some more notes from Boston’s 13-8 loss to New York.
— For what it’s worth, interim manager Torey Lovullo was still pleased with the effort Boston’s offense put in despite the loss.
“We fall down 10 runs, and we didn’t quit,” Lovullo said. “We kept coming. And despite that moment where the game got away from us, everybody did their job to pick up Henry (Wednesday night). I was proud of that.”
— If you can look on the bright side, Owens second-inning implosion actually might have saved the lefty’s arm, as he’s approaching his innings limit for the season. The Red Sox also have an off day Thursday, so the bullpen has time to rest.
Owens learned from the experience, too.
“Just learn to not let an inning speed up, get out of hand too early and recognize situations where I need to know how to get back on track quicker, and I’ve done it in the past,” Owens said. “(Wednesday), again, it was a mental lapse and unfortunately it was in a bad part of the ballgame where we scored a lot of runs and should have won.”
— Rusney Castillo made his left field debut Wednesday, and it’s fitting that he was able to do it at Fenway Park, which has the most unique left field in Major League Baseball thanks to the Green Monster.
The outfielder even had a chance to play a ball off the wall in the second, and he passed the test, fielding it cleanly to hold Yankees outfielder Chris Young to a single while nabbing Brett Gardner on the basepaths.
“It was nice that I got to put into practice what we’ve been practicing with (outfield coach) Arnie (Beyeler) for the past few days and weeks,” Castillo said through a translator. “It was nice to get it out of the way and get a play in. Thankfully, it went OK.”
Castillo said he has no preference for which position he’ll play in the future.
— Though Castillo had a good first day in left field, Lovullo said there’s still work to be done on setting the outfield. The manager assumes Castillo will see a few more games in left, but it’ll all depend on the other outfielders.
“There’s no pattern,” Lovullo said. “There’s nothing we have written in stone, so we’ll get some feedback from (Castillo). Another component there is Mookie (Betts). When Mookie feels comfortable to play right or left, we’ll start to mix and match.”
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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