Red Sox Notes: Hanley Ramirez Laments ‘Missing Pitches’ As Hitting Woes Continue

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BOSTON — Hanley Ramirez endured another rough night at the plate Tuesday, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and five men left on base as the Red Sox dropped their second straight game to the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park.

Serving as Boston’s designated hitter on an off-day for David Ortiz, Ramirez stranded three runners in scoring position in the 3-1 loss, striking out with the bases loaded to end the third inning and going down looking with men on second and third for the second out of the eighth.

?I didn?t come through in that situation,” Ramirez said. “I?m supposed to come through. The first time, against one of the best pitchers in the game (White Sox starter Chris Sale), you just try to put it in play and make something happen. In the eighth, I was taking the first pitch, and I missed my pitch. I missed my second pitch. Breaking ball right in the middle, I missed it.

“Every time you miss your pitch, you?re supposed to strike out, because you live on the mistake the pitcher makes. He made a mistake right there, and I missed it.”

Missed pitches were the theme of the night and this season as a whole for Ramirez, who failed to hit the ball out of the infield in four plate appearances. Regarded by most as the heir apparent to Ortiz once the veteran DH finishes up his final major league campaign, Ramirez boasts an uninspiring .265/.333/.377 slash line and a .711 OPS that ranks 65th among all qualified major leaguers.

?I?m still (confident),” Ramirez said. “I am. I just keep missing my pitches, man. First pitch of the game, (Sale) threw me a fastball right in the middle, and I missed it, too. So, I?m supposed to strike out (there), too, and I ended up hitting a ground ball to third. You cannot miss two pitches right in the middle of the plate. Can?t happen.”

He continued: “That?ll make you mad, no doubt. Can?t happen. Can?t happen. You cannot miss your pitch when it?s right in the middle of the plate.”

Ramirez isn’t the only Red Sox player who’s struggled at the plate, however. Boston has scored four total runs over its last four games and has been held to two runs or fewer five times in its last eight contests.

“We’ve had a number of guys come up with men in scoring position,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “So, as a group, I’d say — not just Hanley, as a group — we haven’t been clicking as we had for many games. We’re in a little bit of a dry spell.”

Some additional notes from Tuesday night:

— Outfielder Rusney Castillo was outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday, less than two years after signing a seven-year, $72.5 million contract with the Red Sox.

Like Castillo, Jose Abreu was a star in his native Cuba before making the move to the major leagues, and the White Sox first baseman said he’s surprised Castillo’s success has not translated.

“That?s a very surprising situation for me, because I know that he?s a very, very talented player,? Abreu said Tuesday through translator Billy Russo, via the Boston Herald. ?And he was outstanding in Cuba. But sometimes when you are doing it (here), the things are kind of tough and you have to adjust.

?I don?t know what happened to him. I don?t know how he handled the situation. … He?s a very, very talented player.?

Castillo simply has been unable to hit well enough to hold a job in the Red Sox’s outfield. He’s posted a .262/.301/.379 slash line in 99 career games for the Sox and has recorded just eight major league plate appearances this season.

— Red Sox top prospect Yoan Moncada went 1-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored out of the leadoff spot Tuesday night in his debut at Double-A Portland. Third-ranked Sox prospect Andrew Benintendi went 2-for-5 for the Sea Dogs and now has collected multiple hits in seven of his last 10 games.

— Elsewhere in the minors, Henry Owens tossed a seven-inning, complete-game one-hitter for Triple-A Pawtucket in Game 1 of a doubleheader.

Owens hasn’t enjoyed success at the major league level this season (5.11 ERA in three starts), but he’s been sharp for the PawSox of late, allowing one run or fewer in each of his last three starts.

Rehabbing Red Sox utility man Brock Holt batted leadoff and played left field for Pawtucket in the nightcap, going 1-for-3 with a walk.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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