BOSTON — The Red Sox could almost taste the comeback win over the Minnesota Twins on Friday, but it just didn’t happen.
Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez continued to pitch well in his second start since returning from Pawtucket, but Boston’s offense didn’t show up for him. Even with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox couldn’t plate any runners to get ahead.
Here’s how the game unfolded.
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox could barely get any offense going, but the Twins weren’t putting runners across the plate either. Even when Boston was down, it was down by just one run, which, in theory, is something this team can overcome.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
The Red Sox failed to come back in the ninth inning.
This team seemingly could overcome a one-run deficit in its sleep, but it wasn’t in the cards for Boston on Friday. The Red Sox had the bases loaded with no outs, but no one crossed the plate.
ON THE BUMP
— Despite the score, Rodriguez actually had an extremely efficient night on the mound. The left-hander was pulled after giving up a walk to Joe Mauer in the sixth, his first of the night, and finished with two runs on six hits with the one free pass and a whopping eight strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings.
Heath Hembree relieved Rodriguez and promptly gave up a double to Miguel Sano to score Mauer, a run charged to Rodriguez which gave him the loss Friday.
Rodriguez gave up the first run on a solo shot to second baseman Brian Dozier in the second inning.
— Hembree hasn’t been too sharp lately, and that was apparent Friday. The right-hander walked Dozier, gave up the double to Sano and didn’t record an out before getting yanked.
— Robbie Ross Jr. relieved Hembree and held down the rest of the sixth inning. The left-hander struck out right fielder Max Kepler and got shortstop Eduardo Escobar to pop out to end the frame. Ross pitched a clean seventh, too, finishing the Twins off by catching a bunt pop out and inducing a double play after giving up a leadoff single to catcher Juan Centeno.
— Junichi Tazawa made his first start back from the disabled list and got himself out of trouble despite giving up two singles. Dozier and Sano both reached base with two outs, but Kepler flied out to center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to end the eighth.
— Tommy Layne pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning, inducing three consecutive groundouts.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox didn’t produce much offense at all Friday. In fact, it took them until the ninth inning to put a second runner on base via a hit after getting on the board in the first inning.
— Mookie Betts (1-for-2) put Boston ahead in the first, smacking a solo home run to the top of the Green Monster on the second pitch of the game. Dustin Pedroia (1-for-4) reached on a dropped third strike after that, and Xander Bogaerts (1-for-3) hit a single.
Pedroia hit a single in the ninth, too.
— Brock Holt (0-for-2), Sandy Leon (0-for-3) and Michael Martinez (1-for-2) were the only other Red Sox to reach base from the second through the eighth inning. Holt walked in the sixth, Martinez reached on a fielder’s choice immediately after and Leon reached on an error in the eighth.
— Martinez singled in the ninth to start a rally for the Red Sox.
— Bogaerts worked one of the most incredible walks you’ll ever see in the ninth inning, turning an 11-pitch at-bat into a walk and a bases-loaded situation for the Twins to deal with. He fouled off six pitches during the exchange.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Martinez replaced Mookie Betts, who’s day-to-day with right knee soreness, in the top of the fifth, and he made a couple of nice catches in right field. This catch in the eighth inning was especially impressive.
The Red Sox play the the third game of their series against the Twins in another 7:10 p.m. ET contest. Left-handed ace David Price will be on the mound for Boston against Minnesota right-hander Ricky Nolasco.
Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images