The Boston Red Sox were red-hot through the first few weeks of August, but the team has been brought back down to earth in its last two games.
The Red Sox were routed 13-6 by the Cleveland Indians on Thursday, but Boston’s worst defeat of the season came in Friday’s series opener against the Baltimore Orioles. The Sox committed five errors and allowed hit 20 hits in their 16-3 loss to their division rival.
After Friday’s loss, Red Sox manager John Farrell didn’t pull punches about his team’s last two games, but he understands they’re not a true reflection of the ball club.
“The last two nights have been rough,” Farrell said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “They haven’t been indicative of the way this team has played since the trading deadline. The sooner we can put this behind us and get back to playing a complete game on all sides of it, we need to do that.”
Rick Porcello had a particularly rough night on the mound. In 4 2/3 innings of work, the right-hander allowed 11 runs, but only four were earned as a result of a series of errors. But much like his manager, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner isn’t getting caught up in just two games of the lengthy season.
“The team is not down,” Porcello said. “We’re in first place by whatever it is, three games or four games. We got our ass kicked two games in a row, so be it. We play 162 games, we’ll bounce back (Saturday).”
Boston is in a critically important stretch of the season, as its next 14 games are against AL East opponents. The Red Sox can’t afford to let this skid continue, they could relinquish the division lead with a prolonged slump.
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Orioles.
— To make matters worse for the Red Sox, Eduardo Nunez exited the game in the second inning after being slid into by Manny Machado. After the game, Farrell provided an update on the veteran infielder.
“Day to day,” Farrell said. “The X-rays were negative, so we’re hopeful that he goes through his further exam here tonight to be checked up with the full range of motion and all the work up that he would get here in the training room. We’ll see how he is when he comes in (Saturday).”
— It’s the first time since 2006 that the Red Sox have allowed 13-plus runs in back-to-back games.
— The five errors committed were a season high for Boston, giving the team its first five-error game since 2001.
— Rajai Davis went 1-for-3 with a single in his first start with the Red Sox.
— Mitch Moreland made his second career pitching appearance in the ninth inning. The first baseman allowed two hits, but managed to post a scoreless frame with a strikeout.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images