For the Red Sox, Monday night’s contest against the Indians was a game of missed opportunities.
Boston had a number of chances to take and maintain a solid lead in the series opener against the Cleveland, but simply couldn’t get the job done in its 6-5 loss to the Indians. The Sox left nine men on base and went just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position before allowing Carlos Santana to crush a walk-off home run (and Boston fans’ hearts) for the Indians.
Despite the loss, however, Alex Cora wasn’t entirely disappointed by the team’s performance.
“(Losing) really sucks,” he said, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “But at the same time, I think we did a lot of good things today that we haven’t done in a while, so that’s a positive.”
What specifically did he like, you ask?
“You saw the at-bats,” Cora said. “We did a good job against the starter, we did a good job against the bullpen … I mean it felt good all-around.”
That said, Cora isn’t content with falling short of the ultimate goal — winning.
“Obviously, it’s not cool that we lost,” he said. “We need to win games. There’s no moral victories in the big leagues. But as far as what I saw throughout the game, it was pretty good.”
But with time quickly ticking away in the American League wild-card race, the Sox’s opportunities to slide into the final wild card slot are growing slim.
Here are some more notes from Monday’s Red Sox-Indians game:
— The second American League wild-card slot is getting harder and harder for the Sox to reach.
Boston now is eight games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the second AL wild-card spot thanks to Monday night’s loss. And with 41 games left in the Sox’s season, the margin for error grows slimmer by the day.
— The Red Sox’s first-inning struggles continued Monday.
For the fourth game in a row, Boston allowed its opponent to score in the opening inning.
Eduardo Rodriguez allowed the Indians to strike first Monday, giving up a two-run blast to Franmil Reyes with one out in the first. But he’s not alone lately, as each of the last four starters have given up at least one first-inning run.
— Marcus Walden’s recent hot streak was smothered in the series opener.
Walden had gone 8 2/3 innings without giving up a hit before allowing Santana to launch a walk-off solo shot, per Red Sox Stats.
— Meanwhile, Sam Travis’ hot streak continued.
Despite not being in the starting lineup, Travis cranked a two-out double to left field in the eighth inning during his only at-bat of the night. He’s now 18-for-58 (.310) since being recalled by the Sox.