Sunday’s game should have been a feel-good story about the Boston Red Sox bullpen.
Instead, the Red Sox suffered an extra-innings loss to the Los Angeles Angels after blowing yet another save late in a game.
Alex Cora got only five outs from starter Andrew Cashner, who once again put forth a bad performance. But the bullpen responded with 5 1/3 scoreless innings, until Matt Barnes allowed a game-tying homer in the top of the eighth, blowing a 4-3 Boston lead. The Angels eventually pushed home a run off Ryan Weber in the tenth to earn the victory.
Christian Vazquez was the offensive highlight for Boston, pounding his 18th homer in the fourth inning.
The Red Sox dropped to 62-58 with the loss while the Angels improved to 58-61 with the win.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox had to win this game, and should have won this game. Instead, they settled for a split with a bad Angels team after taking the first two games of the series.
ON THE BUMP
— The Sox might be close to a breaking point with Cashner, if they haven’t reached one already.
The right-hander began the game by allowing a double to Brian Goodwin on the first pitch of his outing. He then walked Mike Trout and gave up a single to Shohei Ohtani to load the bases with zero outs. Cashner forced Albert Pujols into a run-scoring double play before hitting another batter and inducing an inning-ending flyout. Somehow, someway, he only allowed one run.
The wheels came off in the second, however, as Cashner walked the first two batters of the frame. After getting two quick outs, he walked Trout to load the bases once again. He then gave up a two-run single to Ohtani and walked Pujols before exiting to a chorus of boos.
All told, Cashner gave up three runs on three hits and five walks over 1 2/3 innings.
Cashner now is 1-4 with an 8.01 ERA, 1.91 WHIP and 17 walks in six starts for the Red Sox. His season ERA sits at 4.83, a testament to how good he was with the Baltimore Orioles before they traded him.
— Josh Taylor took over and was absolutely sensational. The lefty retired all seven batters he faced, including five via strikeout. His effort, which lowered his season ERA to 3.34, allowed the Red Sox to stay in the game until Vazquez’s game-tying homer in the fourth.
— Marcus Walden worked around a two-out walk to pitch a scoreless fifth inning.
— Nathan Eovaldi pitched around a two-out double to hold Los Angeles scoreless in the sixth.
— Matt Barnes pitched a scoreless seventh but fell apart in the eighth, allowing a game-tying homer to Kole Calhoun. The right-hander issued a two-out walk before Alex Cora removed him from the game.
— Brandon Workman allowed a single to the first batter he faced but retired the next four hitters to send the game to extras.
— Weber gave up a two-out, go-ahead single to Anthony Bemboom in the top of the tenth. The right-hander took the loss to drop to 1-2 on the season.
— Red Sox pitchers issued eight walks and hit one batter on the afternoon.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— It was a frustratingly quiet day for the Boston offense.
— Rafael Devers nearly tied the game at a run apiece in the bottom of the first when he smashed a double off the top of the Green Monster. He was caught stealing at third base moments later, though.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. drew a bases-load walk in the bottom of the second to give the Red Sox their first run of the game. But leadoff man Chris Owings, making his Boston debut, struck out to end the threat.
— The game stayed deadlocked until the bottom of the fourth when Vazquez blasted his 18th homer of the season.
— The Red Sox again loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth, chasing starter Patrick Sandoval in the process, and were able to score the go-ahead run when Max Stassi surrendered an egregious passed ball. But the rally died when former Red Sox farmhand Ty Buttrey struck out Vazquez to end the inning.
— Boston managed just four baserunners over the next five innings, with Buttrey, Cam Bedrosian and Hansel Robles combining to keep the Sox scoreless.
— Robles worked around a one-out single by Andrew Benintendi in the tenth to finish the game and earn a victory.
— The Red Sox managed just eight hits on the afternoon. Devers (2-for-5) and Benintendi (2-for-4) were the only members of the Boston lineup who had multiple hits.
— Owings, Bradley and Michael Chavis all finished hitless.
— Xander Bogaerts finished just 1-for-5, prolonging his worst slump of the season.
— The Red Sox stranded nine men on base.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Well said, TC.
The Red Sox will hit the road for a six-game road trip that begins Monday night when they open a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians. First pitch at Progressive Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.