Red Sox Wrap: Blown Two-Run 12th-Inning Lead Halts Win Streak At Eight

A rough night for the bullpen


July 3, 2021

The Boston Red Sox played with fire far too often Saturday night, and they got burned.

The Sox saw their winning streak halted at eight with a 7-6 loss to the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum.

Up 6-4 in the 12th, the bullpen faltered, with Matt Andriese allowing three runs — capped off by a Tony Kemp sacrifice fly — to win the game.

It wasn’t the only collapse from Red Sox relievers, as they spoiled Garrett Richards’ outing by allowing two-eighth inning runs to blow a 4-2 lead.

With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 52-32. The A’s climb to 49-36 with the win.

Here’s how it all went down.


The relief pitching, normally steady, ultimately killed the Red Sox.

— Richards gave the Red Sox a chance to win, which is all you can really ask for from a back-of-the-rotation guy who is working through some stuff. He went five-plus innings, allowing two runs on five hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts.

His afternoon looked like it could go off the rails quickly, as he walked Tony Kemp and hit Andrus to with a pitch to start the game. But a double play and strikeout got him out of the frame unscathed.

The Athletics struck first in the second inning, when Seth Brown roped a triple to the wall. The liner was just out of the reach of center fielder Danny Santana, which allowed Sean Murphy to score from first and make it 1-0.

Oakland could’ve done more damage in the inning had Rafael Devers not made a nice diving stop one batter before Brown.

But after the shaky start, Richards settled down. In the third, fourth and fifth innings, Richards allowed a runner to reach either via a single or walk, but never allowed them to get into scoring position.

It was Richards’ best showing in a while, but ultimately Sox manager Alex Cora left him in a tad too long.

The righty came out for the sixth inning and immediately surrendered a single to Matt Chapman, who came home the next at-bat on a Frank Schwindel two-bagger down the third base line. That cut Boston’s lead to 3-2 and prompted Cora to pull Richards.

— Hirokazu Sawamura took over with no one out and a runner on second in the sixth. He did a good job wiggling out of things though, issuing a walk but otherwise getting out of the inning without further issue.

— Josh Taylor got the seventh, and despite allowing runners to reach the corners, he struck out Schwindel to end the inning with Boston’s 4-2 lead still intact.

— Yacksel Rios began the eighth, and got into trouble. He allowed a one-out double to Murphy, then Brown roped a double off the wall that plated Murphy to trim the Red Sox’s advantage to 4-3.

— That brought in Darwinzon Hernandez, who got Jed Lowrie to pop out before walking Kemp, putting runners on the corners. He got Elvis Andrus into a 2-2 count, but allowed the shortstop to hit an RBI single to tie the game.

— Adam Ottavino handled the ninth, pitching a scoreless inning.

— Brandon Workman got the 10th. With runners on first and second, he allowed a single to Jed Lowrie, which loaded the bases with no outs. But Workman danced out of it, first getting Kemp to pop out on a bunt. Then, Andrus lined out to J.D. Martinez in left, and he uncorked a dart that beat the tagging runner home for a 7-2 double play to end the inning.

Workman returned for the 11th and allowed a Chapman sac fly that moved Andrus, the designated runner at second, to third. They intentionally put on Matt Olson, then Skye Bolt grounded out but moved runners to second and third. That brought up Ramon Laureano, who flew out to left to end the inning.

— Matt Andriese took over in the 12th, and was unable to protect a 6-4 lead. He gave up back-to-back singles to Murphy and Brown, the latter of which drove in a run to cut the deficit in half. Then, Lowrie whacked a double to the wall, which tied the game with no outs.

Kemp put the nail in the coffin with a sac fly to deep center that closed out the game.

— Down 1-0 in the top of the fourth, the Red Sox got on the board thanks to some subpar defense from the hosts.

Xander Bogaerts reached with one out on a Tony Kemp fielding error at second base, then moved to second the next at-bat on a Devers single. And with Hunter Renfroe standing in, Murphy attempted a pick-off to first base, but the throw went wide, allowing Bogaerts to score from second to tie the game, while Devers made it to third.

Later in the at-bat, Renfroe lifted a sacrifice fly to deep center field, plating Devers to put Boston ahead 2-1.

— J.D. Martinez furthered the lead in the fifth with a two-out liner to left field that scored Kiké Hernández from second.

— Ahead 3-2 in the seventh inning, Hernández stepped in with two down and nobody on. He cut at the first pitch he saw, a changeup over the heart of the plate, and lifted it over the wall in left field.

— The offense went quiet for a few stanzas, but they got on the board in the 12th.

Devers served as the designated runner on second, moving to third on a Christian Vázquez single. The next hitter, Marwin Gonzalez, smacked a single to left that scored Devers and put Boston ahead 5-4.

Then Hernández stepped in and poked a single to right-center that added a sixth run.


The Red Sox and A’s will finish up the three-game set Sunday afternoon. Nick Pivetta will get the ball for the Red Sox opposite James Kaprielian. First pitch from Oakland Coliseum is set for 4:07 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports Images
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