Monday just was not the Boston Red Sox’s day in terms of defense.
Alex Verdugo lost a Nelson Cruz fly ball in the sun with the bases loaded in the fourth inning. The ball ended up bouncing toward the wall, allowing all three runs to score. Cruz scored after Taylor Motter airmailed it into the stands.
But Verdugo?s struggles didn’t stop there. Verdugo leaped for an Austin Meadows deep fly in the ninth inning, but the ball bounced off the wall and rolled toward the infield. The other corner infielders didn’t back up their teammate, leaving José Iglesias to come out from the infield to retrieve it. By that time it was too late and Meadows had himself an inside-the-park-home run.
Hunter Renfroe also committed an error in the 10th, bringing the total to four for the Red Sox.
It was ugly all around, and Renfroe admitted to losing the ball in the sun briefly on Meadows’ homer.
“The big ball of fire in the sky is undefeated,” Renfroe told reporters over Zoom. “You can’t fight it and win. If (Cruz) would have hit the ball into right field between probably the sixth and 10th inning, both right fielders couldn’t see anything, me included obviously. That’s a tough one to lose there, four runs. Obviously, it sucks that it happened, but we just have to get over it and keep going.”
Alex Cora didn’t mince words when asked about the errors.
“I think we’ve been inconsistent the whole season,” Cora said. “We know that. When we are catching the ball, we are winning games. When we aren’t it’s tough. … It doesn’t matter who you are, the Rays or whoever is in last place. At the big-league level, 27 outs are 27 outs. You have to value those. If you give the opposition more than that, they are going to make you pay. The whole day today, they made us pay.”
The Red Sox will try to get back in the win column Tuesday night. NESN’s coverage for the middle contest of the three-game series begins at 6 p.m. ET.