Red Sox Wrap: Boston’s Bullpen Coughs Up Lead In Loss To Reds

The Red Sox wasted a strong start from James Paxton


May 31, 2023

The Boston Red Sox gave up a late lead and were dealt a 5-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.

The Red Sox, who have now lost seven of their last nine games, dropped to 28-27 while the Reds improved to 26-29.

Check out the full box score here.

The Red Sox haven’t overcome their mistakes as of late.

After two costly errors in the series opener against the Reds, another defensive miscue hurt the Red Sox and allowed Cincinnati to flip the script in the top of the seventh inning with Boston’s bullpen unable to hold onto a slim one-run lead. The Red Sox began that frame with a throwing error by Rafael Devers as the Reds went on to score a decisive three runs in the stanza.

And when the Reds tried to hand the lead right back to the Red Sox in the bottom half of the inning with Boston loading the bases with two outs, it couldn’t take advantage.

Boston’s offense still isn’t clicking on all cylinders despite scoring eight runs Tuesday. And it didn’t help matters that Kutter Crawford struggled, issuing two walks in 2/3 of an inning after allowing just four walks all season up to the point.

But right now for the Red Sox, there just isn’t enough margin for error.

— Spencer Steer delivered the big blow for the Reds. He hit a go-ahead, two-run home run into the Green Monster seats in the top of the seventh that ended up being the difference.

— James Paxton turned in a strong outing in just his fourth start for the Red Sox. The veteran left-hander topped out at 97.9 mph and generated 22 swings and misses over his five innings of work in which allowed one run on four hits while striking out eight and recording just one walk.

— Masataka Yoshida had arguably the best offensive performance for the Red Sox. He went 2-for-4 as he swatted his seventh home run of the season around Pesky Pole to open the scoring in the second inning and hit a double off the Green Monster in the eighth.

Enmnuel Valdez showed off his power swing by hitting an opposite-field home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. FanDuel Sportsbook set Valdez’s odds to hit a homer at +540. A $100 wager on the prop bet would have netted a total of $640.

The Red Sox and Reds close out their three-game series on Thursday. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET, and you can watch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
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