BOSTON — The Red Sox saw why the Philadelphia Phillies are pacing the National League in a 4-1 loss on Tuesday night, though a defensive miscue from the home team turned the tides in a close game.

With the game tied in the fourth inning, the Phillies put runners on second and third with two outs. Kutter Crawford got David Dahl to roll a ground ball to second base. Enmanuel Valdez ranged to his left and quickly threw to first. The throw slightly led Dominic Smith toward the baseline where he could not make the catch to end the inning.

“We didn’t make one play,” Alex Cora said postgame. “He dropped it. If you ask Dom, he’ll tell you he dropped it.”

“We gotta play clean baseball,” Smith said after the loss. “Tough play up the line. Not trying to get my arm knocked off. Not trying to go on the injured list. Very unfortunate. Something I’ll probably make more often than not.”

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Smith continued: “The ball is in the baseline. I’m reaching to make the play while not getting injured and not getting hit. It’s not just a routine play.”

Both runners scored, going down in the scorebook as two unearned runs that gave Philadelphia the momentum to pull away from the Red Sox.

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“They scored two runs, we had opportunities to score back,” Smith said. “We didn’t score and lost the ballgame.”

Errors and unearned runs mightily cost the Red Sox throughout the first month of the season. Boston has taken more control with the gloves, though there’s still work to do consistently to ensure a consistent product defensively.

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“I want to be elite,” Cora added. “I want to be the best defensive team in the big leagues. That’s what we’re striving for. That’s what we work so hard on every single day out there.”

Here are more notes from Tuesday’s Phillies-Red Sox game:

— Jarren Duran recorded a hit and a run scored for the fifth time in nine games to start the month of June.

— Kyle Schwarber played in his first game at Fenway Park since 2021 ALCS Game 5 as a member of the Red Sox. The now-Phillies slugger lifted two home runs off of Crawford.

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Schwarber recorded his 27th-career multi-homer game and his 37th-career leadoff home run.

— Matt Strahm struck out the side in the eighth inning for the Phillies. The former Red Sox lefty entered the night with a 0.69 ERA in 27 appearances.

— Crawford allowed two earned runs or less for the ninth time in 14 starts as well as for the first time since May 18 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

— Masataka Yoshida went 0-for-2 with a walk in his return from the injured list. Cora added that he will not start tomorrow’s game as they work him back into a rhythm.

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— Boston falls to 12-11 against National League opponents in 2024.

— The Red Sox and Phillies continue the three-game series at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET. You can catch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.

Featured image via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images