If Thursday afternoon wasn’t rock bottom for the Red Sox, they could have a long summer ahead of them.
After blowing an early lead and making mishaps on the bases and in the field, the Red Sox lost 8-4 to the Twins yesterday at Fenway Park in Boston.
Powered by home runs from Dustin Pedroia and Blake Swihart against lefty Tommy Milone, the Red Sox had a 4-0 lead through four innings. However, knuckleballer Steven Wright gave up a three-run homer to Torii Hunter in the fifth inning before Kurt Suzuki tied things up with an RBI single in the sixth. The Red Sox ran out of a possible rally on back-to-back plays in the seventh after Hanley Ramirez tried to go to third base on ground ball to the left side of the infield and Mike Napoli was thrown out trying to score from first base on a single. Not good.
The ugliness continued in the top of the ninth after the first two batters reached against Koji Uehara. Joe Mauer surprisingly dropped down a bunt, but Pablo Sandoval couldn’t handle the throw to third base from Swihart and the go-ahead run came around to score. The Twins tacked on three more runs before Glen Perkins retired the Red Sox in order in the bottom of the ninth to lock down the victory.
The Red Sox have lost 11 out of their last 16 games and sit at 24-31 on the season. Amazingly, that still puts them just 5 1/2 games out of first place, but that’s the mediocrity of the American League East for you.
Below are Thursday’s box scores and recaps…
Twins 8, Red Sox 4
Athletics 7, Tigers 5
Orioles 3, Astros 2
Indians 6, Royals 2 (called after 8 innings)
White Sox 2, Rangers 1 (11 innings)
Reds 6, Phillies 2
Cubs 2, Nationals 1
Mets 6, Diamondbacks 2
Cardinals 7, Dodgers 1
Rays 2, Mariners 1
The new Mets’ infield arrangement didn’t last long, as Marc Carig of New York Newsday reports that Daniel Murphy left tonight’s game against the Diamondbacks with left quad tightness.
Murphy went 1-for-2 with a double before leaving the game. Eric Campbell replaced him at third base to begin the bottom of the third inning.
Murphy, 30, is batting .283/.335/.414 with four home runs and 29 RBI over 55 games this season. After getting off to a very slow start, he’s hitting .345 over his last 37 games. The Mets are already hurting for offense, so it would be a really tough blow to lose him for an extended period of time.
The Mets have some much-needed reinforcements on the way, as catcher Travis d’Arnaud and second baseman Dilson Herrera were able to begin minor league rehab assignments tonight with High-A St. Lucie.
According to Matt Ehalt of the Bergen Record, D’Arnaud went 1-for-2 with a single and a walk while Herrera finished 1-for-3 with a double. Both played five innings in the field.
D’Arnaud has been out since April 19 with a fracture of his right pinkie finger and recently had his rehab assignment pushed back due to a bone bruise in his right wrist. The 26-year-old was batting .317 (13-for-41) with two home runs and an .892 OPS over 11 games prior to the injury and should provide a nice upgrade over rookie Kevin Plawecki, who has struggled in his first stint in the majors.
Herrera, who suffered a fractured right middle finger during infield drills on May 15, was batting just .235 (8-for-34) with one home run and a .650 OPS prior to the injury. Still, the 21-year-old offers a lot of upside on offense and will likely take over starting second base duties once he’s back to full health. The Mets juggled their infield for tonight’s game against the Diamondbacks, sliding Daniel Murphy over to third base and Ruben Tejada to second base.
UPDATE: Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com reports that Escobar left the game with a right wrist injury, but X-rays came back negative.
9:31 p.m. ET: Despite Anthony Rendon coming off the disabled list Thursday, the Nationals were planning to keep Yunel Escobar at third base and play Rendon at second base. Well, that arrangement lasted just one inning.
According to Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com, Escobar left tonight’s game against the Cubs with an apparent injury. Dan Kolko of MASN notes that Escobar appeared to grimace after he struck out swinging in the first inning. Rendon has moved over to third base while Danny Espinosa has entered the game to play second.
Escobar, 32, is batting .316/.376/.389 with two home runs and 14 RBI over 50 games this season.
With an off-day on the East Coast before beginning a series against the Phillies tomorrow, the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants visited the White House today. Check out the video below, courtesy of CSNBayArea.com:
The Giants have three World Series titles in the last five years, so President Obama has become well-acquainted with them during his time in office. In fact, he said that he seems “to be good luck for them.”
When discussing the various contributors to the team, President Obama mentioned the popular craze from last summer where fans made signs like “Hunter Pence Eats Pizza With a Fork” and “Hunter Pence Likes Godfather III.” Pence’s reaction was typical Pence:
Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com was on hand for the occasion and you can read his coverage here.