Settling the Score: Thursday’s results

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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

Ken Giles: ‘I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston’

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Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”

Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”

Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.