Boston Red Sox Pitching Struggles Continue in 8-4 Loss to the Rays

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The Red Sox can’t seem to catch any momentum right now. Boston is coming off a horrendous ten-game road trip where they went 2-8. The club is finally playing at home and looking to turn their misfortunes around. 

Instead, the Rays had other plans. These plans included a come from behind win and taking a five game lead in the division. 


The loss on Tuesday night was a crushing defeat for the Red Sox who led up until the seventh inning. 


Eduardo Rodriguez made his 22nd start of the season and lasted 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander surrendered just two earned runs on four hits and one walk to go along with eight strikeouts. 


He was lifted in the sixth for Hirokazu Sawamura who was able to end the inning. 


From there, the bullpen began to implode, surrendering a two-run lead. 


Garrett Whitlock came on in the seventh for manager Alex Cora. Whitlock has been lights out this season, he would enter the game with a 1.17 ERA. He would see his ERA rise after he gave up the tying runs off the Ji-Man Choi double. Choi’s pinch-hit double plated two runs for the Rays. 


The Rays would even the score with Boston until the ninth where they’d score four runs off closer Matt Barnes. 


With the game tied at four, Barnes would be called upon in the ninth to keep the Rays at bay. Instead the Rays would take advantage of a struggling Barnes. 


The All-Star closer would load the bases and Francisco Mejia would crush a three-run single to right field. Hunter Renfroe would mis-play the ball in right field when fielding the base hit. The Rays would grab a 7-4 lead, Barnes would exit and former starter Martin Perez would enter. 


Perez would inherit Barnes’ mess and would allow an RBI single. After scoring four in the ninth, the Red Sox looked lifeless at the plate in the ninth. 

 

Following the game, Cora would defend his closer. “(Barnes) right now, he’s doing his best,” Cora said. “Kind of like I should take care of him in a sense. It’s not fair obviously. But he wants to do it. He’s willing to do it. But it’s been a grind for him lately.”


The Red Sox have overworked their bullpen due to the starters inability to go beyond five innings per start. The bullpen has given up 23 earned runs in 32 ⅓ innings (6.40 ERA) during the ninth of August.


Barnes has been historically bad in the second-half of the season. That is becoming more and more apparent as the season continues on. 


Follow Chris on Twitter @chrishenrique

Check out the Red Sox Podcast to be Named Later, the Syndicate’s podcast dedicated solely to the Boston Red Sox and the rest of Major League Baseball. Follow our Red Sox Podcast to be Named Later on Twitter @RedSoxPod_BSS.


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Image courtesy of Charles Krupa / AP Photo



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Boston Sports Syndicate: Boston Red Sox Pitching Struggles Continue in 8-4 Loss to the Rays
Boston Red Sox Pitching Struggles Continue in 8-4 Loss to the Rays
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