The Red Sox nearly avoided the sweep in this weekend’s series against the Yankees on Sunday until things fell apart in eighth inning.
Boston brought out Matt Barnes for the frame, and the righty actually appeared to be cruising with two outs in the inning. But it didn’t take long for the game to unravel, and for the Sox to lose their footing.
After walking Mike Tauchman, Barnes gave up the tying run on an RBI single to DJ LeMahieu. Aaron Judge made Barnes pay for his mistakes, crushing a two-run shot into center field to give the Yankees the lead for good.
New York ultimately topped Boston 9-7 on Sunday, though the Sox looked stellar offensively. Xander Bogaers and Rafael Devers did the bulk of the work, combining for three home runs, two doubles and five RBI.
Boston’s bats haven’t necessarily been hot to start Major League Baseball’s abbreviated 2020 season, making a loss like this all the more frustrating. Manager Ron Roenicke knows getting the third and final out has been a “tough” task for Boston of late, but blowing successful offensive games like this isn’t something Boston can afford to do right now.
“Anytime you lose a game like this, it’s tough,” Roenicke said after the game. “We played really well offensively, got some big hits from Bogey (Xander Bogaerts), a couple of bombs, and Devers, nice swing on his (home run). We did a lot of good things offensively, so any time you lose when you’re doing that much offensively, it’s a tough loss.
“It’s tough too when you know you’ve got it set up how you want to, you’ve got a lead going into (innings) with Barnes and (Brandon) Workman and you feel great about that and it didn’t work out.”
But Bogaerts still managed to find the bright side of the matter.
“Obviously, we can keep those guys rolling with the bat,” Bogaerts said. “J.D. (Martinez), I mean, he had some nice at-bats today and hopefully we can get those guys (in the bullpen to) continue doing what they doing. Obviously, the big boys have been slacking a little bit with the bat. All the guys have been picking us up big time so hopefully, we can just do it together as a team.”
Roenicke is hoping for a better tomorrow, as well.
“Hopefully, we all get it together,” he said. “And as you guys know, we can’t keep waiting too much longer. We need to get hot somewhere.”
Here are some more notes from Sunday’s game:
— Despite the loss, Bogaerts dazzled Sunday night.
Boston’s shortstop went 4-for-4 at the plate, including two home runs, a double and three runs batted in. He now owns a .333 batting average.
Xander lookin' like Xander. pic.twitter.com/o8THjGROkh
— Red Sox (@RedSox) August 2, 2020
ANOTHA ONE! pic.twitter.com/jp011gzwqB
— Red Sox (@RedSox) August 3, 2020
Roenicke is pleased with the leadership he’s seen from Bogaerts this season.
You see him getting more vocal all the time, and this year even more so,” he said. “And he’s got the confidence now, and he knows. Last year Alex (Cora) wanted to make sure he was vocal when he needed to be. This year’s the same. And he’s become a leader. That’s the type of player he is … and the type of guy he is. Like I’ve told you, he comes to the ballpark in a great mood every day. He’s ready to work. He’s always willing to get better at whatever it is. And when you have guys that want to do that, if they will get a little more vocal, they usually become great leaders.”
— Barnes just doesn’t seem to like Yankee Stadium.
The righty blew the Sox’s one-run lead in the eighth, and with two outs in the inning, no less. It’s not the only time he’s struggled in the Bronx, either.
Barnes has allowed 15 earned runs, three home runs and a whopping 13 walks in just 12 innings pitched at Yankee Stadium in his seven-year MLB career. He’s only struck out eight batters, too, two of which came Sunday night.
Barnes in Yankee Stadium12 IP, 15 ER, 3 HR, 13 BB, 8 K
— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) August 3, 2020
— It’s still early, but the Sox are all over the place at the moment.
The Sox now are 2-2 this season after scoring first in a game and 2-1 when scoring five or more runs, according to Red Sox Nation Stats. They’re only 2-5 when hitting a home run in a game, however, and hold a 1-1 series record on the road.
#RedSox tonight fall to 2-2 when scoring first, 2-1 when scoring 5+ runs, and 2-5 when hitting a home run. BOS series record is now 1-3-0, including 1-1-0 when playing on the road.
— Red Sox Nation Stats (@RSNStats) August 3, 2020
— The Red Sox will send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound Tuesday when they kick off a three-game series against the Rays in Tampa Bay. Charlie Morton is expected to get the ball for Tampa.
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