ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Adrian Gonzalez, usually the calm, cool and collected voice of reason in the clubhouse, had fire in his eyes tonight after the Sox were walked off by the Rays.
“We’re not playing good baseball. That has to change,” an angry Gonzalez said after a 6-5 loss. “The way we’re playing now is not going to fly. I don’t care if we got a few runs to make it close. We needed more.”
Gonzalez went on to say the Red Sox can’t expect their bats to win games. They need to pitch better and play better defense.
“Fundamentally, we’re not playing well. We let them take extra bases. That’s not good baseball,” he said.
That the Sox scored two runs in the ninth before losing is nothing to celebrate. They were 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position, too. The game-winning hit came on an 0-and-2 pitch. Daniel Bard said he threw it where he wanted it, chest high and 98. But it was good enough for Evan Longoria.
“Too many mistakes,” Gonzalez said.
The Red Sox have lost four straight, six of seven and eight of their last 10 games. They now lead the Rays by four games in the loss column in the American League wild card race.
That the Sox have blown a chance to get into first place is the least of their worries. Now the Rays are.
As to other issues:
• Even though Jonathan Papelbon had thrown only 16 pitches, Terry Francona said that sending out back out for a third inning “wouldn’t have been the best idea.” Papelbon has not gone three inning since 2005. You don’t endanger the heath of your closer to keep your lead in the wild card from falling to 4.5 games.
• Daniel Bard since Aug. 1: 14.2 innings, 11 hits, 11 earned runs.
• Alfedo Aceves has gone 3+ innings in relief 11 times, the most in the majors.
• Ellsbury now has 26 homers and 91 RBIs.
• The teams were a combined 1 for 24 with runners in scoring position. The one hit, of course, was the last one.