One of the best things about baseball is you never know what you’re going to see when you start watching a game.
Take Thursday night, for instance.
The Red Sox lost, 14-13, in 10 innings. They couldn’t hold a 6-0 lead in the third inning and an 11-9 lead in the ninth.
Get this: Going back to at least 1919, it was the third time the Sox scored 13 runs and lost. The last time was May 3, 1970 against the White Sox in a 22-13 game. Before then you have to go all the way back to 1930.
The 59-66 Sox have lost four straight and 11 of their last 15 games. They are 0-5 in extra inning games at Fenway Park.
“We’re playing [expletive], [expletive] baseball,” said closer Alfredo Aceves, who allowed three runs in the ninth inning to blow the save then two in the 10th to lose the game.
With the Sox up, 11-9, Aceves came out for the ninth inning. Vernon Wells homered to left field, the ball appearing on replay to be worth a video review by the umpires. But the Red Sox did not protest.
“I thought it was out,” catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said, echoing the comments of others in the clubhouse. “It bounced straight up.”
Said Valentine: “There wasn’t anybody on the field that didn’t think it was a home run, I didn’t think. That’s the first I’ve heard of that. No one even came back with the replay and said [anything]. How does it bounce straight up like that if it’s not a home run?”
Given how Aceves was pitching, it probably didn’t matter much. With two outs, impressive Angels rookie Mike Trout singled to right and took second when Cody Ross overran the ball.
It proved to be a big error as Trout scored on a single by Torii Hunter, just beating a strong throw from Scott Podsednik. Aceves stared out at Ross in right field after the run scored.
Aceves, who has blown seven saves, then walked Howie Kendrick before Mark Trumbo’s single to center scored Hunter and gave the Angels the lead.
“I missed a couple of pitches, yeah,” Aceves said. “It’s not about that [why] we lost the game. There were like 25 runs.”
Ross atoned for his mistake with a home run off Angels closer Ernest Frieri in the bottom of the ninth to tie it.
After watching Aceves throw 31 pitches in the ninth inning, Valentine sent him back out to the mound for the 10th. Kendry Morales started the inning with a home run. Erick Aybar then singled and scored when Wells doubled off Craig Breslow.
“I had two lefthanders in the bullpen and they had a righthanded lineup,” Valentine said. “I had three innings left [out of the bullpen] and I wanted to squeeze another inning out. It obviously was the wrong decision.”
The offense showed some heart, collecting 18 hits. Dustin Pedroia was 4 for 6 with five RBIs including one with two outs in the bottom of the 10th.
But with Pedroia on second, Frieri (2-0) struck Adrian Gonzalez to end a game that lasted four hours and 34 minutes.
“It was a wild game. We just have to try to find a way to win those,” Pedroia said.
A few notes for you:
• Podsednik was 7 of 13 in the series. He is hitting .375 in 31 games.
• Junichi Tazawa and Mark Melancon gave the Sox 3.1 scoreless innings after Franklin Morales and Clayton Mortensen were shelled.
• Trout has scored 99 runs in 102 games. .345/.410/.601 and 41 SBs in 45 attempts. That’s astonishing.
• The Sox are 24-33 in games decided by one or two runs.
• Sox are 29-37 at home. That .439 winning percentage puts them on a pace to go 35-46 at home. They have not been that bad at home since 1965 (34-47).
Thanks to everybody for reading today. It’s appreciated.