In a game that was reminiscent of the end of their disastrous 2012 season, the Red Sox played one of their ugliest games since, as they dropped the series finale to the Yankees, 14-5, at Fenway Park.
One day after John Lackey spun a gem, giving a much needed reprieve to the bullpen, left-hander Felix Doubront lasted just 2 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs, three earned, on seven hits and two walks, with one strikeout, a home run, and two wild pitches. He left with the Sox trailing, 7-0.
Doubront took the loss, falling to 1-3 while his ERA rose to 6.00.
The Red Sox committed 5 errors in the game, more than double their previous season high of two, which they had recorded four times previously, along with several defensive miscues. It was the worst defensive performance by the Red Sox since they committed seven errors on Sept. 8, 1978, against the Yankees.
The Sox needed four relievers in the game, including Mike Carp, who pitched the ninth in his professional pitching debut. Craig Breslow gave up five runs, four earned, in an inning of work.
Meanwhile, the Sox could do little with CC Sabathia, who had his own command issues with two hit batters, but held the Sox to two runs over six innings on three hits and three walks with eight strikeouts. He improved to 3-2 with a 4.78 ERA. In all, the Sox could muster just four hits in the game.
The Red Sox fell to 10-13, 6-8 in the American League East, and are now 3 ½ games behind the division-leading Yankees.
There weren’t many in this game for the Sox. Carp’s ninth-inning performance might be the only one. He threw 38 pitches, giving up one run on five walks with no hits. His performance allowed the Red Sox to save one more reliever from having to be used. He became the first Sox position player to pitch since Darnell McDonald on May 6, 2012, against the Orioles.
There were plenty in this game, including the Sox’ widest margin of defeat this season:
• Doubront gave his team a 7-0 hole to dig out of. The left-hander, who has said in the past that concentration and confidence can be issues for him at times, allowed the Yankees to steal three bases and unleashed two wild pitches, matching a career high for the fourth time (the last was April 22, 2013, against the A’s).
• Along with several defensive miscues, the Sox committed five errors, their most in a game since also committing five on April 28, 2001, against the Royals. They allowed five unearned runs in the game. The errors were charged to Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia, Doubront, Jackie Bradley, and Brock Holt, while David Ross was charged with a passed ball.
• The Sox offense could muster just four hits, tying their season low for the third time. The last time they were held to as few hits was April 10 at Yankee Stadium
• Yangervis Solarte went 2-for-5 with a double, a walk, two runs scored, and a career-high four RBI. It was the most in a game for the Yankees since Alex Rodriguez had four RBI on Sept. 20, 2103. Solarte snapped a streak of 14 hitless at-bats with a second-inning double.
• Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-for-6, matching a season high in hits, with two doubles, a walk, a run scored, and three RBI, setting a new high for him with the Yankees.
• Burke Badenhop, who replaced Doubront, was the only one of the five Sox pitchers who didn’t give up a run in the game. He went 2 2/3 innings, giving up one hit and one walk with one strikeout. He has allowed just one earned run over this last 9 2/3 innings over five games for a 0.93 ERA in that span.
Except for John Lackey’s performance and the Sox win over the Yankees on Wednesday, the team has been in a disconcerting trend. Errors and defensive miscues have led to multiple unearned runs. In the two losses to the Yankees, the Sox committed a total of seven errors, leading to 10 unearned runs. Starting pitchers have not been able to go deep into games, causing the bullpen to be overworked. Starters have allowed 26 earned runs over the last 33 innings. And the offense has not been able to string together timely hits.
Farrell said he plans to address his team about those issues Friday before the start of a three-game series in Toronto.
AROUND THE BASES:
• The Sox have lost both series against the Yankees so far this season, and are 2-5 against New York.
• The Yankees scored their most runs in a game since Aug. 13, 2013, when they scored 14 runs against the Angels.
• Mike Napoli extended his career-high on-base streak to 19 games, over which he is batting .301, going 22-for-78, with eight walks, getting hit by pitches twice. Only Toronto’s Jose Bautista, with 22 games, and Baltimore’s Chris Davis (20 games) have longer on-base streaks this season.
• Xander Bogaerts extended his hit streak to eight games, in which he is batting .321, going 9-for-28. It is the longest hit streak of his career and longest by a Sox batter this season.
• Shane Victorino went 1-for-5 with a double and run scored in his first game off the DL.
• Dustin Pedroia snapped his six-game hit streak.
• David Ortiz went 0-for-1 with a strikeout and an RBI, getting hit by a pitch. He snapped his five-game hit streak
• Brock Holt was optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket in advance of Will Middlebrooks being activated from the DL.
• Will Middlebrooks is expected to be activated from the DL on Friday. He has been sidelined since April 5 with a right calf strain.
The Sox begin a three-game series with the Blue Jays in Toronto on Friday. Right-hander Jake Peavy (0-0, 3.33 ERA) is scheduled to make his fifth start of the season. In his last five starts against the Blue Jays, he is 2-1 with a 2.29 ERA, striking out a combined 29 with nine walks. He has gone at least six innings, giving up two or fewer earned runs in each of those five outings. He last faced the Blue Jays on Aug. 15, 2013, at Rogers Centre, taking the loss despite giving up just two runs in six innings.
The Sox will face left-hander Mark Buehrle, who is 4-0 with a 0.64 ERA. He has allowed just 2 earned runs in 28 innings.