Red Sox - 000 000 000 - 0 5 1 Rays - 000 000 001 - 1 6 0Manager John Farrell goes by "The Book" - following entrenched baseball wisdom rather than common sense - and, predictably, gets burned.
Koji Uehara was warming up as the Red Sox batted in the top of the ninth, but when Andrew Miller walked Desmond Jennings with one out in the bottom half, Farrell called on Burke Badenhop. The game was clearly on the line - the potential winning/losing run was on first base.
Shouldn't a manager go with his best reliever? Not Farrell. He was clearly saving Uehara for an all-important save situation, which would present itself after the Red Sox scored in the top half of an extra inning. The trouble with that "strategy" is that if Jennings scores in this inning, then the Rays win and the Red Sox don't bat again.
Badenhop faced Cole Figueroa, who was pinch-hitting for Sean Rodriguez. Badenhop threw over to first four times, but Jennings was still able to steal second on a 0-1 pitchout. Badenhop got strike two before Figueroa lofted a high fly that fell safely into right-center field for a single. Jennings scored easily - and the Red Sox lost their eighth straight game.
But Farrell likely won't have to answer any pesky questions from the media about his thought process. He simply went by The Book, and so is absolved of blame.
Holt, 3BIt's a three-game Battle for the Basement, with Boston (20-26, 5 GB) visiting Tampa Bay (20-28, 6 GB) for the weekend.
A Historically Bad Homestand: Boston's starting pitchers had a 5.74 ERA in the six losses, while the hitters compiled a collective .281 OBP. ... David Ortiz is 0-for-his-last-17: "It's like a disease going around. Nobody is really doing much."
A Bright Spot: Xander Bogaerts has reached base in each his last 10 games, going 14-for-37 (.378) with three doubles, a triple and two homers. XB has nine hits in his last 18 at-bats.
Sunday's Starter? Allen Webster and Brandon Workman are the leading candidates to take Felix Doubront's spot.