You know what they say — six is the worst lead you can have in a baseball game.
OK, they definitely don’t say that. But the Red Sox somehow forfeited the six-run lead they held after three innings and ended up falling to the Tampa Bay Rays 11-10 on Monday at Fenway Park.
Boston fell to 79-61 and Tampa Bay improved to 87-51.
You can view the full box score here.
ONE BIG TAKEAWAY
This one was a weird one all around. Working through Chris Sale’s outing is a perfect case study in the bizarreness of this game.
He finished the day in the bottom of the fourth inning and a 7-5 Red Sox lead, with just one of those runs earned. He walked one and struck out six but gave up a whopping 10 hits.
After giving up the Rays’ first run in the first inning, Sale loaded the bases but managed to get every out on strikes. But that apparently just was foreshadowing, as in the fourth inning, Sale loaded the bases with two outs, then an inside-the-park homer (initially ruled a triple and an error) made it a 7-5 game.
The ruling on the triple was changed to an error, so that took some of the pressure off of what was a pretty deflating line.
According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, seven of what once was 11 hits had an expected batting average of .300 or less. So the Rays seemed to just be getting lucky — and finding the holes in a depleted Red Sox defense.
The Red Sox allowed 19 hits and made four errors.
STARS OF THE GAME
— Jonathan Araúz was the hero with a two-out, seventh-inning solo home run that made it a 9-7 ballgame. It breathed new life into an offense that was holding on by a thread at that point.
— Taylor Motter fared pretty well during his first Red Sox start (offensively, at least.) He hit an RBI double during Boston’s huge second inning, then came through in a desperate spot to start off the sixth. Then in a one-run game, Motter launched a leadoff triple, scoring on a Hunter Renfroe single to make it an 8-6 ballgame.
He did have two errors, though, which put a damper on things.
— Before Renfroe hit that single, he launched a rocket to the Green Monster that resulted in a stand-up double, but it was such a bomb that the umpire crew chief wanted to review it just to make sure he shouldn’t keep going. Either way, it scored Motter, giving the Red Sox a 3-1 lead.
BetMGM set the total for the first five innings at five runs — and fans who took that didn’t have to sweat it out since it was reached as part of Boston’s monster second inning. At -120, a $120 bet netted a $100 return.
ON DECK AT NESN
The crucial series against the Tampa Bay Rays continues Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET, and you can catch all the action live on NESN.
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