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Back-And-Forth Slugfest Leads to Atrocious Red Sox Loss

Bobby Valentine

It might have been one of the best back-and-forth games for any major league team this season, but unfortunately it also was arguably the worst loss the Boston Red Sox have suffered all year. Once leading 6-0 early, the Red Sox blew two notable leads in disastrous innings, the first an eight-run third for the Los Angeles Angels, and the second a three-run ninth after the Sox took a late two-run lead, all part of a demoralizing 14-13 defeat in ten innings and sweep at the hands of LA.

Going in, the game featured a potential southpaw duel between C.J. Wilson and Franklin Morales, but each starter allowed at least six runs (Morales two earned runs). Both offenses broke out, combining for 27 runs on 38 HITS. The Red Sox offense took an early lead with the hopes of salvaging the final game of their series with the Angels.

In the second, Dustin Pedroia blasted a three-run home run to give Boston a 6-0 lead at the time. With Morales on the mound it seemed likely the Red Sox would manage to hold on, but the Angels came right back with an eight-run third, highlighted by a key error by Pedro Ciriaco which extended the inning as Los Angeles took advantage of two bases loaded walks.

In the sixth, Mike Aviles tied the game 8-8 with a solo home run, and later in the inning an RBI double from Jacoby Ellsbury gave Boston a 9-8 edge. But leads didn’t hold well in this one, and Los Angeles came right back when Mike Trout delivered an RBI base hit in the seventh, tying the game 9-9.

Things looked much brighter in the eighth, as the Sox rallied for an 11-9 lead thanks to an RBI bloop hit from Ellsbury and follow up RBI base hit by Pedroia. With a two-run lead and the chance for Alfredo Aceves to earn the save, it appeared the Sox were in line for a dramatic victory. Instead, the Angels had one more heartbreaking rally left in them.

In the top of the ninth, Aceves allowed a solo home run to Vernon Wells to cut the lead down to a single run. The big play of the inning though came when Trout singled to right field, advancing to second on an error by Cody Ross. The error allowed for Trout to then just barely score on a base hit by Torii Hunter, tying the game yet again at 11-11 as he beat the tag of Jarrod Saltalamacchia by a fraction of a second. Mark Trumbo then delivered a big blow, putting the Angels ahead on an RBI single of his own. The Sox entered their bottom half of the ninth now trailing 12-11.

But that didn’t even last for long, as Cody Ross blasted a solo shot to left to lead off the inning. All of a sudden, the teams were even again, this time the score was 12-12 as the remaining Fenway crowd went berserk. And once again the tie was merely temporary as Los Angeles jumped back in front in the top of the tenth inning.

Kendrys Morales delivered a leadoff home run of his own for the Angels off of Aceves, who ended up earning his eighth loss of the year. Wells tacked on an insurance run on a double down the line which turned out to be important, as the Sox refused to go quietly even in defeat, tacking on a run in the bottom half of the tenth on a bloop single by Pedroia. Unfortunately, Adrian Gonzalez struck out on three fastballs from Ernesto Frieri, finally ending the game.

After being swept by Los Angeles, the Red Sox (59-66) will play a four game-series against the Kansas City Royals up next on the schedule. The loss on Thursday night was reminiscent of the team blowing a 9-0 lead against the Yankees earlier this season. The Angels managed all of the comebacks without Albert Pujols, who is day-to-day with a calf injury. The game took 4:24 to complete, as the teams each benefitted from lengthy offensive innings as well as an extra inning of action.

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