I left today’s game with my first loss attending Fenway, making my record 7-1, but it wasn’t a total loss. Blake Swihart hit his first career home run. At the end of the 5th inning, I met Boston Herald editor and chief Joe Sciacca. I also met Managing Editor Gustavo Leon and News Anchor Matt Fitzgerald, both from the Boston Herald.
The Sox loaded the bases in the 1st inning right off the bat, but had RISP troubles again. Steven Wright also pitched well into the 5th inning. The Sox scored with bases loaded in the second. It started with a double by Mookie Betts, followed by Pedroia walking. 1st and 2nd 2 outs. Ramirez singles to load the bases. Then Big Papi reaches on an error by the shortstop and Napoli singled. 2-0 Sox just like that. Swihart homered to break up a 1-2-3 3rd. Swihart picked up the first major league home run of his career. 3-0 Red Sox.
Wright blew his 1-hitter in the 4th, and gave up a 3 run home run to Torii Hunter in the fifth. After 6 okay innings and giving up a fourth run by an error sending Eduardo Escobar to second and scoring him on Kurt Suzuki’s 3rd straight hit, Wright was pulled and Junichi Tazawa came in.
A couple guys were caught stealing or intentionally walked, but otherwise the game had no significant action until the top of the 9th after the Twins tied it in the 6th. Brian Dozier led off the 9th with a base hit off Koji. Torii Hunter then walked. 1st and 2nd. Then Joe Mauer suprisingly attempted to bunt. The bunt rolled only a few inches in front of home plate and Swihart threw to Pablo Sandoval on what should have been a force out, or maybe even a double play. But no. Sandoval fails to catch it, and Ramirez is left to grab it in the outfield. They signed Sandoval and Ramirez big contracts, and they’ve struggled utterly along with Big Papi. Nobody they’re paying a lot is doing much. Could it be possible that the cheap guys are better than the multi-million makers? Maybe. The utter failure continued in the 9th as Trevor Plouffe scored Hunter on a base hit, and it was 6-4 Twins. Dozier had scored on the error. Then Eduardo Escobar singled to make it first and third, then they walked the bases loaded intentionally with Suzuki. Then Shane Robinson hit a sacrifice fly, and it was 8-4 Twins. After a 1-2-3 inning for the Sox, the Twins had finished the comeback win.
The Twins tied the series with the underperforming Red Sox. With all these supposed big players, the Sox should perform like they have a monster lineup and rotation. By July, I predict that Joe Kelly will be a reliever. I think rotation will be: Miley, Porcello, Rodriguez, Wright, Buchholz. Eddie Rodriguez will continue to perform, maybe even earn the No. 1 spot in the Sox rotation eventually. It’s time for another new chapter for the Red Sox.