The reigning champs have been unable to find their stride following an eleven-game west coast trip. After losing once again in the home opener, nobody knows when the light at the end of the tunnel will appear.
The Red Sox capped off their trip out west by losing their third series of 2019 to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Boston got shelled in game one of the series, falling 15-8 after scoring seven runs in the final two innings of play. Rick Porcello earned his second loss of the young season, giving up seven runs in four and two thirds innings.
After Porcello and Brian Johnson gave up 14 combined runs, infielder Eduardo Nunez came in to pitch to salvage some sort of pride in the eighth inning. Nunez gave up a bomb to Alex Avila in his short appearance, stretching the total to 15 runs for the Diamondbacks.
Following the embarrassing performance in game one, Boston lost a heartbreaker in the second game of the series. The Sox were able to jump out to an early lead, putting up three runs in the second frame including an RBI from David Price. The lead did not last long.
In the bottom half of the second inning, Price could not help himself out as he gave the lead right back as Arizona put up four runs. Price allowed five hits in this inning, but he settled down for the remainder of his outing. The lefty lasted six innings total and only allowed two hits and no runs in his final two innings of work.
Boston tied the game in the seventh, but could not hold on as they lost on a walk-off single by Carson Kelly in the bottom of the ninth. Arizona won game two 5-4.
In the series finale, the Red Sox were able to salvage a 1-0 win in a bullpen game. Hector Velazquez started with three dominant innings, followed by Brandon Workman, Marcus Walden, Matt Barnes, and Ryan Brasier. Walden earned the win, and Barnes was credited with save.
Mitch Moreland – Boston’s early-season MVP – scored the lone run in the ballgame, launching a home run in the seventh off of Merrill Kelly. The Arizona righty went eight strong innings, striking out nine along the way in his second career start.
When the Sox finally returned home to face the Toronto Blue Jays, they received a warm welcoming by the Fenway faithful as they received their 2018 World Series rings. The team unveiled the newest banner along the Green Monster pregame, as previous champions like Mike Lowell, Manny Ramirez, and David Ortiz were in attendance.
You could feel the excitement inside the stadium, as Price, Nathan Eovaldi and Dustin Pedroia earned three of the biggest applause when they received their rings.
The six-time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots were there to throw out the first pitch as well. The players emerged from the Green Monster, flaunting their six Lombardi Trophies led by Rob Gronkowski – who received the loudest applause of the day. Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and Robert Kraft were not in attendance.
As for the game, it was more of the same from the Red Sox pitching staff. Chris Sale threw four lackluster innings falling to 0-3 on the season. He gave up five runs while striking out only three. Sale relied heavily on his off-speed pitches to get batters out, despite reaching 94 mph on his fastball.
The offense showed some signs of life as they scored five runs. Moreland and Mookie Betts led the way with a pair of home runs between the two.
Perhaps the ugliest play of the day, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. stole home off of Sale and Christian Vazquez. Sale was in the windup with a runner on third, and Gurriel Jr. capitalized on the slow delivery and wild throw by the lefty. A heavy shower of boos came down from the Boston fans following the stolen base.
Boston has now fallen to 3-9 on the season and find themselves in the basement of the American League East after losing 7-5 to the Blue Jays on Tuesday. Boston will face Toronto once more on Thursday before the Orioles come into town on Friday for a four-game set.