The Red Sox offensive struggles took a backseat to a pitching meltdown Monday night in Seattle. John Lackey and Chris Capuano just couldn’t keep the Mariners in check. The offense still struggled with leaving men on base; they stranded five and were just 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. However, it’s hard to blame the bats when two pitchers combined to give up 12 runs. If it weren’t for the six-run fourth inning and the four-run seventh inning, Boston’s three runs could have produced a win.
Lackey may have started the game in search of his ninth win of the season, but he ended up just searching for much-needed outs. He ended up only lasting 3.2 innings before being pulled. He gave up seven earned runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out three.
The wheels came off the bus for Lackey in the fourth inning. An RBI single by Kyle Seager tied the game. Then Dustin Ackley reached first during an RBI force out that shoulda-woulda-coulda been a double play. A wild pitch by Lackey allowed another run to score and then Endy Chavez hit a bases-clearing triple. By the end of the fourth the Mariners were up 7-2 and never looked back.
Chris Capuano pitched 2.1 innings and contributed five more runs on six hits with four strike outs.
The Sox are now seven games under .500 and the only thing keeping them out of last place in the division is a Tampa Bay team that is playing dreadfully at the moment. The Sox remain 7.5 games out of first place. There’s still a lot of baseball to be played this season, but it’s hard to tell if that’s the silver lining or a sign of more painful losses ahead.