Game One: Morales Mangles 7th, Sox 9th inning rally falls short, 9-5…Yanks closing in


A classic Fenway 9th inning comeback came up short and the Sox lost game 1 of today’s double-header 9-5.  A loss in game 2 would advance the Yankees to just 1/2 game behind Boston in the AL East.

The Angels’ Tommy Hanson under-powered the frustrated Sox, who left 2 men on base in each of the first four innings.  Tossing 114 pitches, mostly slow curve balls and sliders, Hanson tight-roped through the minimum five innings to get the win [3-2, 4.12].

July 21, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Franklin Morales (46) pitches during the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Sox outhit the Angels 14-12, but left 14 men stranded on the bases.

After starter LHP Doubront [4-3, 4.84] allowed three earned runs, the “Mr. Hyde” Morales [9.53] gave up 4 runs with 2 hits and 4 walks to 8 Angels in the 7th inning and Mortensen [5.52] and Miller [3.10] donated another 2 runs in the 8th and 9th.

In the ignominious 7th inning, a stale Morales got J. B. Shuck to ground out to first baseman Napoli. Trout kicked things into gear with a double (18) to LF.  When Hamilton flew out to CF Ellsbury for the second out, Morales exhaled.

But, at the behest of his manager Farrrell, Morales intentionally walked Albert Pujols. Mark Trumbo promptly doubled (16), Trout scored and Pujols loped to 3rd.   Morales walked Kendrick and Callaspo walks, Pujols scored.  Morales walked Chris Iannetta, Trumbo scored.

Exit Morales; enter Clayton Mortensen.

Erick Aybar singled and Kendrick scored.

J. B. Shuck flied out to center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury to end the Crooked Number Disaster.

The “good news”?  Jose Iglesias extended his hitting streak to 11 games, placing him within 44 games with hits to tie Joe DiMaggio’s record hitting streak that began on May 15, 1941 and ended on July 16, fifty-six games later.



Leading MLB with a 1.62 ERA, Clay Buchholz [8-0, 3.93] will try give the Sox a split in game 2, facing Angels LHP C.J. Wilson [4-4, 3.93], who lost his previous start,  allowing three runs on six hits and no walks with nine strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings on Sunday against the Astros.

With the Yankees beating Seattle, 3-1,  a double-dip loss by the Sox would leave Boston just ½ game ahead of the Bronx Bombers in the AL East.

A few notes (via the #RedSox) on how hot Dustin Pedroia has been at the plate:

Pedroia went 2-for-4 with a double and a walk in the first game today, and has now hit safely in 11 straight games at .326 (14-for-43)…He has collected 5 doubles and a home run over his last 7 games…He is batting .372 (45-for-121) with a .469 OBP at Fenway this season, having reached safely in 32 of 33 home games.
…He has reached base safely in 57 of Boston’s 62 games this season, including his last 16 contests…Pedroia has reached base at least twice in a game 39 times in 2013, tops in the American League.

The Angels won their sixth straight at Fenway.


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