Kyle Schwarber makes Red Sox pay in return to Fenway, league-worst defense collapses

Philadelphia Phillies v Boston Red Sox
Philadelphia Phillies v Boston Red Sox / Jaiden Tripi/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox's series against the Philadelphia Phillies began on a sour note when Kyle Schwarer belted a leadoff, first-pitch home run.

The veteran slugger picked up right where he left off at Fenway Park — he helped the Red Sox reach the ALCS in 2021, and mashed three homers in the postseason on the way there.

Schwarber's game-opening blast wasn't his only one of the night. He homered again on Kutter Crawford's second pitch of the fifth inning, and the Phillies went on to win, 4-1.

Crawford posted a season-high eight strikeouts against Philadelphia. His outing was a nice rebound from his previous three starts — he logged an 8.27 ERA between them. He only allowed two runs, and the other two came at he expense of Boston's defense.

Bryce Harper walked to lead off the first inning and two batters later, Bryson Stott doubled to put them both in scoring position. David Dahl took the plate with two outs and knocked a slow grounder a few feet to the left of first base.

Second baseman Enmanuel Valdez fielded the ball and tossed it to first baseman Dominic Smith. But his throw veered slightly to Smith's left, knocked off his glove and into foul territory.

Kyle Schwarber's two homers and Red Sox defense contribute to Phillies win

Both Harper and Stott scored on the error — Boston's 50th of the year. The Red Sox defense owns the most errors in MLB this season they're on pace to pass their 2023 figure of 102 gaffes by a considerable margin.

Boston's lineup has been ravaged by injuries and they've hurt its defense the most. Rafael Devers is the only genuine starter in the infield and he's hardly a defensive savant. Some relief may be coming soon, though. Triston Casas is expected to return to action in a few weeks and Vaughn Grissom's hamstring strain has been characterized as "minor."

But before reinforcements arrive, the Red Sox have the rest of their series with the Phillies and a bout with the Yankees in front of them. Hopefully, Boston's defense can hold it together enough to not give any more runs away for free against the two best teams in baseball.

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