The Red Sox lost a game they very well could have won against the Rangers at Globe Life Field on Saturday night.
In the fifth inning of what at the time was a 3-3 game, the first five Red Sox hitters to come to the plate reached base, resulting in two more runs crossing the plate on back-to-back RBI singles from J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts.
Now up 5-3, Boston had the chance to really blow this one open as Rafael Devers drew a five-pitch walk to re-load the bases for the bottom of the lineup.
Matched up against hard-throwing left-hander Taylor Hearn for Texas, Christian Vazquez grounded into a 5-2 force out at home plate while both Bobby Dalbec and Hunter Renfroe struck out on foul tips to retire the side.
Even while adding two runs in their half of the fifth, the Red Sox could have done more to put this game out of reach. They later paid for their inability to do much with runners in scoring position when the Rangers came back to secure an 8-6 win for themselves.
Rodriguez allows four runs in five innings
Eduardo Rodriguez made his fifth start of the season for the Sox on Saturday, but was unable to improve to 5-0.
Over five innings of work, the left-hander yielded a season-high four earned runs on eight hits and one walk to go along with five strikeouts on the night.
The Rangers first got to Rodriguez for three runs in the third inning on a run-scoring base hit from Nick Solak and a two-run knock from Nate Lowe.
They got to him once more in the fifth inning when Isiah Kiner-Falefa led things off by belting a booming solo shot to left field, which at the time broke a 4-4 deadlock.
Rodriguez then sat down the final three hitters he faced in order, but his outing came to an end relatively quickly when considering the fact he only threw 67 pitches — 46 of which were strikes.
Of those 67 pitches, the 28-year-old hurler mixed in a healthy diet of 19 cutters, 14 sinkers, 14 changeups, 12 four-seam fastballs, and eight sliders. He topped out at 93.4 mph with his four-seamer.
Andriese, Sawamura struggle out of bullpen
In relief of Rodriguez, Matt Andriese got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen for the bottom half of the sixth inning.
Facing off against the bottom half of the Rangers’ lineup, the veteran right-hander allowed Jose Trevino to reach base on a one-out single before serving up a two-run blast to Willie Calhoun that put Texas ahead by one run at 6-5.
Andriese walked the next man he faced in Charlie Culberson, who came around to score on a two-out RBI triple off the bat of Kiner-Falefa moments later.
Josh Taylor managed to stop the bleeding by working a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh, but Hirokazu Sawamura’s struggles in the Lone Star State continued as he allowed the Rangers to score what would prove to be an important insurance run on an RBI double from Culberson in the eighth.
Renfroe homers to give Red Sox early lead
Before any of Saturday’s mid-inning drama took place, Hunter Renfroe gave the Sox an early 2-0 lead when he crushed his second home run of the season: a towering 417-foot two-run blast to deep left field off Rangers starter Jordan Lyles in the top of the second.
There was a moment in the sixth inning where Renfroe had the opportunity to perhaps prevent Kiner-Falefa’s RBI triple from ever happening, but he could not come up with the hard-hit groundball that wound up rolling all the way to the right-center field wall.
Late comeback attempt falls short
After the Rangers took a 7-5 lead in the sixth, the Sox attempted to get back into it in the seventh with a leadoff double courtesy of Bogaerts.
The star shortstop moved up an additional 90 feet by swiping third base, then scored on a Vazquez sacrifice fly to make it a 7-6 game.
In the eighth, Bogaerts essentially had the game in his hands when with two outs, the Rangers intentionally walked Martinez to fill the bases for Boston’s No. 4 hitter.
On an 0-1, 89 mph changeup from Joely Rodriguez, Bogaerts laced a sharply-hit ground ball to the left side of the infield, but it was one that could be fielded by Culberson at third base and went down as an inning-ending 5-3 groundout.
Rangers closer Ian Kennedy struck out the side in order in the top of the ninth to pick up the save.
Some notes from this loss:
From The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:
From MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith:
Next up: Richards vs. Foltynewicz
The 17-11 Red Sox will look to wrap up their six-game road trip on a positive note in Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Rangers.
Right-hander Garrett Richards will be getting the ball for Boston, and he will be opposed by fellow righty Mike Foltynewicz for Texas.
First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 2:35 p.m. eastern time on NESN.
(Picture of Eduardo Rodriguez and Co.: Aric Becker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)