Despite strong efforts from Garrett Richards on the mound and Xander Bogaerts at the plate, the Red Sox squandered yet another lead in the process of dropping another winnable game to the Rangers by a final score of 5-3 on Sunday.
After getting a quality outing from Richards and a scoreless sixth inning from Darwinzon Hernandez, the Sox turned things over to Garrett Whitlock with a 3-1 lead to work with in the seventh.
Whitlock, who had not surrendered a run through his six big-league appearances, served up a solo home run to the first man he faced in Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
As noted by MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, Whitlock gave up the homer to Kiner-Falefa on an 83 mph changeup, marking the first time he had given up a hit on that particular pitch this seaason.
Adam Ottavino was responsible for the eighth, and he walked the first batter he faced — Nate Lowe– to put the tying run on base.
Lowe stole second base to advance into scoring position, then scored from second on an RBI single from David Dahl, which knotted things up at three runs a piece.
Another walk from Ottavino resulted in the righty getting the hook in favor of Matt Barnes for a rare eighth inning appearance.
With one out to get and runners at first and second in the eighth, Barnes was greeted by old friend Brock Holt, who gave the Rangers their first lead of the afternoon by lacing a hard-hit single to center field that Alex Verdugo could not come up with cleanly.
One run was already going to score regardless, but Verdugo’s miscue — which was ruled a fielding error — allowed another runner to cross the plate for Texas to put them up 5-3 going into the ninth.
Richards allows one run over five innings
Richards, making his sixth start of the season for Boston, allowed just one earned run on four hits and one walk to go along with seven strikeouts over five solid innings of work on Sunday.
The lone Rangers run the right-hander gave up came in the bottom half of the fourth, when Joey Gallo led things off with a double, advanced to third on a flyout, and scored on a groundout.
Outside of that, it’s fair to say Richards was not as efficient as he was in his last time out against the Mets, but he was still effective nonetheless.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 93 (63 strikes), the 32-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball 48% of the time he was on the mound Sunday, inducing five swings-and-misses and topping out at 96.4 mph with the pitch.
Hit with the no decision in this one, Richards’ next start should come against the Orioles in Baltimore next weekend.
Renfroe and Bogaerts give Red Sox early two-run lead
Matched up against right-hander Mike Foltynewicz for the Rangers, the Red Sox jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top half of the second when Bogaerts led off with a single and came around to score on a Hunter Renfroe RBI groundout later in the inning.
Fast forward to the fourth, and Bogaerts struck again, this time taking Foltynewicz 435 feet to deep center field for his fifth home run of the season.
Bogaerts’ big fly, which had an exit velocity of 103.7 mph, to lead off the top of the fourth gave Boston a 2-0 advantage.
After Texas tacked on a run of their own, Enrique Hernandez provided what at the time looked to be an important insurance run in the seventh when he drove in Renfroe on an RBI single, but it would not prove to be enough in the end.
Some notes from this loss:
The Red Sox went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position on Sunday. They left five runners on base as a team.
Per Baseball Savant, the Red Sox had a 70% chance to win this game at the midway point of the eighth inning.
Next up: Off day
After closing out a 3-3 six-game road trip, the 17-12 Red Sox will have a day off on Monday before opening up a three-game series against the Tigers at Fenway Park on Tuesday.
Right-hander Nick Pivetta is slated to get the ball for Boston. Detroit has yet to name a starter.
First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.
(Picture of Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)