The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

After being swept in homestand, defending champion Red Sox falling further behind in AL East

  • Print

BOSTON - Most of the fans had left Fenway Park by the time the Red Sox scored against the Toronto bullpen to cut a five-run deficit to two. And when the game ended in another Boston loss, there wasn't enough energy left in the crowd for a healthy boo.

The defending World Series champions lost again the next afternoon, completing back-to-back sweeps at Fenway Park by the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays. It's the first time Boston has gone winless on a homestand of at least six games since Butch Hobson presided over the 1994 team.

With eight losses in a row after a 1-0 defeat Friday night to Tampa Bay, that brings up another embarrassing name in franchise lore: Bobby Valentine. Not since the Red Sox lost the last eight games of his one-year reign have they slumped this badly.

"It's frustrating right now for a number of guys," Red Sox manager John Farrell said after losing to Toronto 7-2 on Thursday to end the homestand without a win. "Everyone in our uniform is aware of what's taking place."

Less than seven months after going from worst-to-first, following the collapse under Valentine with a World Series victory, the Red Sox have reversed course again — and not in a good way. They are a season-worst seven games under .500 and have fallen into last place in the AL East.

"There's plenty of time to turn it around," catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "We've just got to do it tomorrow. We can't waste any more time."

The front office apparently agrees.

The signing of shortstop Stephen Drew to a one-year deal Wednesday helps shore up the left side of the infield, at least while third baseman Will Middlebrooks is injured. Drew was the shortstop on the World Series champions, but he remained without a team after rejecting Boston's $14.1 million qualifying offer over the off-season.

At the very least, his signing is a signal that the team isn't ready to concede its title defence and use the year to get young players like Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. some experience. But Drew, who batted .253 with 13 homers and 67 RBIs last year, might not help much at the plate for a team that is hitting .245 for the season.

The Red Sox entered Friday 12th in the AL with 4.02 runs per game, and their .238 batting average with runners in scoring position is 13th out of 15 teams in the league.

"We're in a stretch of games here where we're giving up too many runs early and we're scuffling to score runs," Farrell said. "That's a dangerous combination."

And pitching is a problem, too.

The starting rotation has a 7.23 ERA during the first seven-games of the skid, allowing a batting average of .354.

"It's not fun going out there, giving up a bunch of hits, trying to stop a losing streak, trying to win, trying to just keep guys in the ballgame," said Jon Lester, who gave up seven runs on Thursday to see his ERA balloon from 2.67 to 3.36. "The list goes on and on of things that I just flat out didn't do today."

Lester gave up two runs in the first on Thursday and five more during a second inning in which six of the first seven batters reached base. At one point, he disgustedly threw the ball aside behind home plate.

But he thinks it's too early to give up.

"We've been around the block a few times. We've all been through stuff like this," he said. "We all go out and try and execute that play. We're just not doing it right now."

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Weather for final Fringing weekend

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Geese fight as a male defends his nesting site at the duck pond at St Vital Park Thursday morning- See Bryksa’s Goose a Day Photo- Day 08- May 10, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Deer in Canola field near Elma, Manitoba. 060706.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How surpised are you by the Bombers’ 4-1 start to the season?

View Results

Ads by Google