Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 5/23/14
A little more than a week ago, Cole Figueroa was in Triple-A. On Friday, he was ducking tacklers on the Tampa Bay Rays, who were trying to chase down the night’s hero. That Figueroa, a 26-year-old rookie who had no major-league experience before the Rays called him up from Durham last week, drove in the game-winning run in Tampa Bay’s 1-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox shouldn’t really come as a surprise. The Red Sox have found so many new and excruciating ways to lose these last eight games, it actually made perfect sense that a career minor leaguer with seven big-league at-bats should deal the latest blow. But Figueroa’s walk-off merely punctuated a game full of cringe-inducing moments by the Red Sox. From A.J. Pierzynski’s inability to advance to second base on a sacrifice bunt to Jonny Gomes pinch-running for a hobbling Shane Victorino, Red Sox manager John Farrell probably developed a headache long before the game-winning run. The defeat was doubly tough for the Red Sox (20-27) because John Lackey pitched well enough to win — better, even. The righty pitched seven innings of five-hit, shutout ball, finally leaving after he surrendered a leadoff single to David DeJesus in the eighth. Lackey set down 14 out of 15 batters at one point and slipped out of jams in the sixth and seventh innings. Boston needed him to be sharp, too, with Chris Archer dealing for the Rays (21-28). Archer hurled six tremendous innings with no runs, four hits and 11 strikeouts. The Red Sox only advanced two runners past first base against the 25-year-old right-hander. Even when they weren’t being stymied by the opposing pitcher, though, the Red Sox were busy beating themselves. Though not known for his wheels, Pierzynski should have been able to make it to second on Victorino’s bunt in the top of the ninth. (Victorino then departed, almost immediately, with an injured right hamstring.) In the bottom of the frame, Pierzynski and Badenhop appeared to get mixed up on a pitchout when Jennings stole second, moving the Rays’ center fielder into scoring position for Figueroa to deliver the dagger. And all of that overlooks the outfield of Gomes, Grady Sizemore and Mike Carp that would have presented problems for Boston defensively, had the game continued into extra innings. During losing streaks, it often seems as though the stars are aligning to keep a team from ever getting another win. Admirable pitching efforts get wasted. Fundamental sacrifice plays turn into fielder’s choices. Career minor leaguers hit walk-offs. With the losing streak at eight in a row, the fates aren’t actually aligning to keep the Red Sox winless since May 14. It only feels that way — it really, really feels that way.Filed under: Ben Watanabe, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Top Stories
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Adrian Peterson accused of fathering another child out of wedlock

Robert Griffin III liked fan’s Instagram post trashing Redskins

Report: Tom Brady may have been ‘open’ to one-game suspension

Fenway Park staff reportedly confiscating Don Orsillo signs

Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer betting on himself

Titans' Marcus Mariota: ‘Statistics don’t matter to me’


Raiders cut Trent Richardson

FSU names Everett Golson starting QB for 2015

UCLA's Adams arrested for suspicion of felony robbery

AJ Green heading for contract stalemate with Bengals?

Report: NFL offered to cut Brady suspension to 3 games

Report: Tristan Thompson won’t take below max from Cavs

Most surprising developments from 2015 NFL preseason

Herschel Walker supports Trump’s candidacy for president

WATCH: Kevin Kiermaier robs Manny Machado home run shot

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Caroline Wozniacki smoking on cover of ‘Rhapsody’ magazine

Could Robert Griffin III be the NFL’s next Steve Young?

Spurrier: SEC fans right to be upset with Ohio State's schedule

Report: 'Deranged' fan shot outside WWE building

Report: Brady convinced Harbaugh to return to Michigan

Ronda Rousey gets Venice mural from artist Jonas Never

Redskins TE wants to know who's leaking stories to ESPN

WWE superstar's girlfriend fired over Nazi Instagram posts

Madison Bumgarner has once again put Giants on his back

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Caroline Wozniacki smoking cover of ‘Rhapsody’

Everett Golson named FSU's starting QB

Urban Meyer won't announce QB before season

Teammates relieved RG3 was benched?

Five NFL teams that should trade for Robert Griffin III

10 takeaways from Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Cubs' Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers

Chicago Bears release Tim Jennings

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker