Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 5/2/14
BOSTON — Started at the top, now we’re at the bottom? The Red Sox are facing a different tune this season after being swept by the Tampa Bay Rays in Thursday’s doubleheader at Fenway Park. The defending World Series champions now find themselves tied with the Rays for last place in the American League East. Granted, it’s way too early to dive deep into standings, especially with only three games separating the five AL East teams. But Thursday’s pair of losses undoubtedly stings a bit for the Red Sox, particularly because they once again squandered several golden opportunities. “Seemingly, it was the story of the day,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said while outlining Boston’s missed chances Thursday. The Red Sox went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base while suffering a 2-1 defeat in a Game 1 that was marred in controversy because of a call the umpires upheld in the seventh inning. Dustin Pedroia was ruled out at home while trying to score on David Ortiz’s one-out double, and the Red Sox’s challenge was unsuccessful because there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the initial call — something that didn’t sit well with the Sox. The seventh-inning controversy obviously stood out given the play’s magnitude, but the Red Sox had numerous chances throughout Game 1. Boston left two men on base in both the fifth inning and the sixth inning, and then capped the crushing defeat by stranding Pedroia — who represented the potential tying run — at second base in the bottom of the ninth. Game 2 didn’t go much better for the Red Sox, who actually carried a 5-2 lead into the sixth inning after jumping all over Chris Archer and Co. for five runs in the fifth. The Red Sox’s infield botched a popup in the sixth inning, and that paved the way for Sean Rodriguez’s momentum-recapturing, two-run homer. Junichi Tazawa gave up a game-tying double to Rodriguez in the eighth inning, and Koji Uehara surrendered a go-ahead home run to Yunel Escobar in the ninth inning, leading to a 6-5 loss. The bullpen breakdown was shocking, to say the least, but the Red Sox had several chances to seize control of Game 2. Boston left two men on base in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings before Grant Balfour wrapped up Tampa Bay’s doubleheader sweep by nailing down his second save of the day. The Red Sox failed to push across the tying run in the ninth despite Shane Victorino leading off with a double and moving to within 90 feet of home plate with one out. “When we’ve had opportunities allude us, I think there might be human nature tendency to try to do a little bit more as that opportunity keeps presenting itself,” Farrell said. “But we still have to maintain the approach to create those opportunities — which we are, we’re doing a very good job in that — but it’s cashing in where we’ve come up short.” Clearly, the Red Sox can look at their inability to produce in key spots in two ways — either as a major concern or as an issue that will work itself out in time. But regardless of whether one views the glass as half empty or half full, the overall win-loss record currently has Boston in a place it didn’t care to visit in 2013.Filed under: Boston Red Sox, Ricky Doyle, Tampa Bay Rays, Top Stories

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

The Baltimore Orioles tied an MLB record they can’t be proud of

Report: Knicks afraid of Porzingis rebelling, hurting their image

Report: Blake Griffin opts out of contract to become free agent

Report: Wolves targeting Kyle Lowry, Jrue Holiday, other point guards in free agency

Conor McGregor’s coach says tentative plans include a return to UFC in 2017

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Mets open for business on the trade market

Markelle Fultz believes the Sixers are already a playoff team

Report: Jimmy Butler’s attitude toward Fred Hoiberg made players ‘uncomfortable’

St. Louis Cardinals to hold first LGBTQ Pride Night

John Mara: Extending Odell Beckham Jr. isn’t team’s No. 1 priority

Mike Trout reportedly wanted to sign ‘lifetime deal’ with Angels

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

Box Score 6/23: Philly continues to trust the process

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker