The Red Sox have dropped their series to the Oakland Athletics after a 4-2 loss, with Adrian Gonzalez failing to produce in two crucial situations.
The game started with a bit of promise, as Daniel Bard cruised through the first on eight pitches and the Sox picked up a pair of baserunners and plenty of contact in a scoreless bottom half. Brandon McCarthy would recover quickly for the Athletics, however, while Daniel Bard started to lose control of the zone, eventually allowing a run in the fourth.
The real damage would come in the sixth, and surprisingly enough would come in large part thanks to the defense. With a man on first and one out, Cody Ross badly misplayed a fly ball hit towards the wall that could have been turned into a double play had he simply taken a step or two backwards. The run would score from first, and eventually two more would come around to make it 4-0.
The Sox would end up scoring in the bottom of the seventh, but failed to capitalize fully on the rally when Adrian Gonzalez struck out with the bases loaded. He would come up empty again in the bottom of the ninth too, grounding out as the tying run after Dustin Pedroia had already brought one home, ending the game.
Will's Big Debut: Will Middlebrooks was very impressive in his first game with the Red Sox, drawing a walk in his first trip to the plate and stealing second before adding an infield single and an opposite-field double later on. He's the first exciting position prospect to come up to the Red Sox since Ryan Kalish in 2010 not including Ryan Lavarnway's cup of coffee. Hopefully he fills in admirably while Youk is out.
Mortensen Too: While Middlebrooks was the man in the spotlight, Clay Mortensen had an impressive Red Sox debut of his own, striking out a remarkable six batters in three innings of work as he kept the Athletics in striking distance.
Adrian Gone: Where is the Adrian Gonzalez of 2011? Through 24 games, Gonzalez sits at .261/.333/.386, and it's just getting worse. Providing nothing tonight despite being given two big opportunities, the first baseman is really the one who cost Boston the game.
Well, him and Ross.