The Red Sox gave up an early 3-0 lead en route to a 7-4 loss on Wednesday that saw defensive errors, umpire controversy, and bullpen troubles including an injury to Rich Hill.
For the first time this series, it was the Red Sox who got off to an early lead, putting together three straight hits from David Ortiz, Carl Crawford, and Jed Lowrie to start the second inning to score the first run of the game. Josh Reddick struck out swinging for the first out, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled up the middle to score two more, putting Boston up 3-0.
The lead would not last. In the fourth Alexei Ramirez continued to trouble the Sox by leading off with a single. Three batters later, and he was coming around to score on Brent Lillibridge's double, putting Chicago on the board.
Wakefield would escape the inning without any further damage, but found himself in similar trouble with runners on the corners and one out in the fifth. It was at that point that second base umpire Marty Foster made one of the worst calls of the season. With Juan Pierre on first, Tim Wakefield elected to pitch out. It was a good choice--Pierre broke for second, and found himself caught in a rundown. After a couple of quick tosses, Pedroia applied a sweeping tag that appeared to catch Pierre in the back, causing him to stagger.
As Pierre and the defenders slowed nearly to a stop, Foster signaled no out, allowing a surprise Pierre to walk into second base as an outraged Red Sox team tried to get him to check with an umpire whose view had not been almost completely blocked by Pierre as his had. He would not, and it would cost the Red Sox. The ensuing ground out that would have ended the inning instead let a second run come in, and the double down the left field line that followed it tied the game up at three-all.
The two teams traded solo shots by Brent Lillibridge and David Ortiz in the sixth, but as the game progressed, it became clear that Sox fans would not be able to blame the umps for everything. Matt Albers allowed three straight singles to the White Sox, giving Chicago a 5-4 lead and necessitating the entrance of Rich Hill. With a full count to Adam Dunn, Hill threw a curveball, and then grabbed at his elbow as Dunn walked to first base. He would leave the game with an injury that in no way looks promising.
While Daniel Bard's three strikeouts would provide a bright spot, the same could not be said about Jonathan Papelbon, who pulled his usual non-save situation antics, allowing a ground ball single to lead off the ninth, and a rather louder hit--a two-run bomb to Paul Konerko that put the game safely out of reach of both the Red Sox and Marty Foster's earlier error, leaving the Red Sox 7-4 losers.