The Boston Red Sox are on the verge of matching their longest losing streak in 26 years, and there’s little to indicate an end is in sight.
Even when the Red Sox had a lead late Tuesday night, the final result was a 13-6 blowout defeat at the hands of the visiting Philadelphia Phillies. Boston looks to avoid its 10th straight loss as the teams meet again in the finale of a two-game series Wednesday afternoon.
The Red Sox last lost 10 in a row in May 2014. Prior to that, the team had gone without a stretch of double-digit losses since an 11-game rut in 1994.
“We’re not giving up,” said shortstop Xander Bogaerts after Tuesday’s setback. “We just got to come back tomorrow with the same positive mentality that we had today.”
The Red Sox send left-hander Kyle Hart (0-1, 22.50 ERA) to the mound Wednesday after he was tagged for seven runs (five earned) over two-plus innings in his major league debut his last time out. The Phillies counter with veteran right-hander Jake Arrieta (1-2, 4.02).
Despite only getting two games at home before embarking on a seven-game road trip, Boston was looking to make the most of its short time at Fenway Park to snap its miserable skid. The team appeared on its way with a 4-2 lead through five innings Tuesday before Philadelphia hung seven runs on the board in the sixth to erase any good vibes.
“Night in and night out, we’re just not getting the job done on the pitching side,” said Red Sox reliever Heath Hembree, who gave up four runs without an out in the frame.
Boston has been outscored 86-41 during its losing streak.
Bryce Harper had the big hit of the key inning, a three-run home run as the Phillies batted around and had eight straight batters reach with two outs. Pinch hitter Phil Gosselin got the scoring started in the frame with an RBI double.
“He’s a spark plug for us,” said Harper, who is riding a nine-game hitting streak. “All year long he’s done a great job of coming off the bench in any situation and really just putting the barrel on the ball.”
Jay Bruce later added a three-run homer in the eighth to cap a season-high in runs scored for Philadelphia’s offense, which has homered 17 times in its past eight games.
The Phillies have won four straight to get back to .500 and will continue on to face Toronto (playing in Buffalo), Atlanta and Washington after Wednesday as part of a 10-game road trip. Philadelphia entered Tuesday having only played one true road game this season as a result of coronavirus-related postponements.
In his last start Aug. 13, Arrieta surrendered four runs on seven hits over 4 2/3 innings in a loss to the Baltimore Orioles. The 34-year-old is 2-4 with a 4.69 ERA in nine career games (eight starts) against the Red Sox.
Boston could be without designated hitter J.D. Martinez on Wednesday after he left Tuesday’s game in the fifth inning with dizziness attributed to dehydration. Outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (wrist) and catcher Christian Vazquez (heel) both sat Tuesday.
–Field Level Media