Things continue to remain ugly for the Boston Red Sox.
In a wild night at Fenway Park, marred at times by some downright appalling umpiring that ultimately led to the ejections of Alex Cora, Andrew Benintendi and Chris Woodward, the Sox fell 9-5 to the Texas Rangers in Game 2 of a four-game set.
Texas scored at least one run in every inning from the second through sixth, with two of their runs coming on a bizarre Hunter Pence inside-the-park homer. Darwinzon Hernandez made his first big league start, and after looking strong out of the gate, he flamed out.
The Red Sox fall to 34-34 with the loss, while the Rangers climb to 36-30 with the win.
Here’s how it went down:
GAME IN A WORD
That one was unusual.
ON THE BUMP
— Much to the Red Sox’s chagrin, the way Hernandez’s night began was not indicative of how it would go. The left-hander went three-plus innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on three hits with five walks and seven strikeouts.
Hernandez coasted through the first inning, striking out the side in order. After striking out the first batter of the second, the wheels started to come off. Hernandez walked Pence and Asdrubal Cabrera, then allowed a one-run double to Rougned Odor.
That was as much damage as Texas got in the inning though, as Hernandez got the next two hitters out.
The southpaw wandered into more trouble in the third, giving up a pair. Hernandez issued back-to-back one-out walks, then after getting the second out he loaded the bases with yet another free pass. Hernandez got Cabrera into a full count, but the third baseman proceeded to single to center to drive in two.
Hernandez returned for the fourth but didn’t last long. Leadoff man Ronald Guzman reached on a misplayed high pop-up by Rafael Devers and Tim Federowicz singled to center, which ended Hernandez’s night.
— Colten Brewer took over with runners on first and second and no outs in the fourth and immediately loaded the bases by walking Shin-Soo Choo. The next hitter, Danny Santana, brought a run in with a sacrifice fly to left, putting the Rangers up 4-3. Brewer struck out the next two batters to end the frame without further issue.
— Bobby Poyner entered in the fifth, and he got into some trouble.
The left-hander put runners on first and second with one out through walks, then a Guzman double to center brought both home, upping the Rangers’ lead to 6-3. Poyner got the next two hitters out to end the inning.
Poyner returned for the sixth and did not enjoy any more success. Elvis Andrus hit a one-out double and came home on a Nomar Mazara single the next at-bat. Pence then hit an inside-the-park homer to extend the lead to 9-3. Brock Holt tried to make a big catch in right but missed and the ball went trickling away, and for unknown reasons Holt elected not to give chase to the ball, allowing Pence to come home with ease.
Poyner came back out for the seventh and allowed a single in an otherwise scoreless inning.
— Mike Shawaryn pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, striking out two. He also retired the side in order in the ninth with a pair of strikeouts.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Trailing 1-0 in the second, Xander Bogaerts brought the Sox level.
Texas starter Ariel Jurado left a 1-2 two-seam fastball over the plate, and Bogaerts crushed it 422 feet to the center field side of the Green Monster.
It was the shortstop’s 13th dinger of the season.
— Down 3-1 in the third, a big hit from Devers tied the game up again.
Benintendi and J.D. Martinez both reached with two-out walks, and the third baseman brought them home by smacking a triple into the center field triangle.
— Down by six in the seventh inning, the Red Sox got a run back.
Michael Chavis kicked off the inning with a double and came home on a two-out two-bagger by Martinez, cutting the deficit to 9-4.
— Although they were down five in the ninth, Boston showed a bit of life thanks to Betts.
The outfielder led off the final stanza with a blast into the Green Monster seats, trimming the deficit to 9-5.
— Martinez, Bogaerts and Christian Vazquez had two hits apiece.
— Betts, Devers and Chavis had one hit each.
— Benintendi, Holt, Marco Hernandez and Sam Travis went hitless.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Again, it was a weird night.
The Red Sox and Rangers will play Game 3 their four-game series Wednesday afternoon. Rick Porcello will get the ball for Boston and will be opposed by Lance Lynn. First pitch from Fenway Park is set for 4:05 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images