Closing Time: Red Sox offense goes silent in loss to Cardinals

August 05, 2014 - 7:21 pm

The new-look Red Sox lineup after the trade deadline was intended to put more runs on the board, even if that additional offense came at the cost of a number of key pitchers. But that design has been challenged already, both by the injury to Allen Craig that landed the corner infielder on the disabled list on Tuesday as well as the fact that the Sox were without the designated hitter while playing in an NL park. And so, on Tuesday, the Red Sox lost for the third straight time, the sixth time in seven contests and the 11th time in their last 13 games, collecting just four hits in a 3-2 loss to the Cardinals. The Sox have now scored two or fewer runs 41 times this year -- three more instances of such futility than they encountered a year ago. WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX -- Brock Holt went 0-for-4 while matching a career-high with three strikeouts, something he's done four times in his career -- three of which have come in the last 11 days. In his last 12 games, Holt is now hitting .146/.226/.208 with 13 strikeouts in 53 plate appearances. -- Left-hander Tommy Layne issued a walk to a right-hander (pinch-hitter Shane Robinson) and then a game-tying single to left-hander Kolten Wong in the seventh inning. It was the first hit in seven at-bats by lefties against Layne this year. -- Xander Bogaerts continued his dreadful performance with runners on third and less than two outs, grounding out to third with Yoenis Cespedes on third and no outs. Bogaerts is now 1-for-15 (.067) with no walks, three strikeouts and just three RBIs in 17 plate appearances with a runner 90 feet from the plate and less than two outs in the inning. -- Third baseman Will Middlebrooks went 0-for-3 against right-handed pitchers on the night. For the year, he's now hitting .135/.262/.269 against right-handed pitchers. -- Though Dustin Pedroia collected a hit, he went just 1-for-4, snapping a streak of five straight multi-hit games. WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX -- Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was the lone offensive bright spot, going 3-for-4 with a triple. He'd been 1-for-7 in his first two games with the Sox. -- Right-hander Rubby De La Rosa, who entered the game having dominated at Fenway but having struggled on the road, delivered one of his best outings as a visiting starter this year. The right-hander scattered six hits (four singles, two doubles) and worked around three walks to limit the Cardinals to one run in six innings. Though he threw just 61 percent of his 94 pitches for strikes, he kept the ball on the ground (seven groundballs that resulted in outs, including a pair of double plays) to limit the damage done by the Cardinals. De La Rosa now has a 3.43 ERA in 10 starts.