Closing Time: Josh Hamilton's walkoff keeps Red Sox reeling

Rob Bradford
May 31, 2015 - 2:43 pm
It was perhaps the perfect way to punctuate a nightmarish road trip for John Farrell and the Red Sox. The Sox dropped a 4-3 decision to the Rangers on Sunday afternoon on Josh Hamilton's walkoff double, scoring both Hanser Alberto and Prince Fielder. The hit came with two outs in the ninth with Koji Uehara trying to close things out for the Sox. (For the box score, click here.) Alberto had led off the ninth by reaching via Pablo Sandoval's second error of the game. After a sacrifice bunt from Delino DeShields, the Rangers baserunner moved to third on a slow roller back to the mound from Shin-Soo Choo. Farrell then chose to intentionally walk Prince Fielder, who entered the game hitting .361 with a .981 OPS. Texas countered by pinch-hitting Hamilton for Adam Rosales, with the lefty slugger having gone 3-for-12 against Uehara. "I certainly understood what the situation was, and we had a chance, I had a chance to put an end to it," Uehara told reporters through a translator. "I'm disappointed in myself." "We'll take a chance with the guy coming off the bench versus a guy in the game and in the rhythm of the game more times than not, particularly how hot Prince has been and what he's meant to that offense all year," Farrell told reporters. "We're one pitch away from sealing a win. Tough way to lose one." The Red Sox had been 17-0 when leading after eight innings. Uehara's second blown save of the season ruined Joe Kelly's chance for his first win since the starter's first appearance of the season (April 11). Kelly turned in a solid outing, allowing two runs (one earned) and six hits over five innings. For Kelly it was a far cry from his last start, which saw him give up seven runs in 1 2/3 innings. He has now allowed two or fewer runs in five of his 10 starts, with the other five seeing the righty give up five or more runs. He relied heavily on his changeup this time around, not throwing a single slider. The Red Sox bullpen had performed well leading up to Uehara's inning, with Alexi Ogando, Tommy Layne and Junichi Tazawa giving up just one hit over three innings. What would have been the game-winning hit for the Red Sox came in the sixth inning against Texas starter Wandy Rodriguez, with Xander Bogaerts punching a two-out RBI single into right field, scoring Hanley Ramirez. The Red Sox now are seven games under seven games under .500 (22-29), having been outscored 39-22 by the Twins and Rangers. "Hopefully the season doesn't end tomorrow but if we can go all the way through September, we can do a lot of damage," Hanley Ramirez told reporters. "It's a long season. But I think we went through our stretch where things didn't go our way and a lot of bad things happened. We've got to put that now to the side, we've got a new month and we have to start fresh tomorrow at home." SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Hamilton. The outfielder went 5-for-11 in the series against the Red Sox, finishing off the run with the game-winning hit. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at WHAT WENT WRONG -- Sandoval's error was a microcosm of the poor defense played by the Red Sox in the past two games which saw the visitors total six errors. -- The Red Sox stranded 10 runners on base. WHAT WENT RIGHT -- The Red Sox were successful in all four of their stolen base attempts, with Hanley Ramirez, Blake Swihart, Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo each swiping bags. They now have 20 steals in 26 attempts. Replays showed Castillo should have been called out, with his foot sliding off the bag. The Rangers, however, were out of challenges, leading to an ejection of Rangers manager Jeff Bannister. -- After going hitless for the road trip, Bogaerts claimed three hits, with Ramirez and Castillo each chipping in with a pair.