Junichi Tazawa

Closing Time: Junichi Tazawa's troubles continue in Red Sox' loss to Tigers

Rob Bradford
August 08, 2015 - 6:19 pm

With all the talk about how the Red Sox need to fix their starting rotation for next season, an equally as daunting task may be rebuilding the team's bullpen. The latest example of how far the Red Sox relievers have fallen came with two outs in the seventh inning Saturday night, with Junichi Tazawa facing Detroit's Victor Martinez while trying to preserve a one-run lead. As has been the case of late, the outcome was not good for Tazawa or the Red Sox. The Red Sox reliever hung a split-fingered fastball to Martinez, who launched a go-ahead two-run blast into the right field seats. The hit would be the decisive blow in the Tigers' 7-6 win over the Sox. With the home run, Red Sox relievers had allowed opponents a .623 slugging percentage for August. Tazawa continues to exemplify the bullpen's downturn, coming into the game having allowed a .382 batting average and 1.059 OPS against since the All-Star break. Heading into Saturday, Red Sox relievers' batting average against was .308 in August, with the bullpen's ERA standing at 5.40 for the month. The loss was made even more frustrating for the Red Sox considering they had come from behind earlier in the seventh, with David Ortiz's two-run single giving the visitors a lead. It was Ortiz's third hit of the night, as he doubled in the first inning and hit his 23rd homer in the sixth. Also notching a three-hit game for the Red Sox was Blake Swihart, while Alejandro De Aza -- who started after Hanley Ramirez was a late scratch due to a sore foot -- claimed a pair of hits. The Red Sox squandered numerous scoring opportunities against Detroit starter Alfredo Simon, going just 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Simon allowed six runs on nine hits. With Tazawa's mishap, Red Sox starter Wade Miley missed an opportunity to claim a win, after giving up five runs on nine hits over six innings. Miley, whose ERA stands at 4.68, struck out six and walked one during his 100-pitch outing. For the box score, click here.