Closing time: Red Sox bullpen allows 5 runs in loss, spoiling 5-run comeback against Orioles

Ryan Hannable
July 06, 2014 - 2:42 pm

Heading into Sunday the Red Sox bullpen was one of the team's strong suits this season, as its 3.24 ERA was fourth-best in the American League. Uncharacteristically, the group allowed a total of five runs in the Red Sox'€™ wild, 7-6, extra-innings loss to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon. Burke Badenhop and Junichi Tazawa allowed four runs on six hits in the seventh inning to allow the Orioles to take a 6-1 lead -- this following another shaky but quality outing from Jake Peavy. "They strung some hits together," Farrell said of the top of the seventh. "This is a very good hitting lineup that we'€™re going up against. That same part of the order, once again as it was the case last night, they'€™re able to string some base hits. They use the whole field. Combination we tried to throw at them didn'€™t slow them down." Following a dramatic rally to force extra-innings, the Red Sox eventually fell in the 12th inning when Edward Mujica allowed a run in his second inning of work. David Lough tripled to lead off the inning and then was driven in by J.J. Hardy on a single to left for the game-winning run. This put a damper on a terrific seventh-inning rally, as the Sox scored five runs to tie the game at 6 at the time. David Ross started things by clubbing his fifth homer of the season to the triangle in right-center. Then the Sox had a string of five straight hits off Orioles relievers as Xander Bogaerts, Daniel Nava, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli all collected RBI singles in the inning. "I thought our guys did a tremendous job in that seventh inning to come back and erase a five-run deficit," Farrell said. "We get five consecutive base hits, strung some hits together finally to mount that inning." The Red Sox dropped two of three to the Orioles over the weekend and fell to 39-49, 10 games below .500. Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox' loss. WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX -- After recording his first hit in 27 at-bats in the bottom half of the third inning, Bogaerts didn't carry over any momentum to the field as his throwing error allowed the first Orioles run to score in the top of the fourth. Nelson Cruz led the inning off with a double, and then Delmon Young hit a grounder to third. Bogaerts double-pumped and airmailed his throw into the Red Sox dugout, allowing Cruz to score from second base. -- Stephen Drew had a tough afternoon after his two-home run day Saturday, as the shortstop went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts. He now has 25 strikeouts in 22 games this season. -- Napoli also had a rough afternoon, going 1-for-6 with four strikeouts and grounding into an inning-ending double play in the sixth inning following the Red Sox scoring their first run of the game. WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX -- Peavy gave the Red Sox his second straight strong start. Although it wasn't pretty, he'€™s now allowed only three earned runs in his last 12 innings. The veteran right-hander did a good job of getting out of jams, including the bases loaded with one out in the first inning, second and third in the fifth, and allowing just one run with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth. Heading into Sunday, Peavy was holding opponents to a .221 average with runners in scoring position. -- Bogaerts'€™ bloop single to right in the third inning snapped a 0-for-27 skid. Bogaerts was hitting in the No. 9 spot for the first time this season. The third baseman also added an RBI single in the seventh as he finished the day 2-for-5. -- Jackie Bradley Jr. had another strong day in center field with three strong throws to home plate, all coming in the seventh inning. His first two were just barely beaten by the runners, but he showed tremendous arm strength and accuracy. Finally, he gunned down Manny Machado trying to tag and score from third, which ended the frame. The rookie now has 10 outfield assists on the year and has been involved in five double plays, the most among major league outfielders. Bradley also made a leaping catch in the top of the ninth inning, banging against the wall to rob Machado of extra bases. -- Andrew Miller and Koji Uehara (two innings) combined to throw three scoreless innings of relief between the eighth and 11th innings. Uehara tied a season-high with 30 pitches.