Wade Miley allowed five first inning runs in the Red Sox' loss to the White Sox Tuesday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Closing Time: Red Sox can't overcome 5-run first inning in loss to White Sox

Ryan Hannable
July 28, 2015 - 6:07 pm
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Joe Kelly's first inning Monday night was bad -- allowing four runs -- putting the Red Sox in a quick 4-0 hole. But, Tuesday night was even worse as Wade Miley allowed five first-inning runs, digging the Red Sox a hole they couldn't dig out of in their 9-4 loss to the White Sox on the night Pedro Martinez's number was retired before the game. Martinez wouldn't have liked what he saw, as after striking out the leadoff batter, Miley allowed the next five batters to reach, all of which scored, as the White Sox took a 5-0 lead before the Red Sox even stepped to the plate. The big blow came on a two-run Geovany Soto double, which scored two runs. Emilio Bonifacio followed with an RBI double for the fifth run of the inning. "Not a lot of command in the first inning," Miley said. "A lot of fastballs in the middle of the plate and not a good effort me making adjustments in that first inning. I probably had a couple opportunities to minimize the damage and didn't do a very good job of it." Miley settled down, firing four scoreless innings until a freak play in the sixth ended his night. With two outs in the sixth inning and the White Sox carrying a 5-2 lead, Jose Abreu launched a first-pitch fastball to deep right-center field. Mookie Betts raced back to catch the fly ball, but after two steps hurdled his body over the right field fence. The outfielder tumbled into the Red Sox bullpen, landing on his head and neck. While the ball trickled out of Betts'€™ glove after landing on the ground, Abreu was initially called out. But after an umpires'€™ review, the call was over-turned, giving the White Sox slugger his 16th homer and the visitors'€™ a two-run lead. Making matters worse, Betts was forced to leave the game and was tested for a possible concussion. Miley went 5 2/3 innings allowing seven runs on 10 hits, while walking three and striking out five. The Red Sox cut into the White Sox' lead in the second inning on a Pablo Sandoval two-run homer the other way. That was all the Sox could get against White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija until a meaningless two runs in the ninth. The right-hander went 8+ innings allowing four runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out three. In relief of Miley, Justin Masterson allowed a towering homer to Soto in the seventh and another run in the eighth. He allowed two runs over his 3 1/3 innings of relief. The Red Sox have now dropped two straight games and are 2-9 since the All-Star break. Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox' win: WHAT WENT WRONG -- Although Miley made it into the sixth inning after his issues in the first, the Red Sox needed a better effort. He had been better at Fenway Park, as he entered the game 4-2 with a 3.59 ERA at Fenway Park since May 2. -- Mike Napoli went 0-for-4 with a strike out and grounding into a double play. After a mini hot streak, he's 0 for his last 6. WHAT WENT RIGHT -- Sandoval's home run was his eighth of the season, but just his third of the year at Fenway. It was the first home run for Sandoval since June 28, which spanned 90 at-bats. -- The Red Sox held a terrific pregame ceremony to retire Martinez's number. He ended by throwing out the first pitch to Jason Varitek.