Steven Wright pitched well, but earned a no decision in the series finale with the Twins. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Closing Time: Red Sox' sloppy defense the difference in 8-4 loss to Twins

Ryan Hannable
June 04, 2015 - 3:18 pm
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In a game that mirrored something played on a Little League diamond with five combined errors, the Red Sox' final error proved to be the difference and most costly. With runners on first and second and no outs in the top of the ninth, Joe Mauer laid down a bunt in front of the plate. Catcher Blake Swihart attempted to get the lead runner at third base, but Pablo Sandoval couldn't catch the low throw allowing Brian Dozier to score the game-winning run as the Twins beat the Red Sox 8-4 at Fenway Park. Following the error, Trevor Plouffe drove in Torii Hunter for the first insurance run, before two more Twins' runs crossed the plate in the inning, as Koji Uehara took his second loss in a week with the Red Sox blowing a 4-0 lead. The two teams split the four-game series. "The best way I can describe it is we made both physical and mental errors in this one, particularly in the second half of the game," manager John Farrell said. "We had ample opportunities early on to stretch a lead. We don't get a key hit. We did a good job of giving ourselves a number of baserunners. Steven [Wright] kept the game in check and really has pitched as insistently as he has in his previous starts. And then like I said, physical and mental errors really showed up." With the game tied at four in the seventh inning, Junichi Tazawa worked around a leadoff single as an intentional walk to Joe Mauer with two outs paid off, as Tazawa then struck out Plouffe to end the inning. The Red Sox had a chance of their own in the bottom half of the inning, but Mike Napoli was thrown out at home trying to score from first on a bloop single to right. Taking advantage of sloppy defense (two errors), the Red Sox scored two unearned runs in the second inning off Twins starter Tommy Milone. They then added a run in each of the next two innings, both on solo home runs. Blake Swihart hit his first major league homer over everything in left field in the third and Dustin Pedroia hit his ninth homer of the year in the fourth. Red Sox starter Steven Wright deserved a better fate, as the real mistake he made was a three-run home run to Torii Hunter in the fifth. The knuckleballer went six innings allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits with two strikeouts to earn a no-decision. It was his fourth start and he's gone at least five innings in all of them, allowing three earned runs or less in all four. SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Kurt Suzuki reached base four games in the win for the Twins. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at weei.com/rocksolid. Here's what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox' loss: WHAT WENT WRONG -- Pablo Sandoval went 0-for-4 and is now 0 for his last 12. Since May 12 he's hitting just .117 (7-for-60) with one extra-base hit and two RBIs. "Not that I'm aware of," Farrell said when asked if there was something wrong with him. "There's nothing physical. He's going to the left on a ball that he's got to redirect himself in the sixth inning that he fires high. I'm not aware of anything physical that's hampering him right now." -- David Ortiz went 0-for-5 in the game. He's now 0 for his last 10 and 3-for-16 on the homestand. -- The Red Sox had some trouble on the bases as Mookie Betts got away with creeping off third base after a ground out to the infield in the second inning as Plouffe committed an error allowing Betts to score the first run of the game. In the fifth inning Xander Bogaerts was picked off first base. In the seventh, with Ramirez on second and one out, he was tagged out on a ground ball to third base and then Napoli was thrown out at home trying to score from first on a bloop single to right. WHAT WENT RIGHT -- Pedroia went 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored. His home run was his ninth of the year, one more than he had all of last year. -- Napoli went 2-for-4 with two singles. He's now reached base multiple times in nine of his last 14 games. -- Bogaerts went 3-for-4. He's looked much more comfortable at the plate of late, as since May 11 he's batting .365. -- Tommy Layne and Matt Barnes combined to throw a scoreless eighth inning.

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