The Red Sox experienced a league-leading 18th one-run loss Tuesday. If Boston (38-47) had won just half of those, the Red Sox would be leading the AL East, instead of sitting 7.5 games back.
But we're not going to play the WHAT-IF game for long. The Red Sox will keep losing, close or not-so-close, as long as they keep producing runs at their current rate: a league-low 312 runs ... not to mention the 18 times that Boston has scored ONE run or NONE.
Mookie Betts, by the way, was 0-for-4 Tuesday. Now 1-for-10 in three games, Betts has not struck out.
The pitching? Boston is fourth in the league in ERA (3.73). In the last 14 home games, opponents have scored three or fewer runs. (in the last seven of those games, Boston is 3-4).
Rubby De La Rosa took some time adjusting to life back in the minors. After allowing four runs on four hits and a sacrifice fly in the first inning, he steadied himself for Pawtucket, going 5 2/3 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 4 K ... Both Travis Shaw (.265) and Garin Cecchini (.259) had two hits.
Henry Owens became the first 11-game winner in the minors. It was not his best outing, but we're spoiled: 5 2/3 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K ... Owens (11-3, 2.30 ERA) has 100 strikeouts in 97 2/3 innings ... Blake Swihart (.300) was 2-for-4.
Brian Johnson (7-1, 1.67) pitches for the Sea Dogs tonight in Trenton, but attention will be focused on the opposing pitcher. CC Sabathia makes a rehab appearance with the Thunder tonight (brings back memories of Clay Buchholz facing Roger Clemens in Trenton in 2007).
Trey Ball (1-7, 6.52) has had a rough time in Greenville, but he threw a one-hit shutout over five innings on Tuesday, walking none and striking out three.