Base-running Blunders in 9th Cap Game
BOSTON – (Staff and Wire Service Report) – Philadelphia ace Aaron Nola pitched seven strong innings to make a three-run first stand up as the visiting Phillies edged the Boston Red Sox 3-2 in the opener of a two-game inter-league series.
Nola (12-3) stranded the tying run in scoring position with no outs in the fifth and sixth innings, allowing only two runs on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. The victory snapped a two-game skid for Philadelphia.
Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-run home run for the Red Sox, whose five-game winning streak came to an end.
After Nola whiffed a pair in the seventh to complete his outing, Jose Alvarez and Mike Morin combined to work a scoreless eighth. Reliever Hector Neris gave up a leadoff double to Xander Bogaerts in the ninth, but Bogaerts was out at third after a poor base-running decision allowed SS Jean Segura to cut-down Bogaerts at third on a J.D. Martinez groundball fielder’s choice. When Neris got Andrew Benintendi to line-out to Phillies’ infielder Cesar Hernandez, the second baseman caught pinch-runner Chris Owings trying to advance off first base, Hernandez ended the game with a toss to 1B J.T. Realmuto for the double-play. The pair of base-running blunders completed Neris’ 22nd save.
The Phillies got all the offense they needed in the first inning, when a Bryce Harper double with one out put two men in scoring position. Jean Segura doubled them home before scoring on a Scott Kingery single for a 3-0 lead.
Boston got on the board in the third when Mitch Moreland hit a leadoff single and trotted home after Bradley crushed the first pitch he saw into the Red Sox’s bullpen in right field with one out to make it 3-2.
While Philadelphia’s bats continued to stall, Boston posed multiple threats without breaking through. Christian Vazquez led off the fifth with a double and was stranded at third, and Mookie Betts singled and stole second to kick off the sixth but advanced no further.
Overall, the Red Sox had the tying run in scoring position with none out in the 5th, 6th and 9th innings, but failed to convert a run.
Brian Johnson got the start for Boston in place of Chris Sale, who is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season with left elbow inflammation. Johnson (1-2) gave up three runs on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings.
The Red Sox’s bullpen settled-in and retired 15 straight Phillies from the fourth until a two-out walk in the ninth.
-Field Level Media