Ortiz bruised, Ross tossed, Sox frustrated
August, 23, 2014
By Kyle Brasseur | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- In losing their seventh straight game, 7-3 to the Seattle Mariners on Saturday, the Red Sox at least showed that they still have some fight left in them.
After a 3-0 lead entering the fourth inning turned into a four-run deficit in a span of eight batters, the Red Sox's frustration toward yet another impending loss seemed to get the better of them. David Ortiz got hit by a pitch in the sixth, leading to retaliation and warnings issued in the seventh. In the bottom of the eighth, catcher David Ross struck out and then got ejected from a game for the first time in his career.
The fireworks kicked off well after starter Brandon Workman was roughed up for a career-high 10 hits and seven runs, all surrendered in the fourth, before being pulled after 3 1/3 innings. The loss brought his personal losing streak to eight straight appearances.
Rich Gagnon/Getty Images"It's a little sore," David Ortiz said about his left elbow. "But I'll be all right."
"I just left balls up and they put really good swings on them," Workman said. "You can't pitch like that, you can't pitch everything belt-high. That's what I did today and they took advantage of it."
Reliever Alex Wilson, who came in to throw 3 2/3 scoreless innings in mop-up duty after Workman left, sacrificed his streak of 24 consecutive batters retired by hitting Robinson Cano in the rear with a first-pitch fastball in the seventh inning.
Although Wilson claimed after the game that hitting Cano was an accident, plate umpire Angel Hernandez felt there was intent, warning both benches.
"That's just how the game works sometimes," Wilson said. "Unfortunately I messed up and hit a guy and they have to warn guys after that. It wasn't really a factor going forward."
Stepping into the box with two out in the sixth, Ortiz, who entered the game having reached in nine straight plate appearances, took a 92 mph fastball from Charlie Furbush off his left elbow on a 2-1 count. Although the plunking seemed unintentional, Ortiz made his displeasure clear, cursing loudly and shooting several glances over at Furbush as he walked to first.
He later went on to leave the game with a left elbow contusion.
"He stiffened up and gained some swelling above the left elbow on the inside of the arm. It got him in a pretty good place," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "I would expect him to be ready to go [tomorrow]."
Ortiz shared a similarly small amount of concern over the injury on his way out of the team's clubhouse.
"It's a little sore," he said while showing the bruise. "I'll be all right."
The game remained relatively quiet up until the bottom of the eighth inning, when Ross stepped in after Mookie Betts doubled to lead things off. With the count full, Ross ever-so-slightly offered on a fastball out of the zone. Thinking he had walked, Ross began moving toward first base, only to realize that Hernandez had asked for first-base umpire Vic Carapazza's opinion on the swing. Carapazza felt Ross went around, ringing him up and causing the even-keeled catcher to lose his cool and earn his ejection.
Both Farrell and Hernandez had to hold Ross back as he proceeded to get in Carapazza's face, uttering obscenities in the process.
"He felt like he didn't go around. I thought he held up his swing, as did David, so on a questionable call he started arguing," Farrell said.
That it was his first career ejection in 13 major league seasons came as little surprise to Wilson.
"Rossy's usually calm, cool and collected," Wilson said. "Obviously he's been around for a while so for a guy of his stature to get fired up like that, he obviously believed it was a bad call."
Bad call or not, the frustration continues to mount for a Red Sox team plummeting further into the basement of the American League. Nonetheless, Farrell took pride in knowing that his players still have it in them to show up and compete even when they're down.
"There's still a lot of fight in this group," Farrell said. "Certainly there's a lot of frustration in the stretch we're in right now but it doesn't take away from the competitiveness in which we're going about it."