BOSTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said it wasn't a coincidence that the momentum shifted in the fourth inning right after Texas wasn't able to execute a suicide squeeze attempt -- twice.
With Yorvit Torrealba at third base and one out, Craig Gentry was asked to squeeze on the first pitch. He fouled it off. Washington didn't squeeze on the second pitch and Boston pitched out. So on the third pitch, the squeeze was put back on and Gentry popped up the bunt to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who he came home and tagged Torrealba for an inning-ending and rally-killing double play.
"It turned the momentum," Washington said. "We had two chances right there. We missed the first one and couldn't get the second one down."
After Boston hit three hard shots off Lewis in the fourth (he had already struggled to keep the ball down in the first three innings), Washington went to Yoshinori Tateyama. He was hoping to have Tateyama get him through the fourth and fifth so he could go with his regular bullpen pieces for the rest of the game (Mark Lowe, Koji Uehara, Mike Adams, Neftali Feliz, for instance).
But Tateyama has not fared well against left-handed hitters. So he wanted to avoid them and get right-handed batters Kevin Youkilis and pinch-hitter Mike Aviles to get out of the inning. He pitched around lefty Gonzalez and walked him, then got Youkilis to fly out. He fell behind lefty David Ortiz and eventually intentionally walked him.
Aviles pinch hit for Jed Lowrie, who had to be removed because of left shoulder tightness. If Tateyama retires Aviles, the game is tied and the Rangers avoid a big inning.
"That was the one we needed right here," Washington said. "Aviles fought him off and hit it to right field."
The two-out hit was just the beginning of a host of runs for the Red Sox. It took the Rangers seven batters to get that final out. After the Aviles hit, Tateyama left a pitch up to Carl Crawford, who he hit a grand slam to break the game open.
Lefties were hitting .242 off Tateyama coming into the game, but Washington was trying to get multiple innings out of him to use his regular bullpen. It just didn't work. Those lefties had two walks and the big grand slam off Tateyama. But not retiring the right-handed hitting Aviles was the difference.
"I should get an out against right-handed hitters," Tateyama said through a translator. "I could not do that. That was not the result I wanted."
Tateyama said he has a tough time against lefties and knows he must keep the ball down better. But with the bases loaded, there was no way to pitch around Crawford and when the ball wasn't down, Crawford didn't miss it.