The Red Sox returned to Fenway Park on Monday after a roadtrip that saw them go 6-1 in Minnesota and Chicago. Yet since arriving at home, the Red Sox have seen a reversal of fortune, falling to 1-3 on their current homestand with a 6-4, 12-inning loss to the Orioles on Friday night.
Asked if he was surprised that the team had seemingly failed to sustain the momentum accumulated during the roadtrip, Valentine objected.
"I don’t believe in that nonsense," he said. "There’s been pretty good pitchers who have pitched against, and they’ve held us down a little. We’re playing a good game. We’re playing the same baseball. It’s not like we’re playing any different baseball. We’re not getting those big hits because we’re not getting any pitches to do it with."
Sox starter Jon Lester, meanwhile, acknowledged frustration that the team had not continued its winning ways in Boston. With the Sox losing their third straight game to drop to 11-14, the left-hander described the situation as "frustrating. There’s really no other words to say, just frustrating.
"We’re squaring the balls up that are right at guys. I feel like you make some good pitches that guys just reach, or you don’t make the pitch when you have to, whatever. I don’t know. It’s not like we’re throwing the ball around the diamond and doing stupid things," he noted. "We’re one pitch away and one swing away from really turning this thing around and being good. We just haven’t put it together. We did last roadtrip. These last couple of games, we just haven’t had that one inning. The first inning, we really could have broken their back after two errors, three errors, whatever it was. We could have broken their back that first inning but that one little ball that needs to fall for us just didn’t fall. That’s the way it goes sometimes."
The Sox are now 4-8 at Fenway this year, and have lost eight of their last nine home contests. That performance at Fenway, in turn, is largely responsible for the team's increasingly sizable gap in the AL East, as the Sox are the only team in the division with a losing home record (an unusual development given that the team has a 7-6 record on the road).
"In order to have a good season, you have to play well at home and we're not playing well at home," said outfielder Cody Ross. "For whatever reason, I don't know what it is. We got to figure it out."
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