The Red Sox only one in the seventh inning when the Phillies put two runners in line for Bryce Harper.
Alex Cora made the obvious decision: bring it on to Josh Taylor.
The Taylor left came with a run of 26 scoreless consecutive outings, the longest run by a Major League-pitcher in three years.
Finally it comes to an end.
Taylor gave up four runs when the Phillies blew it wide and beat the Red Sox 11-2.
With the Rays victory on Saturday, the Sox’s lead in the American East League fell to 1-1 / 2 games with one game left before the All-Star break.
When Taylor came up with two outs and two over in the seventh, his first order was a pick-off move to first base, where he kept Jean Segura’s quick backing so far in the second for the final from the frame.
The referees checked Taylor’s gloves and hat, part of the new rules to check for foreign matter on the mound, and Taylor laughed at the irony: He ended up the goalkeeper without ever throwing.
But Harper was again starting in eighth and Taylor lost the fight with a hanging fastball that smoked Harper into right field for one. Andrew McCutchen walked with Rhys Hoskins to double score both runners and take the Phillies lead to 5-2.
Taylor then drilled Didi Gregorius and that was the end of her outing.
It was the first time Taylor had given up a run since April 24, when her era was 9.72. After Saturday’s loss, his ERA fell to 3.86.
Since Taylor Rogers of the twins played 28 games in a row without being awarded a point in 2018, there hasn’t been a top leaguer and a scoring track as long as Taylor’s 26-game track stretched. Koji Uehara holds the Red Sox record in 27 consecutive games.
“He’s on a big burner,” Adam Ottavino said of Taylor before the game. ‘You want to tackle something like that as a relief. I had some myself. It’s wonderful. You’re just trying to get into that groove and stay there. ”
Brandon Workman and Austin Brice made more of a mess behind him, as the Phillies scored eight runs in the eighth inning.
At that point it hardly matters; the game was lost. But for the Red Sox bullpen, the goalkeeper put an ugly mark on an otherwise impressive first half. The Sox eased into the game with a 3.46 ERA, eighth in MLB. They ended the day with a 3.62 era.
The Sox hadn’t scored eight of a goalie since April 4, when they were thrashed by the Orioles in the first set of the season.
Some other takeaways:
1. Martin Perez worked 3-2 / 3 innings, gave up three runs before his day ended. It was a memorable outing, but enough to keep the Sox in the game until the bullpen unraveled in the eighth. Perez finished his first half with a 7-5 record and a 4.04 ERA.
2. Harper had a tough match handling his defensive duties in the right field. He dropped a bad ball between his gloves and the first core wall. He also mistimed a dive on a soft valley that found grass. And he threw one away when Christian Vazquez finished third and tried to score on an error sent by catcher, Andrew Knapp.
3. Xander Bogaerts connected on his 14th homer of the season. He flips a high fastball, and lifts it off the monster for a solo shot at the second goalkeeper.