BOSTON – The Red Sox comeback attempt versus the Phillies fell just short on Sunday, losing 5-4 in their final game before the All-Star break.
Trailing by a run in the bottom of the eighth, the Red Sox were in prime position to either tie the game or take the lead with two outs after loading the bases on a Kiké Hernandez walk, but Phillies reliever Ranger Suarez got Alex Verdugo to ground out on the first pitch of the at-bat.
Philadelphia did all of its damage in the third and fourth innings, plating five runs off Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta. In the top of the third, the Phillies pulled ahead 2-1 on a J.T. Realmuto RBI single that scored Ronald Torreyes and Travis Jankowski, with the latter scoring on a throwing error by right fielder Hunter Renfroe.
They extended their lead in their next plate appearance, as Torreyes sent a full-count offering from Pivetta into the seats in left for a three-run homer to make it 5-1. Pivetta went four innings versus his former team, taking the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) on four hits and a pair of walks.
Verdugo cut the deficit to three in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI groundout that scored Christian Arroyo. The Sox pulled within one in the sixth inning, tagging Phillies reliever Jose Alvarado for a pair of runs on two-out RBIs for Bobby Dalbec and Arroyo to make it 5-4.
The Red Sox got on the board in the second inning, when shortstop Xander Bogaerts took Phillies pitcher Brandon Kintzler deep on the first pitch he saw for his 15th home run of the season, giving his team a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the third, the Sox put runners on first and second with nobody out, but Phillies pitcher Christopher Sanchez got Verdugo to ground into a double play, before striking out J.D. Martinez to end the threat.
Boston returns to action this Thursday when it kicks off the second half of the season with a four-game set versus the New York Yankees.