There were red and green patches of empty seats on a cold Saturday night at Fenway Park and the crowd dwindled considerably as a poorly played game between the Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers dragged on into extra innings and the temperature dropped.
Those who stayed did not have their faith rewarded. Milwaukee scored a run in the 11th inning against former teammate Burke Badenhop and beat the Sox, 7-6.
Badenhop, who pitched two innings on Friday, got one out before Khris Davis and Logan Schafer had back-to-back doubles. Milwaukee had 19 hits, eight for extra bases.
Schafer’s double landed at the base of the wall in left center. Center fielder Grady Sizemore, who played all 11 innings, could not get there in time. Many of those left from the crowd of 35,729 headed for the streets.
The Sox are 2-3. They were not under .500 even for a day last season.
After Clay Buchholz allowed six runs on 13 hits in a troubling performance, the first four Sox relievers pitched 5⅔ scoreless innings and struck out 13. Chris Capuano, Brandon Workman, Koji Uehara, and Junichi Tazawa allowed only four hits.
“That’s a tough one for us because our bullpen kept giving us chances to win the game,” said Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who was 2 for 4 and is hitting .412 through five games. “We couldn’t come up with a run.”
Badenhop cracked against a Milwaukee lineup that capitalized on mistakes.
“When we mislocated within the strike zone, they capitalized on it,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “Any pitch up, they jumped all over it.”
Tyler Thornburg went an inning for the win before Francisco Rodriguez struck out the side for his second save.
The Sox had seven hits, four over the final nine innings. Their final 11 batters went in order with six striking out.
It was a rough night for the Sox before the first pitch was thrown. Mike Carp, in the lineup to play first base, was scratched after batting practice with lower back tightness. Daniel Nava was switched from left field to first.
Then, just before the game started, third baseman Will Middlebrooks was taken out of the lineup because of a cramp in his right calf. Jonathan Herrera, who didn’t play in the first four games, replaced him.
General manager Ben Cherington met with Farrell after the game and potential roster moves were discussed.
David Ortiz was out of the lineup, too, although he did pinch hit in the ninth inning and grounded out. Farrell said it was just a day off for Ortiz.
The spring training lineup that took the field didn’t fare well early.
Milwaukee’s second hitter, Segura, hit a ball that deflected off Buchholz for a single. Segura was on the move when Jonathan Lucroy grounded out to shortstop and he went all the way to third.
The next hitter, Davis, grounded a ball up the middle that went under the glove of shortstop Xander Bogaerts. It was ruled an RBI single.
“I should have had it,” Bogaerts said. “That’s a play I have to make.”
Mark Reynolds and Gomez homered to left field in the second inning for Milwaukee. Gomez hit a shot that clanged off the light tower.
The third inning was ugly, too. Lucroy led off with a double to the gap in right before Aramis Ramirez singled. Davis followed with an RBI single.
With two outs, Gennett doubled to center and Milwaukee had two more runs. It took Sizemore diving to keep the ball from rolling into the triangle for what could have been an inside-the-park home run.
“A lot of mistakes,” Buchholz said.
Buchholz allowed two more hits in the fourth inning but was spared a run when Gomez tried to score from second on a fly ball to deep center and was thrown out at the plate.
Farrell finally lifted Buchholz in the fifth inning when Schafer doubled and Reynolds singled with two outs. Capuano, making his Fenway Park debut at age 35 and after parts of nine seasons in the majors, came in and got two outs to keep the deficit at one run.
Buchholz allowed six runs on 13 hits — a career worst — and struck out three without a walk. Perhaps equally troubling was that he was not able to break 91 miles per hour with his fastball.
Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta had an embarrassing moment Friday. When the Brewers were introduced from the crowd he tripped coming out of the dugout and fell flat on his face.
Peralta’s defense did the stumbling on Saturday as Peralta gave up five runs in five innings but only two of them earned.
The Sox scored twice in the second inning. Bogaerts singled and Jonny Gomes doubled with one out. Bogaerts scored when A.J. Pierzynski grounded out. Gomes came in when Herrera reached on an infield single. Segura should have made the play at shortstop.
In the third, Sizemore walked before Dustin Pedroia reached on an error by Ramirez at third base. Nava grounded into what should have been an inning-ending double play but the Brewers got only one out when Segura fumbled the ball.
Mike Napoli followed with his second home run, a three-run blast deep into the bleachers in center field.
The Sox tied it in the sixth inning. Bogaerts doubled to center before Gomes drew a walk. Pierzynski grounded into a double play but Segura booted a grounder by Herrera and another unearned run scored.
The Brewers put two runners on against Capuano in the seventh inning. But he struck out Schafer before Workman struck out Reynolds and Gennett.