The Red Sox fell behind the Tigers 4-0 early last night, as Clay Buchholz didn't have it. He gave up five runs total, but the Red Sox marched back with two home runs from Kevin Youkilis, a three-run bomb by Mike Lowell to tie it up at 8 (second time this week Mike fell just a triple short of the cycle), and Dustin Pedroia completed the comeback (or so we thought) with a pinch-single in the eighth to make it 9-8.
And Julio Lugo blows it all in the ninth.
He made his MLB-leading 10th error in the ninth with no outs, and it opened the door for Detroit to score two runs off Jonathan Papelbon and win, 9-8. And it was slightly ironic that the guy who hit the ball Lugo booted was Edgar (30 errors in 2005) Renteria.
It's been a horrific year for Lugo at SS, and he's on a pace to eclipse the one-year disaster that was Rent-a-Wreck in Boston in 2005. Lugo tried to get the runner going to second in the ninth, but the ball popped out of his glove and completely changed the inning. The fact Lugo was on base three times last night was totally forgotten by that one play in the ninth.
Well, Theo Epstein had to have this guy in 2007, and now he and the Red Sox are stuck with him for another two years after this, at $9 million per. Jed Lowrie isn't ready yet but has impressed in the field, so getting rid of Lugo now just isn't a viable option. Terry Francona won't toss him under the bus, and will probably go right back to him tonight.
He'd better shape up at short, as Alex Cora comes back this weekend from the DL. And there's still Lowrie waiting in the wings. You have to wonder if Lugo continues to have an awful year at the plate that Theo will finally admit his mistake with Lugo and eat the remaining part of his contract after the season and move him. Just like with Renteria after 2005.