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Aug. 22—BOSTON — You almost have to laugh at this point.
In a second half that seemingly reaches new lows on a weekly basis, the Red Sox found new depths on Saturday night in a performance so bad it was almost funny.
Boston lost 10-1 to a Texas Rangers team that entered the day 42-80 and on pace to lose 106 games, and in the process managed to look like a minor league outfit while making the Rangers look like a playoff contender.
Harsh? You be the judge.
The second batter of the game, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, beat out an infield single despite hitting a bouncing grounder directly to first baseman Bobby Dalbec.
Two Rangers baserunners reached safely despite being badly beaten by the throw because they were able to avoid sloppy tags, one of which came on a play at the plate.
Meanwhile, two Red Sox runners were thrown out due to costly baserunning blunders. J.D. Martinez was out by a mile at home plate to end the second — spoiling what would have been a bases loaded situation — and Kiké Hernández was doubled up at first after a great catch in deep center in the third.
Then, in the fourth, Texas scored three runs after Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez couldn't field a soft grounder that would have ended the inning. Three runs would eventually come around to score, and in the eighth another would come in from third on a wild pitch.
None of that even includes the five fielding errors Boston was actually charged with. Yes, you read that right, five!
As all of this was going on, the Red Sox lineup was being completely shut down by Texas starter Jordan Lyles, who came in 5-10 with a 5.55 ERA on the year and had allowed 17 earned runs and 27 hits over 17.0 innings in his last three starts. He went 7.0 innings and held the Red Sox to five hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
And on the other side? A Rangers lineup that came into the day collectively batting .202 with a .251 on-base percentage over the last 28 days, one that features a cleanup hitter batting .167 with four home runs, chased Rodriguez after 3.2 innings and collectively amassed 17 hits against Boston's pitchers, tied for the team's highest single-game total all season.
"That was embarrassing today," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said afterwards. "It's not acceptable, for a team that's fighting for the playoffs to show up like that and play like that, it doesn't matter if you win or lose the game, it's how you win or lose the game, and that's not acceptable."
Throughout the second half as the Red Sox have spiraled, the one thing you could usually say was they were losing to good teams. Getting punked by the Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays or New York Yankees, bad as the losses were, were at least justifiable competitively.
But to play like this against a team like the Rangers, after everything that's already happened over the last few weeks? At this point it's starting to feel like a bad joke.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @MacCerullo.