BOSTON — The Red Sox have enough problems already. They can't afford to have another one on their hands, especially one involving their most reliable pitcher over the past year and a half.
Koji Uehara suffered the loss here last night. Entering in the top of the ninth with the game tied 1-1, the closer allowed a run on two hits. The Chicago Cubs beat Boston 2-1 here at Fenway Park.
Uehara has failed to hold a tie or lead in four of his past seven outings. During the stretch, he's only blown one save, but he isn't producing the results we have come to expect from him either.
Last night, Anthony Rizzo began the ninth by singling to center off Uehara. Starlin Castro followed by doubling to left field on a 3-2 pitch.
Luis Valbuena, the next man up, hit a sacrifice fly to right field to make it 2-1 and the Cubs held on from there.
"When he's given up base hits, it's been on first or second pitch where he's trying to get a strike and it's not the true put-away split," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "That was the case with Rizzo tonight. I thought Castro laid off some pretty good splits to get deep in that count, and then gets one up in the strike zone for the double.
"But it's been more in the early counts where we've seen some of the damage take place," Farrell said.
Uehara said through his interpreter he thinks his struggles have been caused by a little bit of fatigue.
The Red Sox' offensive woes, meanwhile, continue to persist. Boston has scored three or fewer runs in each of its past 14 games at Fenway Park, the longest such streak in franchise history.
Sox hitters have been held either one or no runs in 18 games this season.