BOSTON -- The Rangers couldn't get the shutdown inning and they walked too many batters. Every time the Rangers scored, the Red Sox responded with a rally of their own, and walks were a big part of that.
That's what Rangers manager Jeff Banister focused on after the Rangers' 11-6 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Tuesday night.
"It's the walks, that has been the nemesis from time to time this year," said Banister, who saw his pitchers issue eight free passes. "It was the freebies that showed up again tonight that got us in trouble."
There was also a close play at the plate in the seventh inning that went against the Rangers. That turned up big in knocking the air out of the Rangers' comeback when it appeared they might be able to pull off some late-inning heroics.
The Rangers trailed, 9-3, going into the seventh before Jared Hoying led off with a single and Delino DeShields was hit by a pitch. Shin-Soo Choo followed with a run-scoring single with DeShields racing to third, giving the Rangers runners at the corners.
Elvis Andrus grounded into a double play, scoring DeShields, but Mazara got the rally going again with a single to right. That brought up Jonathan Lucroy and he hit it off the wall in deep center, giving Mazara a chance to score. But shortstop Xander Bogaerts throw was accurate and Mazara was called out trying to slide around catcher Sandy Leon's tag.
"I threw that with everything I had," Bogaerts said. "That was probably 99 miles per hour Statcast™. I tried my best. Obviously, you never want to see a run scored, especially on a pitcher. It was nice, it kind of changed the game."
Mazara immediately jumped up and pointed to the dugout, signaling for a challenge.
"I thought I got the hand in there," Mazara said. "He got me up here [on the arm] and I put the fingers in there before that."
The Rangers challenged the call, getting a review both on the tag and the possibility of Leon illegally blocking the plate. The Rangers were more interested in the tag.
"In that case, the offensive team has them look at the entire play," Banister said. "I don't think he was blocking the plate. From our angle, it looked like Mazara got around the tag and got his hand on the plate."
The review determined there was no violation of the home plate collision rule and replay could not determine Mazara touched home plate before the tag. The rally was over.
"Well, it looms large as they're potentially putting up three runs in the inning," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We have a long inning the inning before with four runs to spread things out a little bit. To shut the momentum off after a good swing by Lucroy, a big out, almost a momentum shifter in that case."
Banister, after the decision came down, stood on the top step of the dugout for several minutes staring out on the field. But he didn't dwell on it afterward.
"That's why you have replay," Banister said. "But that call didn't beat us. The walks beat us."
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.