Tonight's game was death by 1,000 papercuts. And by papercuts, I mean "Felipe Paulino's best efforts."
The Rockies stung Paulino for single runs in the first, second and third innings, but the dam finally broke during a three-run fifth, resulting in the first truly ugly game of the year.
Paulino's line just about says it all: 4⅓ IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, although the way he gave up those six runs added a little pain to the proceedings.
First inning: Carlos Gonzalez solo homer on a 1-2 slider after Paulino retired the first two batters.
Second inning: Two-out walk to DJ LeMahieu, followed by an RBI double by Jordan Lyles, the pitcher.
Third inning: With the bases loaded, Paulino knocks down a grounder up the middle that might've been an inning-ending double play ball. Instead, RBI infield single.
The Rockies finally knocked Paulino out of the game when four of the first five batters reached to start the fifth. They wouldn't let him face Lyles -- who was 2-for-2 off Paulino by then -- but the change didn't matter. Lyles rocked a 94-mph fastball for an RBI single. A sac fly later, the Sox trailed 6-0, and they could start thinking about Tuesday.
The offense seemed to have a game plan against Lyles early on. He left a number of high-80s two-seamers up in the zone, but they were either just high enough, or they were turned into ground balls, anyway. He got through the first turn in the order without allowing a hit, and when the Sox got a second look at him, Lyles switched to an effective array of breaking balls that kept the Sox off-balance through 6⅔ innings.
Some fine defensive work by the Rockies kept the Sox off the board. Center fielder Charlie Blackmon ran down a deep drive by Conor Gillaspie to the right-center gap to end the fourth, and Troy Tulowitzki made a fine play to his right, followed by a long peg to get Jose Abreu to end the sixth. Both plays spared Lyles of at least one run. The Sox finally found that elusive tally in the seventh, when Alexei Ramirez drilled a two-out double to left to spoil the shutout.
*Adam Eaton helped out Paulino by taking extra bases away from Blackmon on a well-struck drive to center for the final out of the second.
*Marcus Semien committed his first error. He backed up on a bouncer with hopes of starting a 4-6-3 double play, but it glanced off his glove and into right field.
*Daniel Webb and Jake Petricka allowed a run apiece, but they spared Robin Ventura and Don Cooper a heavy bullpen night.
*Alejandro De Aza caught a third out and came up ready to fire. Wilin Rosario threw to first on a dropped third strike, even though first base was occupied. Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone threw the broadcast commercial after a mound visit thinking Walt Weiss made a pitching change, when he very much didn't. It was that kind of night.