All-Star Closer Craig Kimbrel's Inefficiencies Mounting For Red Sox

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Sandy Leon and Craig Kimbrel. (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Craig Kimbrel's an All-Star, and the Red Sox closer's having a great year. Not as good as last season, but he's still posted a 2.49 ERA, better than 13 strikeouts per nine innings, and 33 saves. But, Kimbrel blew his fourth when Justin Smoak homered off him in the ninth last night before the Sox went on for a 10-7 win in 10 innings.

"It's frustrating, I mean, today I felt like I had the best stuff I've had in maybe the last two weeks, and I just made made an errant pitch, 3-0 to Smoak there, and he was hacking and put barrel on it," Kimbrel said. "I hate it. I hate blowing games. I hate making us play extra innings. But again, our guys did what they do, and went back out there, and kept hitting the ball."

Surging Red Sox Still Dominating Blue Jays
Surging Red Sox Still Dominating Blue Jays
The Red Sox have won 24 of 29--the latest a 10-7 survival in 10 innings last night in Toronto.

Kimbrel's allowed a run in four of his last five appearances for five runs on six hits and five walks spanning those five-and-a-third frames. Is it a command issue with a specific pitch?

"I'm in command of everything," he said. "I mean, you get those strikes, but it depends where you're throwing them. You can command in zone and out of the zone. You kinda flip through those as the year goes on. The last couple weeks, I been struggling with some things and working through them, and even though I gave up a home run tonight, I feel like I made a bunch of strides forward. Fastball was a little better tonight, and breaking ball was sharp at times."

Sox and Blue Jays will go at it again tonight at 7:07 p.m.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) reports

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