Undeterred, they walked the leadoff hitter with a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning, too, and that time the Houston Astros made them pay, rallying for a 4-3 victory.
It capped a night full of walks by Sox pitchers. Carlos Rodon walked six over six innings, and somehow he managed to allow only two runs. Reliever Juan Minaya issued the aforementioned leadoff walk in the eighth, and closer Joakim Soria (0-3) walked two in the ninth and ended up taking the loss.
Walking opposing hitters has become a big part of the Sox's identity, and it's gotten beyond the point of frustration.
Sox pitchers lead the American League with 371 walks as a staff this season, and it's not close. Baltimore ranks a distant second with 308 walks.
This isn't a new problem either: The Sox led the American League with 632 walks issued during the 2017 season -- once again easily outdistancing the Orioles, who issued 579 walks.
Even in 2016, with Chris Sale and Jose Quintana anchoring the top of the rotation, the Sox's walk rate was too high. They were third in the league with 521 walks.
Handing out free baserunners to the opposition is not a recipe for success, especially because the Sox will never be confused with having a good defensive team. Between the walks and errors, self-inflicted wounds have contributed to most of the Sox's 57 losses this season (entering Friday's play).
I'm told that Don Cooper is one of the best pitching coaches in the game. I'm not sure I believe that bit of propaganda at this point, but if Cooper is so great, I call upon him to get the Sox pitching staff back in the strike zone with more frequency.
At the very least, the Sox need to make the opposition earn it more often.