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No-Nonsense Rays Pummel No-Offense Red Sox

Ben Zobrist steals second (rather easily) in the 3rd Inning. (AP Photo / Michael Dwyer)

Before the season, Boston concentrated on bolstering their pitching and defense, but did not think about how useless all that is without bats. It showed Sunday, as Boston was held to two walks and five runs, as they lost to the Rays, 7-1. The still winless Jon Lester took the loss, giving up all seven runs. In fact, here’s all the flaccid Red Sox could manage:

  • 4th Inning: Marco Scutaro walks; out on double play.
  • 5th Inning: Adrian Beltre singles; out trying to stretch it into a double.
  • 6th Inning: Jason Varitek singles; out on double play.
  • 7th Inning: Marco Scutaro singles; out on double play.
  • 8th Inning: J.D. Drew walks and Adrian Beltre doubles; both left on base.
  • 9th Inning: Mike Cameron doubles; scores on sac fly.

Notice the Red Sox penchant for screwing things up at all costs; even with the bases loaded with no outs they can’t score to save their lives. After striking out the side 1-2-3 in the 1st, Lester promptly allowed a double to Longoria and a homer to Pena to begin the inning. In the 3rd, he gave up two lead-off walks followed by a sac bunt and a two-RBI single. And in the 6th, all fantasy teams promptly tried to get rid of Lester, after he gave up a walk, a homer, ground-rule double, committed a throwing error, and gave up a run on a force-out (failing to convert on a double play) to begin the inning (in that order).

Matt Garza got the win, going 8.0 innings, giving up four hits, two walks, and striking out five. Ben Zobrist stole second base in the 3rd, and he did it again in the 5th when Carl Crawford simultaneously stole third, all of which further reinforced Boston’s reputation as the easiest team to steal against, be it Varitek (as it was Sunday) or Martinez.

Sox Stud of the Game: Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy

At least when the team is terrible like they will be this year, NESN’s Announcer Boy and Rem Dawg are fun to listen to. They were the only reason to spend three hours of your life you won’t get back Sunday.

Sox Dud of the Game: Everyone

Lester: stinks. Offense: stinks. Pitching: stinks, despite the hype and retooling.

That’s What He Said:

“They did some big damage on a couple of swings … all three walks scored.” – Terry Francona on Jon Lester’s performance.

Game Notes:

W: Matt Garza (3-0)
L: Jon Lester (0-2)

  • The Red Sox have been outscored 24-7 during their current four-game losing streak, and have lost five of their last six.
  • Jon Lester now has an 8.44 ERA in 16.0 innings pitched.
  • Boston is 4-8, 5.0 games behind the 9-3 Yankees and Rays. Boston’s elimination number and wild-card elimination number are both 146.
  • The Rays, despite their seven runs, had only seven hits and six walks to the Sox’s five hits and two walks.
  • MORE rain delayed the first pitch to 2:06. That was all it did, though.
  • David Ortiz was given the day off; Victor Martinez served as DH.
  • NESN reports that Jacoby Ellsbury could be back in the middle of the week, which would be sometime during the Rangers series.
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