Two cruddy games in a row for the Red Sox have a nice run. The All-World Sox offense is weakening as the month comes to a close. They managed only seven hits in a game which lasted 3:24. Jake Peavy, now 2-0, beat Jon Lester, now 7-2. There were 37,463 on hand at Fenway.
Bottom 8th: White Sox 7, Red Sox 3
The Sox had two runners on after a Youkilis single off Jesse Crain and a walk to Ortiz by Matt Thornton. But with two outs, Crawford continued his struggles by striking out to end the inning.
Bottom 7th: White Sox 7, Red Sox 3
The Red Sox offense has been pretty vanilla the last two games. Of course Justin Verlander and Jake Peavy respectively have had something to do with it. The Sox offense looks lethargic but perhaps they were taking their cue from Jon Lester, who broke a great streak by the starters who had allowed three runs or fewer in 9 straight games (2.06 ERA).
Bottom 6th: White Sox 7, Red Sox 3
The Sox had two on with one out after Gonzalez and Ortiz reached with singles. But Crawford lined out to right and Drew Sutton struck out swinging ending the threat. Crawford is slumping again - in the middle of an 0-for-10.
Top 6th: White Sox 7, Red Sox 3
A laborious outing for Lester - 127 pitches. He left the game with two outs in the fifth after Alexei Ramirez dumped a bloop double into short right scoring two runs. Lester had loaded the bases allowing a pair of singles (Rios and Beckham) and a walk (Pierre) before Ramirez' back-breaker. Dan Wheeler came on to pitch and he failed to stop the bleeding, issuing a single up the middle to Quentin to score the third and fourth runs of the inning.
Lester's line: 5-2/3 innings, 8 hits, 7 runs, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts, 2 HBP.
Bottom 5th: White Sox 3, Red Sox 3
Rocking-chair inning for Peavy, retiring Salty, Ellsbury and Pedroia in order.
Top 5th: White Sox 3, Red Sox 3
Lester hits yet another batter - Carlos Quentin - his league leading seventh, but gets out of the inning. He finishes five with 96 pitches and appears destined for a 6-inning start.
Bottom 4th: White Sox 3, Red Sox 3
Ortiz beat the shift and singled into short right field. Ortiz got to second base on a Drew Sutton sacrifice, but died there when Drew popped out.
Top 4th: White Sox 3 , Red Sox 3
Nothing coming easy to Lester tonight. He walked the first two batters - Lillibridge and Beckham - and then got Morel to pop a bunt to Salty for the first out. The lefthanded hitting Pierre then struck out and Salty may have made his best throw to a base this season, firing the ball to third to nail Lillibridge to complete the double-play.
Bottom 3rd: White Sox 3, Red Sox 3
Dustin Pedroia knocked in a pair of runs with a single to center, tying this game at 3. Salty started things when he was struck by a Peavy pitch. Ellsbury doubled to rightcenter, sendning Salty to third.
Top 3rd: White Sox 3, Red Sox 1
Paul Konerko homered off Lester on a 2-1 pitch. Lester hasn't smoothed out yet.
Bottom 2nd: White Sox 2, Red Sox 1
Peavy retires the Sox - Ortiz, Crawford and Sutton - in order.
Bottom 1st: White Sox 2, Red Sox 1
Adrian Gonzalez homered to right field against his former San Diego Padres teammate, Jake Peavy, on a 2-2 pitch.
Top 1st: White Sox 2, Red Sox 0
Jon Lester, who is 7-1 with a 3.36 ERA, has had an interesting breakdown of success/failure. He entered tonight's game with a 4.91 ERA in both the first and the second innings and a 5.73 ERA in the fifth inning, clearly his worst.
But his first inning woes continued tonight. He allowed a bases-loaded two-run single to AJ. Pierzynski. He started the game by striking out Juan Piere, but then allowed a single to Alexei Ramirez, hit Carlos Quentin with a pitch, allowed a single to Paul Konerko before Pierzynski struck. Lester then retired the next two batters.
In 12 first innings, Lester has allowed eight earned runs (6.00 ERA) and 15 hits.
We're underway here on Memorial Day at Fenway. The Red Sox are wearing a new red-and white hat. Good pitching matchup between Jon Lester and Jake Peavy. Beautiful night here. We'll have more in a while.