Trailing by one in the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox had a chance to work walkoff magic for a third straight night but fell short, taking a 7-6 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Cody Ross, playing for payback after not reaching an agreement to re-sign with the Sox after last season, went 4 for 5 with two doubles, a homer and three RBIs.
The night was a short one for Jon Lester, who labored through 4.1 innings, throwing 102 pitches and giving up six runs on 11 hits, including a homer.
The Sox's lead over the Tampa Bay Rays to remained at one game after the Rays fell on the road to the San Francisco Giants, 4-1.
End of the seventh, Diamondbacks 7, Red Sox 6: Right before Cody Ross took Pedro Beato deep, to put Diamondbacks ahead again, this happened:
Pedro Beato against the vengeful (yet cheerful) Cody Ross? Move your car if parked on Lansdowne Street.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) August 3, 2013
Ross had never faced Beato before. Beato hadn't given up a homer in his eight appearances this season. But it doesn't matter. Ross clearly has a vendetta.
He's 4 for 4 with three RBIs and two runs scored and with the game still tight, there's a chance he could come up again in a crucial situation.
End of the sixth, Diamondbacks 6, Red Sox 6: Two pitches after Jarrod Saltalamacchia shot a hard fly ball out to the deepest part of center field only to watch it fall short at the warning track, Stephen Drew followed up with his on long ball that reached the seats.
The two-run blast even things up for the Sox. It gave Drew his eighth homer of the season.
In the past eight days, Stephen Drew has:
• Won a game with a walkoff
• Tied a career high with five RBIs
• Posted the second multi-home run game of his career
After going 1 for 12 in his first four games after the All-Star break, he's hitting .333 (8 of 24) with three homers and nine RBIs.
End of the fifth, Diamondbacks 6, Red Sox 4: The Diamondbacks tagged Jon Lester for four hits and three runs, knocking him out of the game after just 4.1 innings.
It's Lester's shortest start at Fenway since last July, when Bobby Valentine infamous left him in to allow 11 runs to the Toronto Blue Jays.
After giving up just five earned runs and 17 hits in 19.2 innings over his past three starts, Lester gave up 11 hits and six earned runs, laboring to throw 102 pitches.
End of the fourth, Red Sox 4, Diamondbacks 3: Jon Lester used his sinker to strike out Didi Gregorius swinging and then caught AJ Pollock looking at a cutter to bring his strikeout total up to six.
Meanwhile the Sox came loaded the bases with one out and came up with nothing. With Mike Napoli (single), Daniel Nava (hit by pitch) and Stephen Drew (walk) all on base, Brock Hld bounced one back to the mound. After bobbling it, Diamondbacks pitcher Randall Delgado had to think about where to go with the ball, almost going to first and letting the run score before going home with it.
Jacoby Ellsbury flew out to left to end the inning.
End of the third, Red Sox 4, Diamondbacks 7: Through three innings, Jon Lester's given up seven hits, including and RBI single by Cody Ross, who's trying to get back at the Sox one hit at a time.
For all his struggles, Lester's been more than steady at Fenway going 4-0 with a 2.95 ERA. He averages 5.8 hits in his eight home starts.
End of the second, Red Sox 4, Diamondbacks 2:Thanks to a Didi Gregorius throwing error, the Sox hung two earned runs up.
Gregorius fielded a Daniel Nava ground ball and fired a wild throw to first that let Nava reach. Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed up by shooting a fly ball down the left-field line that dotted the Red Sox Scholars sign on the Monster.
Nava thought about racing for home, but Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield, who was practically in the basepath between third and home, told him to hold.
Nava and Saltalamacchia eventually scored on sacrifice flies by Stephen Drew and Brock Holt.
End of the first, Red Sox 2, Diamondbacks 2: Just as quickly as Paul Goldschmidt threw the Sox into a hole with a two-run homer of Jon Lester, David Ortiz got them out of it with a two-run shot of his own.
It was the 25th homer of the season for Goldschmidt and the 18th homer allowed this season by Lester.
For Ortiz, it was home run No. 21, and it came after Jacoby Ellsbury shot a ball off the Wall that had inside-the-park homer written all over it once it started rolling around the outfield. He ultimately held up at third for his eighth triple of the season.
Pregame: It's been a wild few days at Fenway. Red Sox manager John Farrell said he woke up this morning still asking himself how his team managed to score six runs in the ninth to come from behind and beat the Seattle Mariners.
But what it showed him, he said was that the team could handle any challenge.
Next up is the Arizona Diamondbacks, who've gone 5-6 over their past 11. Jon Lester will take the mound for the Sox after making his second strong start since the All-Star break last week against the Orioles, going seven scoreless innings.
This is only the second time he's seen the Diamondbacks in his career. The first was in 2010, when he went seven innings and gave up just two runs on four hits.
Enjoy the game. Feel free to comment.