BOSTON -- Now that Jon Lester has gotten over his troubles in April, perhaps he can figure out what's gone wrong in May.
Lester was shelled for seven runs in 5 23 innings Monday night in a 7-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Though the loss was his first this month -- and first since April 12 -- the start pushed Lester's ERA in May to 5.50.
Lester issued four walks and hit two others batters. A one-out, bases-loaded bloop single to right by Alexi Ramirez snapped a 3-3 tie in the sixth and Carlos Quentin greeted reliever Dan Wheeler with a two-run single to tack on two more.
Before being lifted, Lester threw 127 pitches, becoming the third Red Sox pitcher to throw 125 or more pitches in a start this season.
The Sox got a solo homer from Adrian Gonzalez in the first and a two-run single by Dustin Pedroia in the third, but were blanked over their final six innings. Jake Peavy improved to 2-0, going seven innings.
Boston managed just seven hits and after scoring 14 or more runs three times in the span of seven games, the team has scored just seven runs in its last three games combined.
Player of the Game: Jake Peavy
Peavy missed the first five weeks of the season because of an injury, but looked healthy against the Sox, allowing three runs in seven innings of work.
Unlike his counterpart Jon Lester, Peavy had sharp command, issuing only one walk.
Honorable Mention: Paul Konkero
Konkero belted a solo homer that would have been over everything in left had it not first hit a sign atop the Monster Seats and also had a single that helped the White Sox grab a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Later, he was robbed of his third hit on a fine diving play by Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
The Goat: Jon Lester
Lester wasn't himself. He walked four, hit two others and had baserunners in every inning -- and multiple baserunners in four of the six innings he pitched.
By his own admission, Lester didn't have a good feel for any of his pitches except his cut fastball, which manager Terry Francona believed he overused at times.
Turning Point: Lester loses control
With two on and two out in the sixth inning, Lester walked White Sox leadoff hitter Juan Pierre -- who is hardly known as a selective hitter.
That moved baserunners Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham into scoring position and when Alexi Ramirez dumped a single into shallow right, just beyond the reach of Adrian Gonzalez, the White Sox had two runs and were in the middle of a four-run inning.
By the Numbers: 31
Adrian Gonzalez has 31 RBI this month, the most for any Red Sox player in a single month since David Ortiz knocked in 35 in July of 2006.
Quote of Note
"I really didn't have a feel for anything. I stunk -- there's really no other way to put it.'' -- Jon Lester