Lester's slide continues in loss to O's, 6-3

Lester's slide continues in loss to O's, 6-3
June 16, 2013, 4:45 pm
Share This Post

BALTIMORE -- Jon Lester's all-or-nothing season continued Sunday.
After beginning the season by winning his first six decisions, Lester has now gone in the other direction and lost his last four. He allowed five runs in five innings Sunday in the Red Sox' 6-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
Lester fanned eight and didn't walk a batter, but also gave up five extra-base hits -- four doubles and a homer -- in dropping to 6-4. Lester's last win came on May 15, more than a month ago.
The Sox, who dropped three of four in the series to the Orioles, tried digging out later in the game. Will Middlebrooks' opposite-field three-run homer -- his first homer in a month -- chased Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez in the seventh inning.
But the Sox couldn't pull any closer. Gonzalez had limited the Sox to just two singles in the first six innings -- both by Jacoby Ellsbury.
Junichi Tazawa was tagged for a run in the seventh to give the O's some breathing room.
Adam Jones got the Orioles on the scoreboard in the third with a run-scoring double and Chris Davis followed with his major league-leading 23rd homer, scoring Jones.
A double by Nick Markakis, an RBI single from Manny Machado and a double by Davis added two more runs in the fifth off Lester.

* * * * *

STAR OF THE GAME: Miguel Gonzalez
The former Red Sox prospect blanked the Sox over the first six innings, limiting them to just two hits. He seemed to tire in the seventh when he yielded a three-run homer to Will Middlebrooks, but he still got credit for the win, improving to 5-2 for the season.

Baseball's home run leader added to his total with a two-run shot in the third, then added a run-scoring double in the fifth inning.

Lester was better than he was last time out -- but not by much -- allowing five runs in five innings. He's winless for the last month and not looking like the pitcher he was in April and early May when he won his first six decisions.

TURNING POINT: The Sox seemed to be threatening in the in the sixth when a single by Jacoby Ellsbury and an error by Manny Machado gave the Sox runners at the corners with one out. But Steve Pearce made a leaping grab in front of the left field wall and Davis snared a hard-hit ball at first, ending the inning.

BY THE NUMBERS: The Red Sox are 2-5 against the Orioles this season -- 16-8 against the rest of the American League East.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I thought today was much improved over the last couple of outings. They put the bat on some balls, they found some holes. But given the strikeouts and no walks issues, I thought much improved today. Now, the bottom line isn't going to suggest that with the line score that's put up. But a step in the right direction, for sure.'' -- John Farrell on Jon Lester