Call it the Curse of John Lackey.
Over the course of the season, the Red Sox have shown an inability to score runs when Lackey is starting and Monday was no different in that regard.
Lackey, 8-12, allowed three runs over 7 1/3 innings, but the Red Sox were blanked by Doug Fister and three relievers as the Detroit Tigers shut out the Sox 3-0.
It was the 11th shutout suffered by the Red Sox this season; Lackey has been the starting pitcher in six of those.
It wasn't as if the Red Sox didn't have their chances. They had runners at first and second and no out in three different innings and couldn't score. On five different occasions, they stranded a runner at third base.
They were a woeful 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
The game was scoreless through the first six innings before the Tigers broke through aganst Lackey in the seventh. Victor Martinez singled and scored when Andy Dirks tripled to the triangle in center.
Dirks scored two batters later when, with the infield in, Don Kelly hit into a 4-3-6 double play.
The Tigers tacked on an insurance run in the eighth when Prince Fielder hit the first pitch he saw from Matt Thornton to right for a sacrifice fly, scoring an inherited runner.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Red Sox, who lost for just the second time in their last nine games.
STAR OF THE GAME: Doug Fister
Fister allowed eight baserunners over seven innings, but knew how to get out of jams, using three double-play balls -- tying his season high in that department.
HONORABLE MENTION: John Lackey
Lackey was -- so what else is new? -- the tough-luck loser again. He allowed just two runs while he was in the game; a third inherited run was also charged to him. It was Lackey's 18th quality start this season, most on the team.
GOAT OF THE GAME: David Ortiz
Ortiz was 0-for-4 and made the final out of the inning on three different occasions. He also personally stranded two of five Red Sox baserunners who were stranded.
TURNING POINT: In the seventh, trailing 2-0, the Sox put the first two baserunners on, but failed to push a run across. It marked the third inning in which they had put the first two runners on base without a run scoring.
BY THE NUMBERS: John Lackey has allowed three earned runs or fewer in eight of his losses this season, the most such losses for any major league starter.
QUOTE OF NOTE: "It's real frustrating. All you ask of the pitchers is give us a chance; at the same time, we need to get some run support and help a guy out who's been great for us.'' -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia on Lackey's tough luck