Red Sox suffer 4-3 loss, sweep at hands of Nats

789218.jpg

Red Sox suffer 4-3 loss, sweep at hands of Nats

BOSTON -- The Red Sox turned to Jon Lester Sunday afternoon to salvage a game from their three-game set with the Nationals at Fenway Park.

Although Lester pitched well giving up three runs on six hits and two walks (one intentional) with nine strikeouts in seven innings he was not involved in the decision. The Nationals beat the Sox, 4-3, completing the three-game sweep.

Alfredo Aceves took the loss, dropping his record to 0-4.

With the score tied and one out in the ninth, Aceves walked Bryce Harper, pinch-hitting for Tyler Moore, on five pitches. Aceves then struck out Jesus Flores. But with two outs, Aceves gave up a run-scoring double to right field to Nats No. 9 hitter Roger Bernadina.

The Nationals got on the scoreboard first, with a run in the first inning. Danny Espinosa led off with double to center field, took third on Xavier Nadys fly out to Ryan Sweeney in right, and scored on Ryan Zimmermans grounder to Will Middlebrooks at third base.

The Sox tied the score in the third when Nick Punto led off with a walk, taking third on Scott Podsedniks one-out single to right, and scoring on Dustin Pedroias fielders choice.

David Ortiz gave the Sox the lead in the next inning when he led off with his 14th home run of the season, into the Nationals bullpen in right field.

But the Nats regained the lead in the seventh. Ian Desmond and Tyler Moore opened the inning with consecutive singles. But with two outs, Lester gave up a double off the wall in left to Espinosa, scoring both runners.

In the bottom of the frame, the Sox again tied the score. Sweeney and Punto led off with back-to-back singles, and Darnell McDonalds sacrifice bunt moved both runners over. Podsedniks ground out to short scored Sweeney.

Both Lester and Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann would be done after the seventh, neither involved in the decision. Lester has three no-decisions in his last three starts.

Scott Atchison pitched a perfect eighth inning, with one strikeout.

Tyler Clippard earned his eighth save with a scoreless ninth.

Manager Bobby Valentine was ejected by homeplate umpire Al Porter in the ninth inning, with Dustin Pedroia at bat, for arguing balls and strikes.

Farrell: Sandoval could possibly return to Red Sox for postseason

pablo-sandoval-4-2015.jpg

Farrell: Sandoval could possibly return to Red Sox for postseason

Thought to be lost for the season after shoulder surgery this past spring, Pablo Sandoval could possibly return to the Red Sox for the postseason, Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters Saturday.

Sandoval joined the team in St. Petersburg, where the Red Sox are playing the Tampa Bay Rays. Farrell said Sandoval had played in instructional league games in Florida and was "well ahead of schedule."

He could be an option to be activated if another player is injured. 

“One of the things I put in my mind that I have to work,” Sandoval told Boston Herald. “I learned a lot of things about this surgery so I had to work hard to be on the field as soon as possible.

“There are a lot of things I’ve been doing, working out, doing things so I can get better and better everyday.”

Sandoval, 30, is in the second year of a five-year, $95 contract. He lost his starting third base job to Travis Shaw in spring training and in April an MRI revealed he needed surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder, which was to have ended his season.

He appeared in only three games this season and hit .245 with 10 homers and 47 RBI in 126 games in 2015. 

Saturday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Porcello goes for 22nd, Holt at 3B

red_sox_rick_porcello_091916.jpg

Saturday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Porcello goes for 22nd, Holt at 3B

Closing in on the A.L. East title, the Red Sox look to make it 10 wins in a row tonight when they play the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg.

Right hander Rick Porcello (21-4, 3.08 ERA) goes for his 22nd win for the Red Sox, opposed by Rays right-hander Matt Andriese (8-7, 4.41). Porcello is coming off a complete game victory in Baltimore.

The Red Sox began the day with a magic number of four to clinch the A.L. East with eight games to play. They could clinch a wild-card spot tonight with a victory and a Baltimore Orioles loss. 

Brock Holt starts at third base and Chris Young is in left field for Boston.

The lineups:

RED SOX
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Brock Holt 3B
Chris Young LF
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Sandy Leon C
---
Rick Porcello RHP 

RAYS
Logan Forsythe 2B
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Brad Miller 1B
Corey Dickerson LF
Nick Franklin DH
Mikey Mahtook RF
Alexi Ramirez SS
Curt Casali C
---
Matt Andriese RHP